Women Airforce Service Pilots To Receive Congressional Gold Medal

Photo courtesy of
‘… WASPs and B-17′
courtesy of ‘x-ray delta one’

Today at 11am, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) will get their much deserved recognition when they receive the Congressional Gold Medal, 68 years after their honorable and noble service to this country during WWII.

Faced with a shortage of U.S. based pilots in 1942, the Air Force recruited 1100 civilian female pilots and had them fly military aircraft across the country, test newly developed aircraft (including the B-29 Superfortress bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan) and tow targets for ground and air target practice.

Despite serving their country for two years and losing 38 WASPs  in the line of duty, the WASPs were not granted military status until 1977.

Yesterday, WASP survivors and family members gathered for a Remembrance Ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Memorial and a Salute Reception at the Women’s Memorial. Fewer than 300 WASPs are alive to receive the commendation and experience this truly historic event in U.S. women’s history.

Rebecca Johnson

A born and bred New Yorker, Rebecca made the big trip “down south” to DC in 2006 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her days strategizing/planning/ideating how interactive products can help her clients and change the world. In her free time, she explores DC’s ever expanding bar, restaurant and small business scene, plays a crap ton of soccer, attends concerts that contribute to her sleep deprivation and embarks on local adventures. Read why Rebecca loves DC or follow her on twitter.

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One thought on “Women Airforce Service Pilots To Receive Congressional Gold Medal

  1. My aunt Marie Michell Robinson graduated from National Park Junior College and learned to fly during those years. She surprised her father by taking off and landing after her graduation ceremony. She became a WASP in 1944, class 2. Unfortunately her career in the skies ended in a fiery crash when the b-25 she was co-piloting crashed in the Mojave Dessert on 10/2/1944. That was her father’s birthday, and she was secretly wed only 2 weeks earlier. Sadly, I never knew her, but was named after her and inherited her spunk. It was an extreme honor to represent her at all the events and pick up the gold medal on her behalf……the happy ending to the sad story, but one that I have only begun to tell!