Mar. 9th, 2010

slipstreamsurfr: (4gr)
Texas had a long and varied history during WWII. On March 10th a very important group will finally get some recognition for their service during the war. The WASP will be presented the congressional gold medal at the US Capital.

Formed in late 1942 they originally trained out of what was then called Howard Hughes Field(since renamed Houston Hobby) in Houston. In early 1943 the operation was moved to Avenger Field in Sweetwater Texas. 18 classes trained more than 1100 women pilots. While they were trained to fly anything in the military fleet, they were employed under the Civil Service program, not the military. As such they paid their own way when they joined and eventually left Sweetwater when the program was disbanded in 1944. When one of their own died in a training or flight mishap, there were no military benefits. The lady pilots took up a collection among themselves to take care of their own. They weren't given military benefits until congress granted them in 1977.

After 65 years these women will get the recognition they deserve.

We should all take a moment on the 10th to remember their under-appreciated service to our country.

Avenger Field in Sweetwater Texas KSWW has what I hear is a really nice museum dedicated to the WASP. Their website is here.

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