Whitesburg KY

Women Air Service Pilots during World War II

In the early part of World War II, most of our aircraft went to England by ships. Germany had its U-boats waiting for them and sank many of them.

The United States started sending our bombers and fighters by way of Greenland and on to Iceland, where pilots would fly them to England.

We had a shortage of male pilots. We had many women pilots during this time, and we started training more.

They would pick up our planes at the factory, and fly them to our male pilots overseas. They were called WASPs, Women Air Service Pilots. They had their own uniforms.

On my first of two flights to Greenland, looking for the B-17 bombers, a whole squadron that went down in very bad weather, we had a WASP pilot flying our plane.

I found them to be a very outstanding crew.

They were all sent home after the war.

It would be many years before these ladies would be allowed to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)

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