WASP Seeks Your Voice And Recognition
The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) are the subject of Bill S614 that would recognize, with the award of a Congressional Gold Medal, their service during World War II, and they are asking that supporting voices speak up and be heard. The intent of the WASP program was to free up male combat pilots from stateside duty during the war but ultimately it "served as a catalyst for revolutionary reform in the integration of women pilots into the Armed Services," according to the bill. From 1942 to 1944, WASPs instructed, transported cargo and personnel, ferried aircraft and more, but they were never commissioned or given active duty status and only earned veteran status decades later. Those interested in supporting the congressional award should check the position of their representatives, here, which offers "not" and "on board" lists and suggests simple actions you can take to convey your interests to your representatives.
More than 25,000 women applied to serve, 1,830 were accepted and 1,074 completed Army Air Force flight training before becoming WASPs. Those women flew more than 60,000,000 miles on every type of assignment but air combat -- 38 lost their lives in (unrecognized) service. The bill recognizing their service was initiated by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX, and Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-MD, and was co-sponsored by the fifteen other female members of the Senate prior to its introduction. Read the text of the bill here.