The WASPs - Women Airforce Service Pilots WW2

Got inspired to make this topic after watching Expedition Unkown on Discovery. The episode was about WASP Pilot Gertrude Tompkins who went missing on a delivery flight/ferry flight in 1944, from Mines Field (Now part of LAX) to Newark in a P-51D Mustang.

Like all female pilots in the squadron she was qualified to fly many different types of aircrafts. P-51D Mustang, P-38 Lightning and P-54 Thunderbolt.

WASP pilots and a P-51



As the US entered World War II in December 1941, the military needed more pilots for domestic duties, such as flight-testing and ferrying aircraft, in order to send male combat pilots overseas to fight in Allied efforts in the European and Pacific theaters.

WASP was created and 1074 women graduated and got their silver wings. Training was held at Avenger Field (KSWW) Texas.



You had to hold a pilot licence, min. 500 hours flight time, have experience with cross country flying and pass health requirements.

WASP pilots had to go through the same training as male Airforce pilots but in a shorter period of time (27 weeks)

In addition they had to qualify on different types of aircraft unlike male Airforce pilots.

By the end of 1944, the WASPs had ferried more than 12,000 planes in the US, including basic trainer planes, fighter planes, and bombers. WASP missions also included flight testing all types of military aircraft and target towing.

Interesting fact: In 1944 Male Airforce pilots refused to test the B-29 Superfortress thinking the mission was too dangerous. Two WASP pilots completed the mission and successfully piloted the bomber even while experienced an engine fire during flight.



Women’s history

Army Times


Very interesting to read, thanks for sharing, lots of this i never knew about

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I also have watched that episode!

Great job with this it is very informative they definitely deserve much more credit than they receive.

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I just had to do some research after watching the episode, very interesting story.
Thanks! I tried to make it informative and interesting to read.

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Super interesting and knowledgeable read. Great work!

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One of those untold hero’s of WW2. They did many great things back than and somewhat paved the way for women in combat aviation.

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Indeed they did.
On July 1, 2009, WASP was awarded the Congressional Gold medal by President Barack Obama and United States Congress.

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