Dear Fellow Armed Forces Retirement Home Book Lovers,
May is upon us, and I am looking forward to our laughing together, sharing our words of wisdom together about the next book that we are reading, "A Wicked War," written by Amy S. Greenberg, and catching up on over a year's worth of the this's and that's of our lives. We certainly have much to share! :) I am so very thankful to my "partner in crime," Christine Baldwin for her expertise, her love for a good read, and her generosity of spirit in maintaining our Book Club at the Home.
In my thoughts, the following remarks embedded in Katherine Sharp Landeck's, "The Women With Silver Wings," sets the stage for her book. They are as follows:
"Women are physically and temperamentally suited for fighter plane operation. They are smaller, hence more comfortable in a tiny crowded cockpit. They are quicker to react under many circumstances and are supposed to have a lighter, more deliberate touch and thus are better able to surmount emergencies when they arise...The theory that women "can't take it" has been thoroughly disproved." Pilot, Nancy Love, in December 1944. Taken from pages 245-246.
The WASP's, the Women Airforce Service Pilots, organized by the respected aviators Nancy Love and Jackie Cochran, were not permitted to participate in active combat missions overseas, but they most definitely did assist on the homefront. The WASP's participated and supported in test-piloting, ferrying, and training/war game scenarios using many types of aircraft. Their support and their mission was to alleviate the strain on the Army-Airforce's work load. At this time, the Air Force had not yet come into its own as a separate branch of the Armed Forces. This actually occurred on September 18, 1947.
The WASP's stories are riveting, and their lives afterwards most interesting. They were never given military status, and were considered civilian employees. It was not until 1977, when many of the WASP's were in their 80's and their 90's when they finally received military status and were given benefits. Indeed, these phenomenal women paved the way for the many success stories that were to follow their brave commitment to aviation.
As we look ahead to reading "A Wicked War," written by Amy S. Greenberg, I will be brushing up on a time in history that I know little of. Looking forward to our discussions and to learning from the best of the best!
See you all soon!