Women's Air Force Service Pilots


Creation of (WASP)

In Jul 1943, to streamline command and to better distribute resources, the two programs merged together to form the Women Airforce Service Pilots, "WASP"; the disbanding of WAFS and WFTD programs took place officially on 5 Aug 1943.

(WASP) Uniforms

On 1 Jul 1944, uniforms were finally ordered for WASP pilots from the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot. The uniform consisted of a blue blouse with three buttons, a matching skirt, and a white shirt with black necktie. Many of the women also wore A-2 or B-3 leather flight jackets over their uniforms when performing ferrying missions.
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Responsibility's of (WASP)

WASP training was centralized at Sweetwater, Texas, United States, and trained pilots were deployed to 120 various air bases within the United States. By the end of the WASP program in Dec 1944, over 1,000 pilots were trained (including the predecessor programs WAFS and WFTD), who flew more than 60,000,000 miles of operational flights, which included the ferrying of aircraft from aircraft factories to ports and air bases, towing targets for live anti-aircraft artillery practice, simulated strafing missions, and transporting cargo. Speaking specifically of the ferrying missions, pilots of WASP delivered 12,650 aircraft during the war, which made up of over 50% of combat aircraft built in the United States during that time period.

(WASP) Disbanded

On 20 Dec 1944, Arnold disbanded WASP. Originally prejudiced against the potentials of female pilots, by now the female pilots had won him over. In fact, one of the reasons for him to disband WASP was due to the unsuccessful attempt of the Congress to make WASP personnel members of the military. On 7 Dec 1944, during a speech he delivered at Sweetwater, he said that the "WASP have completed their mission. Their job has been successful.... The Air Forces will long remember their service and their final sacrifice."

(WASP) Earn Military Status

In 1975, Colonel Bruce Arnold, son of General "Hap" Arnold, began lobbying for WASP pilots to be recognized as veterans. They were eventually successful. In 1977, with support of Senator and former ferry pilot Barry Goldwater, President Jimmy Carter signed the G. I. Bill Improvement Act which granted WASP pilots full military status.