1943 April 23

Women in the Air Force; WASPS Unit Formed


The WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots) was formed through a merger of pre-existing units of women pilots during World War II. WASP pilots flew non-combat missions and thereby freed male pilots for combat duty. About 25,000 women applied to be WASPS and 1,074 were finally accepted for duty. They were considered civilian employees, however, and therefore denied veterans benefits.

After a decades-long campaign, they were retroactively classified as veterans in the 1977 GI Bill Improvement Act (see November 23, 1977). The Pentagon finally allowed women to serve in combat positions on January 24, 2013.

See July 19, 1943 issue of Life magazine: http://books.google.com/books?id=MVAEAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Visit the WASP Museum: http://waspmuseum.org/

Learn more: Evelyn Monahan and Rosemary Neidel Greenlee, A Few Good Women: America’s Military Women from World War I to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (2010)

And more about women in the military: http://www.military.com/topics/women-in-the-military

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!