Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jill Long performance at Andrews AFB, 5.20.07

Still busy working on the new Winged Victory webzine.

Searching YouTube for videos of women aviatiors. Today found this one of Jill Long, flying a Pitts biplane. Videos are by Steve, who has a webiste at: Thanks Steve for letting me post this video!

2007 Joint Services Open House
Andrews AFB, MD
Sunday May 20, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Review of Patterns: Tales of flying and life

I've just finished reading Patterns: Tales of flying and life, by Bette Bach Fineman. It is an extremely enjoyable read, for pilots and non-pilots alike, for women going through a divorce, for guys who like a good read of aviation anecdotes - everyone.

Read the review here:
Patterns: Tales of flying and life

Or just cut to the chase and visit

It's a self-published book, and people have reason to be leary of they are usually poorly written and edited.

However, Patterns is excellently written...the only thing I didn't care for was the fact that the text wasn't justified...but you soon get used to that. There's also my old bugaboo - it has no index, and non-fiction books without indexes really bug me.

Nevertheless, well written, and every woman should read it. But don't get me wrong, I think guys will enjoy it as well. Fineman talks a bit about her depression after her husband leaves her (with six kids, thanks very much) but she doesn't dwell on it for more than a few paragraphs. Then it's on to creating - successfully - a new life for herself.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

You Fly, Girl is now Winged Victory

I got some feedback from some women pilots that they thought using the name "Girl" in the title was undignified..and I have to say I agreed with them.

I don't like grown women being called girls, but I wanted a title that would be "catchy" as well as being clearly about women pilots, and the domain name I wanted - Women With Wings, has been parked by some people who are just using it as a "link library" - or whatever the technical name for that practice is...annoys me intensely.

And I have to admit it didn't occur to me to use initials in the domain, calling it WWW, for example...although I wonder if that's even allowed.
hm...that probably wouldn't be allowed!

Anyway, I finally decided to go with Winged Victory - which is the title of a famous statue, "Nike of Samothrace" - Nike being the Greek goddess of Victory.

is the new URL.

However, will contintue to work as well.

And since this blog is already established with the name, it will keep the title.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lots of women in air show in Texas, Nov 11

I've got a WASP news feed on my computer, but nevertheless was a little late seeing this:

Texas Ranger Wing Honors Wasp
November 10, 2007

The Veteran's Day 'TEXAS AIR FIESTA' was held at the air field at the Texas State Technical College, known during World War II as the Waco Army Air Field. It was at this air field that sixteen WASP were stationed during 1944. One of those WASP, Bette Mae Scott, 44-3, was killed July 6, 1944, just off the end of the runway.

The air show, with its ALL-GIRL ground crew, air marshalers and pyro team, was dedicated to the WASP. Marion Hodgson, 43-5; Jo Wheelis, 43-5; and Deanie Parrish, 44-4 were honored guests of the Ranger Wing. Nancy Parrish was their escort. They were given 'above and beyond' VIP treatment, including an impromptu ride down the flight line in a golf cart driven by Lt. Col. Jill Long, an Air Force A10 Thunderbolt pilot, veteran of Afghanistan, with over 3,000 hours. She is amazing! Jill was the FEATURED PERFORMER at the show, and not only dedicated her aerobatic 'show-stopper' in her "RAGGED EDGE" Pitts S2B to the WASP, the announcer kept broadcasting all the wonderful accolades she had written about the WASP. It would have made all of you proud! Jill's online site:

Among those aircraft participating in the air show were Marine ONE and Marine TWO--and six blackhawks--the helicopters which are the official transporation & gunship escort when the President travels to Crawford from the airport. (One of those blackhawk pilots & crew chief were female.) The President was at his ranch just 30 miles West of Waco. Air Force One was parked directly across the tarmac and runways, clearly visible to the thousands of people attending the air show. Some pilots, who had planned to participate in the air show but whose aircraft did not have transponders, were not allowed to land in Waco because of the proximity of the President.

With the popular Wings Across America 'Fly Girls of WWII' WASP exhibit in the prestigious Mayborn Museum Complex and the terrific air show dedicated to the WASP, people all across Texas are beginning to know who the WASP were-and are!

It was a great day for the WASP and for Waco.
For more shots of the airshow, visit the Tribune Herald's slideshow!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Patterns: Tales of flying, and of life

I received Patterns: Tales of flying, and of life, by Bette Bach Fineman for review today.

"This is the story of an average California beach girl who married her high-school sweetheart in 1957 (Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull), becoming a "right stuff" Air Force jet pilot's life. As the family grew, she learned first to inspire and then to edit the pilot's aviation writing.

When the pilot flew off one day into the sunset, Bette Bach lost all hope for the future. With an old airplane her only possession, and her six children trusting her to lead her little band, she pulled herself together, determined to prove she was a person worthy of her husband's love. The family hit the road and theskies and a lotbof mistakes were made, but they found ways to live with the past, deal with the present, and face an uncertain future."

I'll have it reviewed in another couple of days.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Celestial Flight

A poem written by WASP Elizabeth MacKethan Magid, in honor of her friend Marie Robinson (1926 - 1944)

In honor of all women pilots who are now flying higher:

She is not dead -
But only flying higher,
Higher than she's flown before,
And earthly limitations
Will hinder her no more.

There is no service ceiling,
Or any fuel range,
And there is no anoxia,
Or need for engine change.
Thank God that now her flight can be
To heights her eyes had scanned,
Where she can race with comets,
And buzz the rainbow's span.

For she is universal
Like courage, love and hope,
And all free, sweet emotions
Of vast and godly scope.

And understand a pilot's Fate
Is not the thing she fears,
But rather sadness left behind,
Your heartbreak and your tears.

So all you loved ones, dry your eyes,
Yes, it is wrong that you should grieve,
For she would love your courage more,
And she would want you to believe
She is not dead.
You should have known
That she is only flying higher,
Higher than she's ever flown.

Wings Across America Project

A lot of attention is given to the male soldiers and pilots who fought during World War II - and rightly so, of course. But many women would have been in those trenches if they could (indeed, in Russia in particular, many women were).

It has only been within the last 20 years or so that the story of the WASP has come to be told - how a couple thousand women pilots training to fly the big crates, to transport planes to other countries, to fly towing targets for male fighter pilots needing target practice, some women dying in the service of their country...and then, even before the war was over (although when the big brass "knew" it was over, as the still-fighting Axis no longer stood a chance) they were subsequently dismissed from their jobs and sent back home with no ackowledgement of their service and sacrifice, and worse, told to get back into their kitchens where they belonged, and from then on to leave flying to the men.

Their story was untold for a long time. Many women did just that -- carried on with their civilian lives and not seeking the limelight or even an acknowledgement of what they'd achieved. They'd just done what they'd had to do and didn't consider themselves heroines.

But they were.

The Wings Across America project started interviewing surviving WASP a few years ago, and those interviews can be seen at a travelling exhibit:

Traveling WASP Exhibit
is on display through Nov. 28th, 2007at Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex, 1300 South University Parks Drive, Waco, Texas.

Click here for a list of the women interviewed

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Various WASP videos at Youtube:

Soundbytes of the WASP WWII

WASP Ruth Florey's ceremony of induction

We Were WASP pt 1

We Were WASP pt 2

We Were WASP pt 3

The Incredible Women of World War II

I like reading children's books, for various reasons.

First, I'm always interested to see what's being "taught" in these books. No, I'm not on the lookout for books in fear that I'll find some that show same-sex families in a positive light...more power to such books! ...I'm into different important lessons, such as - is self-confidence taught? Self-reliance? Being your own woman (or guy) and not bowing to the whims of others? Girls not being passive, not being vicious either...

However, I read more non-fiction than fiction, and I've recently been on a jag reading about the WASP and women does seem that most women astronauts or pilors etc. will get a children's book written about them, but no larger studies written for adults...

The Incredible Women of World War II, by Karen Zeinert, 1994, details women as WASP and other pilots, as nurses and doctors, as war correspondents, and working on the home front.

Of course once the war was over, everything changed, and many women in the home front lost their jobs, because they "had" to be given to the returning soldiers. (Andin one way, of course, you can't blame them - men who spent years laying down their lives for the service of their country deserve to have jobs to come back to... but women also risked their lives during that war (for example the WASP) and deserved better than they got as well.

But it's all part of the story of the march of women toward equality...