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:
"FLYGIRLS of WWII"
FLYGIRLS EXTENDED THROUGH JANUARY 22, 2008
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