Sunday, March 23, 2008

What a "dumb chorus girl" can do

Way back before WWII.... and frankly for a couple of decades afterwards, any woman who wanted to do anything "out of the ordinary" was put down by the media and by her own peers.

Take for example Julie Stege. She was:

a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl trying to dance and sing her way to stardom on Broadway when World War II broke out. Then, suddenly, patriotism struck her.
An intense desire to do something to help her country caused her to kick off her dancing shoes and join the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs. The pretty showgirl, who already had a civilian pilot license, became one of the first women in U.S. history trained to fly military aircraft.

"I joined the WASPs as fast as I could, and Ed Sullivan wrote in his column, 'Poor Julie has volunteered for the Air Force. She thinks she can fly. Doesn't she know she's a dumb chorus girl committing suicide?'" the former showgirl said with hearty laughter.

Thanks very much, Ed Sullivan!

Anyway, this info comes from an article at DefenseLinks News, from 2003, when they covered the debut of the documentary Above & Beyond: 100 Years of Women in Aviation

It makes interesting reading, so check it out here:

World War II Women Aviators Reminisce About Flying Army Aircraft

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