WASP Members Awarded Congressional Gold Medal | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

WASP Members Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

Play associated audio
WASP members honor fallen aviators during memorial ceremony at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA.
Elliot Francis
WASP members honor fallen aviators during memorial ceremony at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA.

By Elliott Francis

Wednesday, members of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots organization will be given the country’s highest civilian honor. They are civilian pilots who flew non-combat missions for the military during World War II.

Four F-15’s are flying the missing man salute, which in this case might be more appropriately named, the missing woman salute.

When first formed in 1943, approximately 1,000 women pilots were trained to fly for the army air corps. They were assigned to operational flights, transporting planes or cargo and sometimes towing targets for live artillery practice. They never flew in combat, but 38 women died in aerial mishaps while flying in world war two.

During the ceremony Vice Admiral Vivian Crea remembered their service.

“They have demonstrated a courage which is sustained not by the fevers of combat, but by the steady heartbeat of faith. Faith in the rightness of our cause and the importance of the work to the men who do go into combat,” says Crea.

All 38 names were read as a wreath was laid at the foot of the air force memorial.

On March 10, 2010, Women’s Air Force Service Pilots received the Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony on Capitol Hill.

NPR

The Dread Factor: Why Ebola And 'Contagion' Scare Us So Much

Even just the word Ebola is kind of terrifying. Why? Hollywood has a lot to do with it. But Ebola outbreaks also have all the ingredients for what one psychologist calls the "dread factor."
NPR

Author And His Daughter Cook Around The Word And You Can Too

Kelly McEvers talks to food writer Mark Kurlansky and his daughter Talia about their cookbook International Night, based on their tradition of cooking a meal every week from a different country.
NPR

Outside Group Mirrors Successful Strategies Of Political Parties

A U.S. Senate seat is up for grabs in Iowa, and the GOP has opened 11 field offices statewide. But there's also a new team working the state, the Virginia-based group Americans for Prosperity.
NPR

Islamic State Uses Online Strategies To Get Its Message Out

Experts say the videotaped killing of journalist James Foley is part of a broader propaganda strategy by Islamist militants. The group, the Islamic State, has become a master of the video medium.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.