Thursday, March 11, 2010

Women pilots of WWII inspire generations

by Carol L. Bowers
American Forces Press Service

3/10/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFRNS) -- Under a clear blue sky, beneath the spires of the U.S. Air Force Memorial here, military aviators gathered March 9 to pay homage to the achievements of the first women to fly military aircraft during World War II.

The memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony, with a reception afterward, was a prelude to the March 10 presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 1,102 pilots who served as Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II.

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Vivien Crea, the keynote speaker at the service, told those assembled that by answering America's call to duty in 1942, they gave birth to a fledgling service that would become the WASPs with achievements that would go on to inspire another generation of women in the military.

"As aviators, you possessed an invaluable capability that our nation desperately wanted," Admiral Crea said. "You joined not because you were great pioneers, but because of your great sense of duty. You served America in its time of peril."

Nearly 200 of the surviving women pilots attended the ceremonies with family and friends, and family members represented other pilots.

Article continues here: Military News

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Quote of the Day:
"When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen; and we shall most sincerely rejoice with you in the happy hour when the establishment of American Liberty, upon the most firm and solid foundations shall enable us to return to our Private Stations in the bosom of a free, peacefully and happy Country." --George Washington, address to the New York legislature, 1775

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