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World War II: Women at War

Journalist w/B-17

Members of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) are pictured at Lockbourne Army Air Field in World War II.

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Britain's FEMALE Spitfire pilots to receive badge of courage at last

Female Pilot Lettice Curtis with a Spitfire during the war

In 1941, amidst a segregated military, the first African-American fighter pilots were commissioned to aid the defense of bombers in WWII. See the exceptional story of the Tuskegee Airman.

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[Photo] Lieutenant General George Patton, 1943-1945

Lieutenant General George Patton, 1943-1945 (my all-time favorite picture of this great man!)

Lydia Litvyak. One of two Russian pilots who were the world’s only female fighting aces during World War II.

World War II in colour - England, circa 1945 Ace American pilot Lieutenant Colonel Francis S. Gabreski poses in a cockpit. The flags refer to the 28 enemy planes brought down by Gabreski. If you look closely above the swastikas it names the type of plane shot down.

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1943 July 19 LIFE Magazine - Women Air Force Pilots

1943 Life Magazine - Women Air Force Pilots

Foot inspection for the 7th Armoured Division, North Africa - World War II

In 1943, Charles B. Hall became the first black fighter pilot to down an enemy aircraft. Hall was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valor in this World War II action. His squadron presented him with its own reward, a chilled bottle of Coke, a precious commodity in the Mediterranean theater. Hall was a member of the 99th Fighter Squadron.

James Stewart served as a pilot in World War II, initially rejected by the army for being underweight, despite wanting to serve. So, he went home, gained some weight, and was able to enlist. During the war, due to his celebrity status, he was kept in America, but after two years, his request to join the battle overseas was finally answered, where he flew in many dangerous missions, earning a good collection medals and awards.

World War I Albatross going down. Most pilots did not wear parachutes and chose to plunge to their deaths rather than burn in their planes.

Hans-Joachim Marseille (13 December 1919 – 30 September 1942) was a Luftwaffe fighter pilot and flying ace during World War II. One of the best fighter pilots of World War II, he was nicknamed the "Star of Africa". Marseille claimed all but seven of his "official" 158 victories against the British Commonwealth's Desert Air Force over North Africa, flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter for his entire combat career. No other pilot claimed as many Western Allied aircraft as Marseille.