About 1,100 young women flew military aircraft stateside during World War II as part of a program called Women Airforce Service Pilots — WASP for short. These civilian volunteers ferried and tested planes so male pilots could head to combat duty.
Female Pilot of the US Women's Air Force Service, 1943. The women who served as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) flew military aircraft during non-combat missions throughout the United States' involvement in World War II.
[Photo] Betty Gillies posing besides an aircraft, date unknown
Getty Gillies was the first pilot to qualify for the Women’s Auxilary Ferrying Squadron. In early March 1943 Gillies became the first woman to fly the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt when she was checked out on the aircraft at Wilmington, Delaware. Since the P-47 was a single seat aircraft, her first flight was also her first solo flight.
Nancy Harkness Love, September 22, 1942. With the approach of World War II, Love recognized the coming need for pilots to ferry aircraft and identified highly qualified women pilots who could perform such duties. In September 1942, the Army Air Corps' Air Transport Command approved the creation of a temporary, civilian women's flying corps, the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), under her direction. She is pictured here leaning against a Fairchild PT-19A. SI-96-15604
Lillian Yonally (above) was a WASP – a Women Airforce Service Pilot. During WWII, the 1,100 WASPs flew military aircraft on training flights in the USA to train volunteer male pilots for combat missions.