WOMEN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOTS (WASP) OF WORLD WAR II
Presentation by WASP Barry Smith 44-W-6
The year was 1942. The world was at war. America's greatest generation was in a life and death struggle for freedom and democracy. Our boys were being shipped overseas by the thousands to defend our way of life.
As the United States raced to build its air power and airplane production went into high gear, all available male pilots headed overseas for combat duty. As a result, America's armed forces had a critical shortage of pilots to move military aircraft from factory to airfields and perform other essential aviation operations in the states.
To fill this void women, many just out of their teens, answered the call and stepped forward to volunteer for the war effort - to fly for their country. The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) became America's first female military pilots, flying every type of aircraft and warbird used in the war effort.
WASP Barry Smith, born in Chittenango, NY, learned about the WASP program from her brother, an Army Air Corps pilot. She used her money from working as a secretary to take flight training, then applied and was accepted into the WASP program. After graduation, she was assigned to Blackland Army Air Force Base in Waco, Texas, where she served as a multi-engine engineering test pilot for the twin-engine AT-10 and UC-78.
*This Fly-In date was changed fromApril 5to March 29, due to Sun 'n Fun (April l-6) and scheduling conflicts. Wings of Dreams is organizing the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) visit to Sun 'n Fun for the sixth consecutive year.
Thank you to our
March 29Fly-In Sponsors!
Johnny's Bar-B-Q & Catering
Dr. Rich Rogers
Dr. Ming Chow
Express Air Flight School
- Photos by Trace Choulat
- Website Support by
Unicorn Web Development
Facility provided by Keystone Heights Airport
Scrambled eggs, grits, bacon, ham, biscuits, fruit, juice, coffee
$7 per person
$4 per child (9 & under)
Free breakfast for WWII and Korean War veterans
First come, first served
All proceeds to benefit Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum
Barry Smith (center) shares her experiences during WASP training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, and flying as a multi-engine engineering test pilot during World War II. (L-R WASP Kay Hilbrandt and Nell Bright also shown in photo.) Seven WASP and one WASP trainee gathered together at the 2013 Sun 'n Fun to celebrate the WASP 70th Anniversary.