Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fearless Females # 14 News worthy: WASP Speak

Today, March 10, 2010, a group of women, ranging in age from 85 to the 90s, gathered, along with families of their deceased comrades, in Washington D.C. These women are WASP (Women Air Service Pilots) and they were part of the ceremony in which the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the WASP recognizing their combined efforts in World War II. The gold medal will reside in the Smithsonian Institute, and each WASP received a bronze medal. This recognition comes more than 65 years after the WASP were disbanded on December 20, 1944 and the records sealed. This was 13 days after the graduation of the last WASP class, 44-W-10.

Gail G. Sigford, my dear aunt, was a member of this "Last Lost WASP Class." Never having the opportunity to serve her country with her hard earned aviation skills was, to her, rather like an unfinished melody. My Aunt Gail died May 2, 2007 - never to see the last chapter of the WASP saga. Today, she and the 1074 WASP are being honored in Washington D.C.

In the following clip, you will hear some of the women of the WASP telling their stories and memories. Women like these led a 30 year effort to gain recognition of the WASP contribution to their country during World War II. It was not an easy task.

2 comments:

  1. I watched We Were WASP also, and wonder if you were able to spot your aunt Gail at the beginning of Part 1, singing about being the last class. Wow, I can't imagine how frustrating it must have been to go through all the training and then not be able to serve! (I assume you meant they were disbanded in 1944 rather than 1994?) I wonder why recognition was not readily forthcoming for these women!

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  2. Actually, I think I may have her spotted in the group sing. She always wore her beret straight-on and flat --- military style -- not "cutsy" pushed-back, cocked to one side or the other. I think she is in about the second to back row, on the far right (looking at the video) --- but then it could be wishful thinking.

    Thanks for pointing out my typo -- got it corrected, so thanks and thanks.

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