December 15, 2020 marks the 100th birthday of aviation ‘sheroes’, Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu, a WWII Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP), entrepreneurial aviator, and lifelong advocate for women military pilots. Happy birthday, Bee!
During World War II, pilots evaluated a wide range of aircraft types for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Test pilot Stefan Cavallo’s flight trials were critical to successful operations during the war.
On this episode of AirSpace we’re spotlighting the heroic service and enduring legacy of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP. More than 1000 of these fearless women flew as civilians for the Army Air Forces during World War II. And we’ll hear firsthand from three women connected to the WASP legacy, including a WASP herself, Nell “Mickey” Bright.
About 82,000 American service members are listed as Missing in Action – 72,000 from World War II alone. Recent technologies like robotic submersibles, advanced sonar, and DNA matching are making it easier for recovery operations to find the downed airplanes, and identify the remains of service members.
As an intern with the Aeronautics Department I had the chance to review and scan hundreds of color images from WWII. What particularly drew my attention were the images of women who served in the Navy’s reserve force, since at the time they were not allowed to serve their country through military enlistment to the same extent as men.
Aboard the battleship USS Missouri, representatives from the Empire of Japan met with those of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union, China, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to sign the document that formally ended World War II.
On April 2, 1942, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet was part of a secret plan to strike back at Japan. With no room for aditional airplanes to land on the flight deck filled with B-25 Mitchell bombers, the US Navy turned to the Navy blimp L-8 for a specialy delivery.