Friday, June 18

Taking Flight

Between 1942 and 1945 the United States was engaged full force in WWII. There are only a handful of veterans of the war still alive and each year they are honored for the great service they gave. Finally in May 2010 the women pilots of that era were recognized by receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, one of the highest awards given to civilians. These women flew a combined 60,000,000 miles in aircraft such as the B-17 and B-29 bombers. Still these women were considered civilians and as such received no military recognition at the time.

Jacqueline Cochran, who was the first women to fly a bomber across the Atlantic on June 17, 1941, also became part of a new flight training program for women called the Women’s Flight Training Detachment in 1942 in preparation for more women aviators to serve their country in whatever capacity needed.

In 2006, women made up 6% of all licensed pilots. It was only as recently as 1993 that women were allowed to fly in combat, even though equality measures were in place years prior to that.

No dream was out of reach for these women who only wanted to do what they loved. They proved that they were willing and able and ultimately created a legacy of service and honor.

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