The heroic unsung Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) from World War II were finally honored with the Congressional Gold Medal in the United States Capitol last month. The WASP, a trailblazing group of 1,102 civilian female pilots, became our first women military aviators.
Susan Davis International (SDI) and the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation coordinated events surrounding the celebration and secured more than 800 print stories, nearly 1,000 online stories, and 1,100 segments on local, network, and national broadcast news and radio shows. (Shown above are Brigadier General Wilma Vaught (USAF, Ret.), president of the Women In Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, and SDI Chairman Susan Davis.)
The WASP were not granted military status until 1977. During WWII, the women pilots had to pay their own way to training, set up collections to help send a fallen WASP home and, after the war, paid their own way home.
Fewer than 300 WASP survive today. More than half, along with several thousand family members and friends, celebrated their long-awaited recognition with a remembrance ceremony, military salute tea, and the congressional gold medal ceremony.