• Pilots during physical training at Avenger Field, from For God, country, and the thrill of it : Women Airforce Service Pilots in World War II. Courtesy of the University of Michigan via HathiTrust.

     

    More info
    Select an item:
    For God, country, and the thrill of it: Women Airforce
    • Date
    • c1990
    • Creator
    • Noggle, Anne, 1922-.
    • Description
    • Includes bibliographical references.
    • Rights
    • Public domain only when viewed in the US. Learn more at http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use
    • Partner
    • HathiTrust
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Michigan.

  • Off-duty WASP trainees and instructors, from For God, country, and the thrill of it : Women Airforce Service Pilots in World War II. Courtesy of the University of Michigan via HathiTrust.

    More info
    Select an item:
    For God, country, and the thrill of it: Women Airforce
    • Date
    • c1990
    • Creator
    • Noggle, Anne, 1922-.
    • Description
    • Includes bibliographical references.
    • Rights
    • Public domain only when viewed in the US. Learn more at http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use
    • Partner
    • HathiTrust
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Michigan.

  • “Four members of the United States Women's Airforce Service Pilots.” Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

    More info
    Select an item:
    Four members of the United States Women's Airforce Service Pilots
    • Creator
    • Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Overseas Operations Branch. New York Office. News and Features Bureau. 12/17/1942-9/15/1945.
    • Description
    • Four members of the United States Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) receive final instructions as they chart a cross-country course on the flight line of U.S. airport. Assigned to the ferrying division of the United States Army Air Transport Co... more
      Four members of the United States Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) receive final instructions as they chart a cross-country course on the flight line of U.S. airport. Assigned to the ferrying division of the United States Army Air Transport Command, the women pilots belong to the first class of American women to complete a rigorous nine-week transitional flight training course in handling B-26 Marauder medium bombers. They have been given special assignments with the U.S. Army Air Forces as tow target pilots. less
    • Rights
    • Unrestricted.
    • Partner
    • National Archives and Records Administration
    • Contributing Institution
    • National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures

  • A 1943 copy of The Avenger, a biweekly newspaper published for the personnel of Avenger Field. Courtesy of the Sweetwater/Nolan County City-County Library via The Portal to Texas History.

    More info
    Select an item:
    The Avenger
    • Date
    • 1943-10-08
    • Creator
    • Berry, Ann. Baughman, Betty.
    • Description
    • Biweekly newspaper from Sweetwater, Texas, published for the personnel of Avenger Field, that includes local, state and national news along with advertising. Eight pages : ill. ; page 17 x 12 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.
    • Rights
    • The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms o... more
      The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms of use, see https://texashistory.unt.edu/terms-of-use/ less
    • Partner
    • The Portal to Texas History
    • Contributing Institution
    • Sweetwater/Nolan County City-County Library.

When Jacqueline Cochran sent out the call for women pilots to apply to the WASP program, she received 25,000 applications. Of those, 1,830 met the qualifications for training.

Trainees had to be American citizens between the age of 21 and 35 with a high school diploma. Qualified women pilots had to already have 200 flying hours (though it wouldn’t be long before women with no prior flying experience were considered). And, not only did the trainees need to pass an Army physical and written cadet exam, but they also had to be personally interviewed by Cochran herself.

Training took place at the Avenger Field flight school in Sweetwater, Texas, and Cochran was there to oversee it all. The women trained in lighter and smaller planes, but soon proved that they could fly every type of aircraft in the US military arsenal, including the heaviest bombers and fastest fighters.

During WWII, the WASP pilot training program graduated 1,074 women who flew at 126 bases across the country. Each WASP graduated with a commercial pilot’s license and an equivalent of a college aeronautical degree.