JeaneSlone.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Those Women Pilots

Last Wednesday, 3/10, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) received the Congressional Gold Medal of honor. It's about time! During WWII they ferried planes from the factories to the bases, 38 died and never left the United States. 200 former pilots (in their 80's & 90's) went to Washington, D.C. to receive the medal. Florence Wheeler of Healdsburg (WASP) went with her son. When I asked her if they paid her way and stay she said NO! My answer, "that's terrible!" Her response: "This is nothing new!" Please read my book "She Flew Bombers" to get a feel for what it was like to be 19 years old and delivering planes back in the forties!

21 comments:

  1. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Those women are an inspiration and their legacy should not be forgotten. I'm so glad you've taken up their cause, written their story and continue to keep us informed through your blog.
    Personally, I think there are too many blogs out there, but yours is welcome.
    Thanks, Malena

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  2. Thanks for your comment Malena. After researching how the 38 women pilots died in the WASPs and never were in combat or left the United States was quite shocking! My new historical novel She Built Ships During WWII is going to edit today. It has a very sad and true story about a Japanese American who gets sent away from her home to be interned at the Tanforan horse stable in San Bruno. I enjoy writing about small pieces of history that people should not forget about so it will not be repeated.

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  3. Very nice blog, Jeane. So good that you have recognized these brave women in such a great way!

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  4. Thanks, ML. I am so glad people are finally recognizing the WASPs after receiving the Gold Medal!

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  5. The DVD with the oral history of Six Former Women WASPs has stories on it that are not in my historical novel, She Flew Bombers. I will share a few with you.

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  6. Jeane, I read your great book, "She Flew Bombers." You did a nice job and I'm glad the government is finally getting around to honoring the WASP. As a WWII combat vet, I know of the hardships they faced and the shabby way they were treated. Keep up the good work.

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  7. Thanks Stan! It has been very rewarding for me to talk to many people as well as service clubs about the WASPs adventures and bravery.

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  8. I gathered SIX FORMER WOMEN PILOTS last Sept. at a standing room only oral history event in Santa Rosa. Many of their stories were NOT in my historical fiction.
    HERE'S ONE: Adeline Ellison and a few of her baymates flew their planes into a Army base to refuel after getting a cup of coffee they came out and found Army officers dismantling their planes!
    Addie shouted, "What are you doing to our planes!?
    One of the officer's answered, "We thought you'd stay for the dance if you couldn't leave right away!"
    My reaction, "Only in the forties could this ever have happened!

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  9. Jeanne--I admire your enthusiasm and dedication so much, and I look forward to following this blog! Thanks for all the great work you're doing to keep a very important part of women's history alive.
    Jean Hegland

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  10. Dear Jean: Thank you for your encouragement, it has helped me greatly in my writing career. My second book, She Built Ships During WWII is in edit and rewrite mode right now. I never forgot the time in your English class when you had several people haul in about ten long boxed filed with paper. The whole class wondered, "What is going on?" What are all these boxes for?" Finally you told us that they were the complete rewrite of your book, "Into the Forest." That it took that much writing to reach the final result! I learned then that you can only be an author if you know how to REWRITE!

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  11. My blog was transferred to my web site and all my comments were lost! I am contacting everyone and hope to resume the lively discussion from before! Thanks, everyone!

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  12. Wow, what an author platform! You must have spoken to everyone in the county. Good for you!

    Best, Mary Lynn

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  13. Jeane,
    The blog is a good ides. I should do one for my books. Next time we talk you can fill me in on the details of how to do it.
    Waights

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  14. Yes, Waights, blogging is a good idea. I was worried at first that it would be pathetically boring like facebook but it is a focused discussion group. Better than hearing: my nose is runny today or can oatmeal get moldy!!!

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  15. Thank you for filling in this piece of herstory that isn't mentioned in the classroom.

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  16. Jeane, I loved She Flew Bombers, but I especialy can't wait for the new book! You keep up the good work. Mona Mechling
    Author of The Fridge Magnet Chronicles

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  17. My new novel: She Built Ships During WWII contains many facts of history that people have forgotten. What the first child care center in Richmond, Ca. was like. That Japanese American families in Ca. were interned in horse stables for 6 months until the "camps" were finished. The Port chicago explosion in Ca. where over 300 "Negro" sailors were killed loading munitions. I love reading and writing about the "forgotten pieces of history or herstory!
    Mona: I love your title: "The Fridge Magnet Chronicles." Please post here if you have a blog site.

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  18. Cool blog site--glad you are hanging in there and getting that second book ready!

    Jean Wong

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  19. Trying to imagine myself flying a bomber at 19. Could barely drive a stick shift then! ; )

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  20. Many "girls" back then did not even have a automobile license. Civil Pilot training courses were formed in 1939. They were available to both sexes in every state because of the impending war. Over 25,000 women got their pilot's license by 1943.

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  21. My new historical fiction, She Built Ships During WWII, should be out in January. One of the characters, Hattie has a brother who is hospitalized in the Port Chicago explosio.

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