"The Women with Silver Wings", by Katherine Sharp Landdeck

"The Women with Silver Wings" - Katherine Sharp Landdeck

The inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War 11

Ms. Landdeck is an associate professor and teaches courses on the twentieth century United States and global war. What an interesting read her book is.

“The Women with Silver Wings” is the culmination of her 20 years of research on the Women Airforce Service Pilots. The WASP were the first women in history to fly for the U.S. military, serving between 1942 and 1944 at the height of World WAR 11. These daring female aviators who helped the United States win WW 11 only to be forgotten by the country they served.

It has been a privilege for Ms. Landdeck get to know these women over years and to tell the stories of these amazing women in action. At the height of WW 11 more than 1000 women volunteered as civilian pilots to relieve men for overseas duty. They ferried planes across the country from factories to points of embarkation, towed targets behind planes to train ground and air gunners, test flew planes after repairs and other domestic flying duty that the Air Forces needed done. The author describes in details their day to day life: the months of training, were they were stationed, the types of aircraft they flew and their down time.

The WASP were deactivated in December 1944 up to 1977 they continued their battle to be officially recognised as part of the Military. In 1984 each pilot was awarded the WW 11 Victory medal and others the American Theater Ribbon and Campaign Medal. In 2009, after decades-long battle, the women contributions finally honored and were granted the Congressional Gold Medal and officially recognized as military veterans. The status fully recognised in 2017.

This book is superbly researched and consists of numerous vignettes of the remarkable pilots. It is smoothly written with relatively short chapters to keep us interested. In whole an easy read and a great educating tool.

On the down side: I found too much was said for a regular size book, information seemed cramped in. I was deeply into this book for most part but ¾ in, things started to turn in circle, became repetitive and dragged somewhat. I was anxious to see the ending by then. Having said this, I still would recommend this book to those who love this time in history.

I received an ARC from Crown Publishing via NetGalley for my thoughts.