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WASP Epilogue

A WASP gets her wings. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A WASP gets her wings. (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASPs with Cessna AT-17 "Bobcat." (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASPs with Cessna AT-17 "Bobcat." (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASP during engine familiarization training. (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASP during engine familiarization training. (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASP trainees arrive to begin pilot training. (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASP trainees arrive to begin pilot training. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) Exhibit in the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) Exhibit in the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama authorized Public Law 111-40 awarding the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest civilian recognition that Congress can bestow-to the Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASP). The 111th Congress awarded the medal "In recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America." The medals on display are bronze replicas made by the U.S. Mint. They were presented to WASP veterans Marie Barrett Marsh and Genevieve Landman Rausch in 2010, and donated to the Museum on their behalf in 2015. The original WASP gold medal is kept by the Smithsonian Institution. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

The WASP pilots were an important element in the movement of women into war work to free men for combat and other duties. Gen. H.H. Arnold, speaking before the last WASP graduating class at Sweetwater, Texas, on Dec. 7, 1944, paid tribute to them in this manner:

"You ... have shown that you can fly wingtip to wingtip with your brothers. If ever there was doubt in anyone's mind that women could become skilled pilots, the WASPs dispelled that doubt. I want to stress how valuable the whole WASP program has been for the country."

Click here to return to the Women Pilots in WWII Overview.

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