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WASP Women of World War II at EAA AirVenture 2015

By Nicole Kiefert

  • The WASPs become a central part of the Women Venture group photo.
    The WASPs become a central part of the Women Venture group photo.

July 22, 2015 - Twenty-five thousand women applied; 1,830 were accepted. Only 1,102 women officially served as Women Airforce Service Pilots–WASPs– in World War II, proudly wearing their silver wings. Thirty-eight died flying for their country. 

Kate Landeck, vice president of the non-profit organization Wing Tip to Wing Tip, said she encourages people to come out and meet these women and appreciate the time they have while they still attend events.

The women will host panels on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.

“These women are treasures,” she said. “I think that whole generation we kind of got spoiled with, I know I did for 20 years just hanging out with them.”

WASP Florence Shutsy-Reynolds said while it was not common for women to fly, she’s happy she followed her heart and became a pilot.

“I learned to fly and it was a dream,” Florence said. “Dreams do come true.

“When I learned to fly I was told girls don’t fly, ladies don’t fly, and boy did we prove them wrong.”

WASP Betty Strohfus said she is excited to see women becoming increasingly more interested in aviation.

“I am so pleased to be here,” Betty said. “I used to come a long time ago and there were so few girls here. In fact, it was an oddity to have a woman pilot, and so it’s wonderful to see women that are now involved. It pleases me.”

WASP Florence Mascot said the military changed her for the better.

“You get something out of military training that you cannot get at home or in school,” she said.

“They do something, give you confidence in yourself, they teach you to be more courageous.”

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