Margaret Gee, former WWII WASP pilot awarded Congressional Gold Medal

On the PBS NewsHour

Former Women Air Force Service Pilots, or WASPs, were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their service during World War II. Kwame Holman reports from Wednesday's ceremony. Watch the report here.

 

A Brief History (taken from In Memoriam: Thirty-eight American Women Pilots, published by Texas Women's University Press, 1996)

 

"The Air Force Service Pilots wewre assigned to over 120 airfields in the USA, WASP flem more than 60 million miles in all aircraft types includeing the trainers, the pursuits, the twin and four engine bombers, even the first experimental jet and, the radio controlled PQ. Flying duty included ferrying thousands of new and war weary aircraft, target towing, simulated bombing and strafting missions, instructiong, administrative and test flying.

Thirty-eight WASPs died in the line of duty. However, the WASP were Civil Service employees, as such, they were ineligible for government life insurance, military funerals and burial expenses, the American flag, G.I. benefitsl or could a gold star be displayed in the window of the family home."

 

One of the 38 who died in the line of duty was Chinese American, Hazel Ying Lee, whose story is one of the Core Portraits of MOCA's Core Exhibit, With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America.