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National WASP WWII Museum fly-in to honor first females to fly military aircraft

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the WASP WWII Museum is hosting a fly-in 9 a.m.04 p.m., April 30 at its Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, home.

Avenger Field was the training location for the WASPs. These female pilots performed a variety of aviation jobs — including ferrying aircraft, towing targets for aerial and ground air gunnery practice, and making test and demonstration flights.

The National WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) WWII Museum Logo

To honor their service, the museum will host approximately 80 planes and hundreds of guests April 30.

The WASP flight line will include 11 BT-13s with many other World War II aircraft like the B-25 and DC-3. All-female crews will be in attendance with Air Force, Army, Marine and Navy aircraft.

Visitors will enjoy many other activities including the opening of two exhibits: a permanent exhibit on the American history of Black pilots by historian Monica Smith, and a special temporary exhibit of John and Marie Clark, B-17 and WASP pilots respectively (courtesy of the Yankee Air Museum). Other activities include author signings, special conversations, and a Cadet Zone. For more information, visit www.waspmuseum.org or call 325-235-0099.

The National WASP WWII Museum is dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of the Women Air Force Service Pilots and preserving the legacy of Avenger Field on which most of them trained

Their mission is to educate and inspire all current and future generations with the story of the WASP — the first women to fly America’s military aircraft -women who brought honor to our nation and forever changed the role of women in military and civilian aviation.

The values below reflect museum practices that are already in place and those that are still evolving.

Values:

  1. To recognize the WASP as the first women to fly for America’s military and their role in opening doors for Legacy Pilots.
  2. To inspire people, young and old, to embrace the stories of the WASP that speak to their honor, loyalty, patriotism, and service.
  3. To call people, young and old, to action using the footprints of the WASP to overcome personal, societal, and technological barriers in their own lives for a purpose greater than themselves.
  4. To interact with diverse audiences to help them understand modern-day relevance of America’s involvement in World War II with an emphasis on women’s roles in aviation technology.
  5. To deliver first-class student educational programs to inspire students, particularly young women, to choose careers in aviation using science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) interactive displays and curriculum.
  6. Create and maintain a first-class museum campus with displays and aircraft.
  7. Engage national and diverse audiences through physical and digital access to our collections, exhibits, and oral histories through outreach, media, and Museum experiences.
  8. Provide cultural tourism to strengthen the economic and community development of Sweetwater and West Texas.

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