Gold Medal, United States, Congress discussed on This Day in History Class

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Of people at this time flying clubs had become really popular. Some women lived on farms or another rea rural areas and they had flying experience from flying crop dusters. But you need to have more than that to get a pilot's license in that meant that a lot of women were paying for their own training so that they could join the wasp and then once they did join, they had to get through further training, really intense training program to be able to do this work. These were the first women to fly aircraft for the US military. They flew virtually every type of aircraft. The military was using and more than a thousand women served in the wasp during. World World War Two thirty eight of them died during their service eleven of them during training and twenty seven during missions since they weren't considered part of the military though even though they were doing work that was definitely connected to the military these women when they died during service weren't given any kind of burial coverage they weren't giving military honors at their funerals. So when deaths did happen, usually it was their fellow wasp who raised the money to send their bodies home and to pay for their funerals. The whole idea at the beginning though had been that the wasp were eventually going to become part of the military but on June twenty-first of nineteen, forty, four Congress actually voted that idea down about six weeks. Later it was announced the wasp we're going to be completely disbanded when the program ended on December twentieth of Nineteen Forty Four. The last class of trainees had just graduated a few weeks before. Everyone was sent home, and this is a huge blow to all the women involved a big reason for this disbanding was that it looked like the war was coming to a close really soon and a lot of male pilots or worried about their jobs. So the program was ended to preserve those jobs for the men who would be returning from the front. The Wasp though to end on a happier note were finally granted military status at nine, hundred, seventy seven and in two thousand nine, the wasp were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal at which point about three hundred. Of them or still living and more than two hundred attended the ceremony in Washington DC you can learn more about the wasp in the March Twenty first and twenty third twenty sixteen episodes of stuff you missed in history class and those episodes. I interviewed Dr Catherine Sharp landeck about their history. Thanks to Terry Harrison for her audio skills. These episodes you can subscribe to this day in history class on apple podcasts, Google podcasts, and wherever else to get your podcasts. We'll be back in World War Two tomorrow although we'll be looking more at the end of.

Coming up next