The Women Airforce Service Pilot Program proved to be incredibly successful in aiding the World War II effort by providing over one thousand female pilots that performed domestic flying duties, thus relieving men for combat missions. The services rendered by the WASPs was invaluable to the war effort, but went virtually unrecognized. Despite the fact that these women risked their lives to help secure victory for the United States during the Second World War, they received no benefits and little recognition. The WASPs clearly had a right to military benefits, but were denied such rights.
"We will not again look upon a woman flying as an experiment."
-Henry H. Arnold, 1944
In the mid-1970s, the Navy announced that for the first time in history, women would be permitted to fly military planes. The WASPs knew differently. With the help of Bruce Arnold (General "Hap" Arnold's son) and Senator Barry Goldwater, a WWII veteran who had commanded WASPs in his squadron, the WASPs finally gained their belated militarization from Congress in 1977. On July 1st, 2009, President Obama signed into law S. 714, a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to each of the WASPs.
2014 Rose Parade
The WASPs were honored with a float in the 2014 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California indicating that finally the Women's Airforce Service Pilots had gained recognition for their services.