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- Dudette 7, Know what it is?

Last Updated: 6/30/2011

Read on and find out!

According to Wikipedia: "The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and its predecessor groups the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) and the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) (from September 10, 1942) were pioneering organizations of civilian female pilots employed to fly military aircraft under the direction of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. The WFTD and WAFS were combined on August 5, 1943, to create the paramilitary WASP organization. The female pilots of the WASP would end up numbering 1,074, each freeing a male pilot for combat service and duties. The WASP flew over 60 million miles in all, in every type of military aircraft.  WASPs were granted veteran status in 1977, and given the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.  Twenty-five thousand women applied to join the WASP, but only 1,830 were accepted and took the oath, and out of those only 1,074 women passed the training and joined.

Women have not always been well-received in positions of power, not only in every-day living situations, or in the work setting, but also in the military.  The 19th Amendment, allowing women to vote was not enacted until August 18, 1920.  Are we STILL fighting inequality?  You bet!  Every day and at every age, we, as women (and girls) are discriminated against. 

The first licensed woman pilot in the US was Harriet Quimby in 1911.  However, it would be many years before women were allowed to participate in combat.  Brig. Gen. William H. Tunner of the USAF, decided to integrate a civilian force of women pilots into the AAF after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and it became clear that there were not enough male pilots and that the obvious gaps could be filled by women.  The Women's Auxiliary Ferry Squadron (WAFS)  went into operation on September 10, 1942.

Pictured:  Shirley Slade on Cover of Life July 19, 1947

Wonder why I’m writing about female Airforce pilots?                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                     

Here’s the way it went: 

Somebody’s Grandpa was helping coach the softball team that my 2 youngest children play on last night.  We’re sitting close enough to the dugout and that I can hear every word that is being said. 

Grandpa says to the team as they are in the dugout, waiting for their turn at bat:  "Okay…now when you’re OUT there you need to move UP when a girl is at bat and move BACK when it’s a boy…ya got that?  Up for GIRL, BACK for BOY.” 

Little red-headed girl:  "WHAT??  Are you SERIOUS?” 

Grandpa:  YES, I sure am! 

Little red-headed girl:  THAT is REDICULOUS!!!

Little boy in background:  Hey….that’s RACIST!

Little red-headed girl:  No, it’s SEXIST…he’s being a sexist, can you BELIEVE this guy…hey!  What makes you say that?

Grandpa:  You know why the Airforce doesn’t have female fighter pilots?  You LEEEESTENING to me???  I SAAAIIIID you know WHY the AirForce doesn’t have FEMALES flying FIGHTER JETS????  It’s because FEEEMAAALES don’t have any DEPTH perception!  That’s why I gotta TAIL you to move UP when it’s a GIRL and move BACK when it’s a BOY!

Little red-headed girl: muttering to herself and to every kid standing anywhere near her…..

Rest of team:  Not even listening….or else deer-in-the-headlights looks…

Me:  WHAT???  Ron……did you HEAR that GUY??  Who IS he?  Does the Airforce REALLY not have any FEEEEMAAALE fighter pilots?

Ron: Don’t know

Me to myself:  Sure wish my phone internet worked and battery wasn’t almost dead

Me texting to daughter who just married an Airforce man who didn’t answer until later since she’s on the way home from her honeymoon:  "Same question”

Me to little red-headed girl as we’re leaving:  Hey…that man IS a sexist…I bet they DO have female fighter pilots!! 

Little red-headed girl back to me:  YEAH!!  I told my BROTHER……….girls can do anything boys can do, usually better AND WE CAN DO IT IN HIGH HEELS TOO!!!!!!

Daughter by txt later last night:  He says they do….

Me:  I KNEW IT!!!

 

Hence the reason I’m researching female fighter pilots….I shall give the little red-headed girl and the grandpa a copy of my research…..

Well what about now, you ask?  How are women serving in the military now?  Now there over 14,000 pilots in the USAF and 687 are women (as of May 21, 2011).  In 2011 the first all-female combat mission was flown in Afghanistan.  It was dubbed:  Dudette 7, because there were no "dudes” involved and all of the planners, the pilots, the weapons officers, and even the maintenance crew…EVERYONE involved in this  2-ship F-15E COMBAT MISSION was a woman.  Look HERE for a video clip from ABC news about them.

There you have it little red-headed girl…..and while I bet they don’t, I bet they COULD do it with high heels on!

 

Sources:

http://www.humanistsofutah.org/humanists/19thAmendment.html

http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/pilots.html

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20090406.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ydcCYX3CKQ  ABC News

 

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