Above All - WASP By Women Fly
T-shirt honoring the legendary WASP pilots.
During WWII, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was formed to help with non-combat piloting missions. The selection process was rigorous and included personal interviews with Cochran or one of her representatives. Of the 25,000 applicants to the program, 1,830 were accepted and 1,074 graduated. The WASP, based out of Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, were a civilian unit charged with transporting military aircraft from all over the United States to coastal ports for shipment to war zones. Other responsibilities included test piloting problem aircraft, towing targets to train ground-to-air gunners (a risky endeavor because real ammunition was fired), and training male cadets. Under enormous pressure to disprove the belief that women were unfit pilots, the WASP flew 77 different types of planes (from the P-51 Mustang fighter to the B-29 bomber) for a total of 12,650 deliveries and 60 million miles. They faced resistance at every turn from being grounded during their menstrual cycles (the rule was later revoked) to sabotage. Thirty-eight WASP lost their lives in service to their country. The loss was made all the more painful as there was no insurance, death benefits or official recognition for the women who died. On December 20, 1944 the WASP program was deactivated. In a futile attempt to salvage their jobs, the WASP wrote to President Roosevelt and General Hap Arnold offering to fly for one dollar per year. While their military careers were abruptly put to an end, the WASP had already created a landmark for future generations. In addition to being trailblazers for aviation, they challenged stereotypes and built a new foundation of courage, ability and self-esteem.
Prints on Gildan Ultra Cotton Ladies' T-Shirt