WASPs Gather One Last Time

The final reunion of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots took place Sept. 25-28 in Irving, Tex., bringing together women aviators from different generations to pay tribute to the courage and dedication of these female pilots of World War II. “It’s important we get together with the WASPs, that we honor them for what they have done for us,” said Maj. Gen. Linda Hemminger, the mobilization assistant to the Air Force deputy surgeon general. Maj. Jennifer King, a C-17 pilot with the Air Force Reserve Command’s 315th Airlift Wing from Charleston AFB, S.C., added, “They broke through so many barriers and enabled women to serve their country in the military and in the air.” At the reunion, the formal WASP organization officially disbanded. “The WASPs said that their age is starting to catch up with them, the youngest being 83,” said MSgt. Rodney Hage, AFRC liaison for the reunion. In its place, a new group was formed called Wingtip to Wingtip that “will help the ladies continue to keep in touch with one another and help get WASPs to various events to speak,” Hage said. During the reunion the WASPs made their last official flight when they took to the skies in a C-130 transport flown by an all-female aircrew from AFRC’s 302nd Airlift Wing from Peterson AFB, Colo. (Irving report by Capt. Wayne Capps)