[Congressional Record - Senate - January 14, 1977] Page: 3 of 12
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January 14, 1 77
a militarization bill favorably report
by a congressional committee.
Mr. President, there is no sound
reasonable basis on which a bill giv
recognition to the WASP for their se
ices to their country can be turned do
These women served with distinction
the ferrying of combat aircraft m
than 60 million Iniles during the s
towing targets for fledgling men pil
and even training men pilots. I was pr
ileged to have served in the second f
trying group stationed at New Cas
Del., when they were there. I made ma
flights with them and it convinced
that their ability as pilots was equal, a
in some instances, superior to men.
This was long before the days of
men's lib, but every man who wore wi
and flew for the Army had and still h
an admiration for these girls, 38
-whom were killed in service. I feel I r
resent the entire flying service in see
ing to have a bill passed to have prop
recognition paid to them. I know- Co
gress will welcome these ladies to Capi
Hill as they appear to testify and witn
the hearings that have been promis
and am confident that once they preset
their case in person, Congress will a
prove their legislation posthaste..
Mr. President, extensive news artic
and television commentaries have a
feared in the media all across the cow
try since the Senate passed the amen
ment for them last September, and I a
unanimous consent that five of these i
formative histories of the WASP b
printed in the RECORD.
There being no objection, the mater
was ordered to be printed in the RECOR
(From the New York Daily News, Sept
Tm: PoacorrN WoMuN OF Woa n Was;
(By Paula Bernstein)
Where are the women pilots who ma
aviation history in World War II? A natio
wide search has begun for the 1.074 member
of the Women's Airforce Service Pilo
(WASP) who flew hundreds of missions ov
the continental U.S. and Canada from 19
until the end of 1944.
A reunion is planned Oct. 22, 23, and2
in Hot Springs, Ark., for all participants
the short-lived WASP training Drogran
About 600 of them have already been l
cated, according to Zie'v Hunter of Dalia
national membership chairman.
The reunion, largest and latest since 197
with Air Force Thunderbirds giving a sho
is sponsored by the Order of Fifinella. This
the WASP alumni group named for the litt
gremlin, Miss Fifinella, designed for t
WASPs by Walt Disney. Both graduates an
nongraduates who were cadet trainees
Houston or Sweetwater. T-x., as well a
WASP inetrurtors and field staff, are elloib
for membership. The current president
Bee Havdu. RD 2, Box 519. Newton, N.
07860. Zirgy Hunter, the national membe
shin chairman, lives at 838 Havenwood, Da
According to Ms. Hunter, WASP's were no
just co-nilots but first pilots on all th
fighter planes and cargo planes, "the h
pursuits" such as the P-Si, P-40, P.4
FLEW DOMESrIc Mrsstos
"They also checked out and flew domestic
missions on such twin-engine bombers as th
.B-28 and B,25, eand many were assigned 1
four-engine craft such as the Flying Fortres
8-17; 3-24, and even the Superfortress B-2
rted In addition, the jet fighter, fust coming int
its own at that time, was checked out and
nor piloted by a WASP. Cross-country flight
_ with all-woman pilot crews were by no mean
wnv - The WASPS ferried thousands of nes
e - T fighter planes from factory to points of em
1in barkation for the battlefront. They ferried
lore combat-weary planes back to ,maintenance
war, and repair stations. They towed target
ots, sleeves behind their planes so fighter pilots
riv- could practice with live ammunition at a
er- moving target. They towed gliders; they
t taught instrument fight controls; they tested
'dey radio controls.,
any "And then it was, 'Get out, girls, the guys
me are back," said Leonora Anderson of Queens,
nd a former WASP, now an Air Force Reserve
lieutenant colonel, and a health and physi-
wo- cal education teacher at Andrew Jackson
s High School in Queens.
has Gen. H.H. 'Hap' Arnold, chief of the U.S
of Army Air Force back then, put it a more po-
lite way: "You have freed male pilots for
ep- other work," he told the WASPs when they
ek- were disbanded "The situation is that if you
per continue in service you will be replacing, in-
n- stead of releasing, our young men."
tol DEACTIVATED THEM
ess The WASPs of course, were delighted that
ed, combat losses among male pilots were lower
ent than anticipated. Yet they never expected
p- their country to turn its back on women
pilots and not only deactivate them, but for-
les get them.
lp- "Due to the experimental secrecy of their
n- program," Ms. Hunter said, "they received
d- little recognition at the time, and during the
Sintervening 30-plus years, the country has
sk largely overlooked the contribution they
In- made toward winning the air victory in
be World War II"
Lt. Col. Anderson, who like other WASPs.
ial was a licensed pilot when she volunteered
RD, for the program, also believes that WASPs
deserve recognition. "The WASPs, although
serving under military discipline, and flying
military aircraft, received no benefits of any
kind," she observed. "They had no insurance,
II no hospitalization, no 01 bill, and no vete-
rans' benefits, The 38 WASPs who lost their
lives in service received no consideration:
n- A bill in 1944 to militarize the WASPs
era was defeated by a small margin, due to the
ts well-supported efforts of male civilian pilot
er organizations who were facing the draft. If
we got flying jobs, they wouldn't have flying
24 "Lt. Col. Anderson learned to fly in Somer-
in ville, N.J., at age 20, after graduating from
in Hunter College where her boyfriends in-
terested her in their hobby-flying. By the
s, time she joined the WASPs she had 180 hours
of flying time, her private pilot's license, her
0, master's degree in health and physical educa-
o, tion, and a second master's degree in guid-
gi ance and counseling. As a WASP, she tested
is airplanes, became an instrument coach, then
he joined a tow target squadron.
d Bills currently pending' in Congress (S.
at 1345 and H.R. 6595) would give the WASP
at military status and recognition. The bills
le are apparently stalled in Sen. Vance Hartke's
Veterans Affairs Committee, awaiting hearing.
.J. According to a Washington spokesman for
r- the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, VA
l- officials oppose the bills because they want to
define. "veterans" narrowly, fearing other
civilians who served under military jurisdic-
ot tion may seek similar benefits. They cite the
e men who chose alternative, service during
the Vietnam War.
Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.), the Senate
sponsor of the bill to give WASPS recognition,
and now a retired Air Force reserve major
Ie general, flew with WASPs in the Ferrying
s Command at New Castle, Del,
o "These ladies flew 60 million miles for the
is Air Forces, equal to 2,050 times around the
9.' globe," he said. "Their performance was equal
DATE S 637
o in every way to male pilots and . n
d some instances, such as towing targets for
a gunnery practice. They flew the same routes
a and the same aircraft that male pilots did
within the U.S. and Canada. They were under
v military discipline and subject to all military
- rules and regulations. They received no
3 benefits such as insurance and hospitaliza-
e tion, and it is long overdue that they acquire
t this entitlement."
e If the bill is passed, the WASPs' major
"entitlement" would be the right to enter a
veterans' hospital, and the right to have
I some scholarship money for their children.
"It would only cost 690,000 a year," said Terry
Emerson, legislative aid to Goldwater. Emer-
, son can't understand the VA objection that
other groups might demand the same bene-
fits. "That has nothing to do with this," he
insisted. Let others have hearings and prove
.their case. Then separate legislation could be
passed for them on their own merits."
If the bill is stalled too long in the Veterans
Affairs Committee, Goldwater plans to offer
it as an amendment to other bills on the
Senate floor. "He'll keep fighting for it,"
(From the Newark, N.J., Sunday Star-Ledger,
Oct. 3, 1976
WoMas PnoT REcauls WW2 EXPEsINCE
- (By James Warren)
They were heroines of World War UI who
became frustrated footnotes in US. history.
They flew precarious missions so the men
could go overseas, but are left without the
recognition of their male counterparts.
"I don't think the government has ever
treated us well," said Mrs. Joseph Haydu
of Newton. "Yet there's no denying the ex-
periencd shaped our lives."
Wearing baggy GI overalls, Bee Haydu
was one of 1,074 women who logged 60
million miles with the short-lived Women's
Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Formed in
late 1943 because of a national pilot short-
age, they ferried fighter planes, towed targets
for combat pilots and antiaircraft batteries
to shoot at and simulated bombing missions
for ground troops, among many dtules.
They received the same training as Army
Air Force (AAF) cadets but were disbanded
amid congressional controversy in 1944. The
government had promised to militarize the
civilian women, but all was scotched in the
face of tough lobbying by male pilots.
Efforts to aid the WASPs have continued
through the years. The most recent legisla-
tion, sponsored by Sen. Barry Goldwater
(R-Arizona), would have brought medical
and hospital benefits, but died in commit-
Nevertheless, the memories are vivid for
Bee Haydu, president of the Order of Fi-
finella, a group of ex-WASPS named after
the special emblem designed for the WASPs
by Walt Disney.
She was a 22-year-old secretary for a
Newark zipper firm when General Henry
Harley "Hap" Arnold, commanding general
of the AAF, established the unique band of
females. Coincidentally, she had been taking
flying lessons in Pennsylvania on weekends.
She was one of 25,000 applicants contacted
by program chief Jacqueline Cochran, the
famed aviatrix and wife of millionaire in-
dustrialist Floyd Odium. Haydu passed a
standard army physical at Newark Airport
and paid her own way to Houston and
Sweetwater, Tex., for the seven-month
training course which produced 1,074
Early in 1944 she was sent to "the middle
of nowhere," an austere twin-engine ad-
vanced school in barren Pecos, Tex. "You
never had a problem finding a date," she
remembers. There were several hundred men
and 13 women.
They received $250 a month, minus lodg-
ing and food. They were issued just one
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United States. Congress. Senate. [Congressional Record - Senate - January 14, 1977], text, January 14, 1977; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth908750/m1/3/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting National WASP WWII Museum.