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The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  537 ratings  ·  120 reviews
The thrilling true story of the daring female aviators who helped the United States win World War II--only to be forgotten by the country they served.

When Japanese planes executed a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Cornelia Fort was already in the air. At twenty-two, Cornelia had escaped Nashville's debutante scene for a fresh start as a flight instructor in
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Hardcover, 448 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)
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Start your review of The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II
Katie B
I figured the odds were good when I picked this one up that I would find this to be an interesting read. I've read quite a few books about female aviators and also the roles women played during World War 2 but this is actually the first time I've had the opportunity to read a nonfiction book devoted to the two subjects. It truly was an honor to learn more about these women and this book was definitely a worthwhile read.

After the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States needed pilots to go
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Jean
This is a bit different than other books on this topic in that it is a collection of stories about various women pilots, many of them were members of the 99. (The 99 was an organization of the first women pilots established by Amelia Earhart.)

The book is well written and researched. I enjoyed the intimate stories of the various women rather than a board explanation of what the women pilots did in WWII. The first group that was developed was the Women Auxiliary Ferry Squadron (WAFS) organized and
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Karen R
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5. Every so often a book comes my way that is incredibly inspiring and will live long in my heart. This story about the daring and brave women airfare service pilots (WASP) is one of them. I admire the author’s meticulous research regarding these passionate and trailblazing aviators who flew during WWII and was riveted by the womens’ accomplishments, hurdles and setbacks. I loved the letters, photos and diaries which provide tremendous insight into personal histories. Their discrimination and ...more
Loraine
I am not an avid non-fiction reader, but I found this new release absolutely fascinating. The Woman's Auxiliary Ferry Squadron or WAFS was developed during World War 2 to find women who were already certified pilots who could ferry airplanes (any that were used in the war) from either a base to a repair station or from the United States to Britain. This was still the early years of aviation and these ladies from all different life situations (housewives to university graduates) were independent, ...more
Toni Osborne
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War 11

Ms. Landdeck is an associate professor and teaches courses on the twentieth century United States and global war. What an interesting read her book is.

“The Women with Silver Wings” is the culmination of her 20 years of research on the Women Airforce Service Pilots. The WASP were the first women in history to fly for the U.S. military, serving between 1942 and 1944 at the height of World WAR 11. These daring female avia
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Maureen Caupp
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of 2020 so far!

The Women with Silver Wings tells the story of the women who trained and served as Women Airforce Service Pilots during WWII. Over 1000 thousand women served as WASPs and 38 women were killed while training or performing their work. These women were passionate about flying and serving their country in a time of need and truly were the first women pilots for the United State military, but Congress and the Armed Services refused to recognize them as a part of the mi
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Amanda Pearl
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: bir-2020, historical
The WASPs are an important part of US military history, but I found this book a bit dry. It focused a bit too much on Jacqueline Cochran, Nancy Love, and the politics of women in service, and not enough on the day to day lives of the WASPs themselves. I would have liked to have heard more about their daily challenges, their missions and flying. It actually made me dislike Jacqueline Cochran as a person, in spite of all she did for women in aviation. I am very grateful for the inclusion of Hazel ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
The Women with Silver Wings: The Story of the Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II by Katherine Sharp-Landdeck is one of the best nonfiction books of 2020 and easily one of the best nonfiction books I've read in quite some time. I'll snap up just about anything connected to the WASP and the author here really hits the mark. We get to know many of the women involved, what they all did during their service, and their legacy. It's a shame what happened to the program and how t ...more
Joyce
Thoroughly researched history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) that spotlights several female pilots, especially Nancy Love and Jacqueline Cochrane who worked with the Army to employ women as pilots and then fought for them to receive the same benefits as their male counterparts. More politics than action but it fills an important place in US WWII history.
Annissa Joy Armstrong
I enjoyed this book. It was very well written and contained a lot of information about women pilots and their contributions in aviation during WW ll. The women of WASP were the first women to fly for the US. Katherine Sharp Landdeck did a great job recording this history that a lot of people probably do not know about. It was a very good read for a non fiction book. I believe this book will appeal to a wide variety of readers...people who enjoy women’s history, aviation history, WWII history and ...more
Dennis Hogan
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Finished The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II by Katherine Sharp Landdeck. This is a terrific account of the pioneering female aviators who stepped in to fill the need for pilots to ferry new planes being produced in ever increasing numbers to the military for use overseas. Thirty eight women lost their lives in this effort. Additionally, they towed targets, taught new male pilots headed to war. They were some of the most acco ...more
Aurora
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's obvious from the very first chapter that this book was a labour of love. With a relentless attention to detail and an understanding gained through hours of work including tracking down news item, letters, photos, documents and interviews with many of the WASP, Katherine Sharp Landdeck captures the passion, the dedication and the disappointments and heartache of a group of women pilots who were all bout forgotten by the country they loved and served.
As an aviation enthusiast who has always
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Samantha
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-nonfiction
I don't usually cry during nonfiction books. (Or any book, for that matter.) So when the last chapters of this book got to me, that meant something.

The Women with Silver Wings follows the inception, enactment, and disbandment of the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) of WWII. But unlike some nonfiction about WWII that I've read, this book didn't just list names and places. These women felt painfully human. I cheered for their victories and mourned their losses.

In addition to being amazingly
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Barbara
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently, it was a popular thing for young women of middle-class and upper-class to fly and earn their pilots’ licenses in the late 1930’s. The male pilots were reluctant to share the skies with the ladies, but it became necessary as World War II involvement needed more pilots. These ladies ferried new airplanes from factories to military fields. It wasn’t until President Jimmy Carter’s administration that the women received military benefits. The personal lives and aviation details of five wo ...more
Shari Suarez
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History books particularly those about the military tend to downplay women's involvement. This book sets out to right those wrongs.
The author set out to make everyone aware of the female pilots during WWII and how they helped in the war efforts. However they were never militarized and never received any benefits for their brave service.
I found this book fascinating and the perfect accompaniment to Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar.
David
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II by Katherine Sharp Landdeck is a well-researched, well-written, factual account of the Women Airforce Service Pilots from the origins of the organization until it was finally disbanded. Since I read a lot of WWII history I was aware of some of the accomplishments of this group but the author has put it all together with first-hand accounts from the women who were there as members of this gr ...more
Janet
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love historical fiction and when I heard about this book and its rave reviews, I thought that was what I was getting. Turned out this is straight up history. Normally I find straight history duller than dishwater but this was well written and not as dry as some other historical works I have read.

It helped that I served in the military at a time when it was still unusual for women to do so and so I have a natural interest in those that served before me and the obstacles they encountered. The WA
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Claire O'Brien
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really well written history of the female pilots in the US in WWII. The author used personal stories both to tell the overall history and to bring you inside their world. The everyday sexism is depressing, and I liked how the author showed wasn't just in the 1940s by highlighting the language used by politicians right up to the 1990s. The final section on the women's fight to gain recognition was a little long, but overall this was a well told story about some very impressive women.
Dona
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book about the gals who flew planes during WWII. Their courage to tow targets behind their planes for soldiers to practice shooting at them, ferried planes from factory to air bases, tested repaired planes for readiness to make room for the males to fly combat mission overseas. How they fought to have their service to their county recognized as valuable and count as military service. Well written book which was fun and easy to read, so that you wanted to know more.
Marci
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this real life story of the first American women pilots to fly for the U.S.A. I soaked in the many lives and those they touched along with future generations. It was truly inspiring to read about this true story of women Air Force Service Pilots of World War 2. I cried for all the struggles they went through to be recognized as the first women to fly for our country. What a struggle , but met head on with such fierce determination that spanned their lives! I smiled as my Air Force Marath ...more
Susan
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nonfiction, well-researched book of the history of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) of WWII who served their country without benefits, low pay (some for $1 per year) and often at the whim of political gain by others.

Documented history of the first women pilots in the Airforce, which fought for recognition from the 1940's until Jimmy Carter finally gave them their due rights and benefits so many decades later. Like "Rosie the Riveter" they were disbanded when the men returned from the wa
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Martha Schwalbe
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting book about some really interesting, adventurous, and courageous women who helped the US during World War II. I'd read about some of the women in this book in other books and I had a student whose grandmother served with the WASP.
Lauren
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So well written & researched.
The history of these incredible women was eye opening and frustrating on their behalf.
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Pam Walker
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Cornelia Fort was already in the air. At twenty-two, Fort was a failed debutante hoping for a fresh start as a flight instructor in Hawaii. She and her student had just taken off when the bombs began to fall, and they barely made it back to ground that morning. When the US Army put out a call for women pilots to aid the war effort, Fort was one of the first to respond. She became one of 1,900 women from across the nation to converge on ...more
Erin
Katherine Sharp Landdeck's detailed account of the day-to-day experiences of the women who flew for the Army Air Forces and the long-term machinations and political maneuvering involved in the evolving alphabet soup of acronyms is riveting. Her extensive research included years of interviewing and becoming friends with dozens of the women; reading their letters, diaries, memoirs, and speeches; combing through newspaper archives, photos, accident reports, and government documents; and triple-chec ...more
Barb
Historian Katherine Sharp Landdeck introduces us to Nancy Love and Jackie Cochran, who made it their mission to persuade the powers-that-be to allow female pilots to help with the war effort. Despite considerable opposition, not only from their families, from military brass and politicians, but also from male pilots, these two women began programs that would send American women into the air. While ferrying planes from production lines to bases where the male pilots would take them into combat, t ...more
Kim McGee
The latest installment in uncovering the stories of the unsung heroes of WWII. When all the men had gone to war in Europe there weren't enough of them left at home to fly transport planes, test new planes or fly them to train new pilots so a brave bold group was formed to handle the load - the W.A.S.P. The program was born out of need but also a desire in these women to fly and from day one they had a battle on their hands. They would need special treatment, weren't strong enough, would just wan ...more
Chris
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
I'm not normally a big nonfiction reader, but I absolutely loved this book. I was drawn in instantly to the story of American women pilots during WWII. I loved learning about the adventurous spirit of the women and was rooting for them in the same way I root for characters in novels. Katherine Sharp Landdeck does an amazing job bringing these women's story out of the shadows of historical obscurity and making the reader fall in love with their spirit and pluck. The only thing that drops it down ...more
Annie
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

The Women with Silver Wings is a well written and true history of the female Airforce service pilots (WASPs/WAFS) serving during WW2. Released 21st April 2020 by Crown Publishing, it's 448 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a meticul
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Angie Simmonds
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really learned a lot reading The Women with Silver Wings. First of all, these women were really badasses!
I have never thought of women as being the weaker sex and if you have thought that then you need to read this book. Even knowing how tough women are I have to admit I was still astounded by these women pilot's determination, dedication and fearlessness.
The job of many of these women were to ferry airplanes from the manufacturing facility to various locations and military bases across th
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Katherine Sharp Landdeck is an associate professor of history at Texas Woman’s University, the home of the WASP archives. A Guggenheim Fellow at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where she earned her Ph.D., Landdeck has received numerous awards for her work on the WASP and has appeared as an expert on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS, and the Hi ...more

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