Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day: Paying Tribute to the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) WWII

Hello and welcome to the JQ Rose blog.
Memorial Day is the day we remember those who died serving in the American Armed Forces. On this day of remembrance We are paying tribute to the women who served in Women Air Force Service Pilots. (WASP) during World War II.
"Our Eyes are on the Stars", the title of the float, 
celebrates the courage of the 
Women Air Force Service Pilots
Because of the Wingtip to Wingtip Association float in the 2014 Rose Parade, the 1102 women who served their country as Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) received recognition for their contribution to the war in 1942-1944. These brave trailblazers dreamed of flying for their nation. Because there was a shortage of male pilots for combat duty, the women pushed to become pilots in order to free up the men for fighting the war. The WASP group members were assigned to ferry military planes between military bases in the USA and flights from aircraft factories to ports of embarkation. They also towed targets for live anti-aircraft artillery practice, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo. A few exceptionally qualified women were allowed to test rocket-propelled planes, to pilot jet-propelled planes, and to work with radar-controlled targets.

The reproduction of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the WASP decorates the side of the float. The 38 stars around the medal salute the 38 WASP 
who lost their lives in service to their country.
The courageous women  were not considered members of the military and received no recognition as veterans until 1977 when the WASP records were unsealed. According to Wikipedia, on July 1, 2009 President Barack Obama and the United States Congress awarded the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal. During the ceremony President Obama said, "The Women Air Force Service Pilots courageously answered their country's call in a time of need while blazing a trail for the brave women who have given and continue to give so much in service to this nation since. Every American should be grateful for their service, and I am honored to sign this bill to finally give them some of the hard-earned recognition they deserve." 

More than 15000 red Freedom roses decorate the length of the float.

The first issue of the Fifinella Gazette was published February 10, 1943. The female gremlin Fifinella was conceived by Roald Dahl and drawn by Walt Disney
and used as the official WASP mascot that appeared on their shoulder patches.
This post was previously published on The Girls Succeed blog. We salute the brave women of WASP who opened the skies to later generations of female pilots in the military. 

Have a Safe and Happy Memorial Day and take time to remember those who have fought for our freedom.
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We're kicking off the Summer Readers Circle Series this Friday, June 2. Tricia McGill takes her seat in the circle. Meet or re-acquaint yourself with this talented author and her books.
Summer Readers Circle Series begins Friday, June 2.
Please join us for lively discussions and win prizes and giveaways 
every Friday this summer!


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