Unsung Heroes in a New Book!
The release of my new book, They Roared, is fast approaching. It is going to print soon. A release party is being planned and you will all be invited! Stay tuned for more information.
Elizabeth L. Gardner, an American pilot, WASP, sitting in her Martin B-26 Marauder.
They have always been there you know. WOMEN! They have been undervalued, ignored, overlooked, portrayed in secondary roles, and occasionally their accomplishments are credited to men. Women have always played a vital role in history. They have been driven by their dreams and that has resulted in some amazing accomplishments. The women I discovered took me by the hand and led me into their lives.
The following are some bits and pieces from They Roared. It chronicles the lives of some women test pilots, cryptographers and journalists/photo journalists during WW II. Here is a sneak preview.
Did you know some women dreamed of being pilots during WW II, and they became “fly girls?” Over 1,000 women piloted 80% of ferry missions! They delivered over 12,000 aircraft. These women flew 60 million miles. They flew in 78 different aircraft from 120 bases. Did you know that a woman decrypted and sent the last message announcing the end of WW II to the white house?
These are things I didn’t know about. I had heard the acronym WASP and knew it had something to do with women in WW II but I truly had no actual idea what these women did. It blew me away as I learned more about these brave, yet relatively unknown, women. These were women of color, white women, lesbian women, Jewish women, rich women and poor women. They all loved their country and flight. They were an integral part of winning the war. As General Hap Arnold said, “... we could not have won the war without them.” (Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold was an American general officer holding the ranks of General of the Army and General of the Air Force.)
Violet Cowden wanted to fly, but she was under both the weight and height restrictions. She was resourceful, persistent, and she flew. The way she went about it will probably at least make you smile and certainly admire her spunk.
While women were not involved in combat, one woman was strafed and her plane ruined, over Pearl Harbor, the day of the attack. Cornelia Fort was one very lucky woman and survived to tell the story.
Willa Beatrice Brown, a woman of color, defied all the odds and did it with such style the men didn’t even recognize what was happening. She not only flew, but she opened a flight school to train African American Women to fly.
The colorful, rebellious, and indomitable Dickey Chappell was a war correspondent from WW II through the View Nam war. She was the recipient of many awards, including the Distinguished Service Award. Dickey was the first woman war correspondent who died in Viet Nam and was the first woman correspondent to be killed in action. Yes, sadly, she is relatively unknown. Her’s is a very powerful story.
Dickey Chappell photo credit, AP