986 Fall 2019 Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII
Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 23
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Patricia O’Connell Pearson
Coordinator: Marilyn O’Brien
At the height of World War II, the US Army Air Forces needed skilled pilots, but only men were allowed to pilot military airplanes—even when their expert instructors were women. Through grit and determination, 1,100 female pilots—who had to prove their worth time and again—were finally allowed to ferry planes from factories to bases, to tow targets for live ammunition artillery training, to test repaired planes and new equipment, and more. Though the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) members lived on military bases, trained as military pilots, wore uniforms, and sometimes died violently in the line of duty, they were civilian employees receiving less pay than men doing the same jobs—and no military benefits, not even for burials. Author Patricia O’Connell Pearson will discuss the history of these remarkable women and how she came to write Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII.
Patricia O’Connell Pearson, a former Fairfax County Public Schools history teacher, holds an MEd from George Mason University and an MFA in writing for young people from Lesley University. She writes both historical fiction and nonfiction for ages 10 and up.