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The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII

From: Radio Diaries
Length: 21:43

The story of the first female pilots in WWII. Read the full description.

Postcard_small In the early 1940s, the US Airforce faced a dilemma. Thousands of new airplanes were coming off assembly lines and needed to be delivered to military bases nationwide, yet most of America's pilots were overseas fighting the war. To solve the problem, the government launched an experimental program to train women pilots. They were known as the WASPs, the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered on Dec. 18, 2002.

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Piece Description

In the early 1940s, the US Airforce faced a dilemma. Thousands of new airplanes were coming off assembly lines and needed to be delivered to military bases nationwide, yet most of America's pilots were overseas fighting the war. To solve the problem, the government launched an experimental program to train women pilots. They were known as the WASPs, the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered on Dec. 18, 2002.

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Review of The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII

I enjoyed this piece. I loved the personal reminiscences of the women. It felt very intimate and natural. I did not hear it originally on NPR, and I knew nothing about the WASPS, so it was a nice little introduction. I aired it for my Memorial Day show. It's a timeless piece. Quality and sound are excellent. The 22 minute length works well for a "themed" show, but I would prefer to lose the All Things Considered intro and outro.

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Review of The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII

We get historical context, personal reminiscence and observation in this lovely blend of ambient sound, music of the time, archival tape, and the voices of a small group of women pilots. An interesting, informative, engaging portrait of these women and of this period in history that is so beautifully produced it’s nearly cinematic in effect.
Could be aired any time, but certainly around WWII or aviation anniversary dates, or as part of programming about women in America, jobs, changes in society, and, of course, war. sl

Transcript

THE WASPS: WOMEN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOTS OF WORLD WAR II
Produced by Joe Richman/Radio Diaries
All Things Considered (NPR) 12/18/02

MICHELE NORRIS, host: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I?m Michele Norris.
LYNN NEARY, host: And I?m Lynn Neary.
In the early 1940s at the start of World War II, the US Air Force faced a dilemma. Thousands of new airplanes were coming off assembly lines and needed to be delivered to military bases nationwide. But most of America?s pilots were overseas fighting the war. To solve the problem, the government launched an experimental program to train women pilots. Today from Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman brings us the story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING AND SHUTTING)
ELIZABETH EYRE TAYLOR (Pilot): Fastening my seat belt. Throttle is set. Fuel pressure is fine. OK. Now we?re going to start the engine. A...
Read the full transcript