Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The WASP and the Archive: A Veteran's Day Salute

Flying High  Holly Hollinger Grasso, 44-W-5, completing advanced 
flight training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. Grasso was a 
member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII (WASP), volun-
teer civilian pilots and the first women in history to fly for the U.S. 
military. The official WASP archive is housed in the Woman's Collection 
of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU. Cover image
courtesy of the Women Airforce Service Pilots Archive, Texas Woman's
University, Denton, Texas.   
A Veteran's Day salute to the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII (WASP), the first women in history to fly for the U.S. military, for their dedicated service.  The Women Airforce Service Pilots Archive, the group's official archive housed in the Woman's Collection of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU, is the subject of a cover feature in the official newsmagazine and publication of record of the Association of College & Research Libraries.  

College & Research Libraries News selected the archive as the cover feature for its November 2014 issue (left).  Featured in the cover image is Holly Hollinger Grasso, 44-W-5, a graduate of the first women's flying training detachment for the U.S. Army.  Grasso is pictured completing advanced flight training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas.  

Between 1942 and 1944, at the height of WWII, more than a thousand women left homes and jobs for the opportunity of a lifetime--to become the first in history to fly for the U.S. military. Volunteering as civilian pilots, they relieved men for overseas duty and became the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, better known as the WASP.  Under the leadership of Jacqueline Cochran, Nancy Harkness Love and General Henry “Hap” Arnold, the WASP trained and went on to soar beyond all expectations of the Army Air Corps.

The Women Airforce Service Pilots Archive, the official archive for the Women Airforce Service Pilots, is the largest repository of WASP materials in the United States.  The collection includes over 1 million pieces of paper, over 25,000 photographs, over 700 oral histories, nearly 1,300 biographical files and 500 individual WASP collections.

Researchers from around the world--including historians, scholars, filmmakers, documentarians, publishers, journalists and the media--use the Women Airforce Service Pilots Archive at Texas Woman's University to advance their research and learn about a group of brave and determined women who flew into action, as none had before them, in their country's hour of need.

~Sandy Cochran with Kimberly Johnson

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