Friday, June 5, 2015

Silver Wings, Flying Dreams: A WASP Documentary Takes Off

WASP (L-R) Frances Green, Margaret Kirchner, Ann Currier and Blanche Bross in their flight gear--with the 
B-17 Pistol Packin' Mama in the background--after training at Lockbourne AFB, Columbus, Ohio.  The WASP, 
volunteer civilian pilots who were the first women in history to fly for the U.S. military, are the subject of the 
new documentary Silver Wings, Flying Dreams: The Complete Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots.  
Women Airforce Service Pilots Digital Collection.  Texas Woman's University.
A new documentary, featuring interviews and other footage filmed in the official WASP Archive housed on the Denton campus of TWUhas taken off.  

Silver Wings, Flying Dreams: The Complete Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (formerly titled Silver Wings, Shattered Dreams: The Long Road to Recognition) aired over the Memorial Day weekend on PBS channels throughout Florida. Written, produced and directed by Bill Suchy and edited by Gerald J. Godbout III, Silver Wings tells the story of pioneering women aviators who for a brief moment in the darkest days of WWII shattered the glass ceiling and defied the convention that a woman had no place in the cockpit of a military aircraft.

Between 1942 and 1944, more than a thousand of these women left homes and jobs for the opportunity of a lifetime--to become the first in history to fly for the U.S. military.  They volunteered as civilian pilots in an experimental Army Air Corps Program designed to determine if women could serve as pilots and relieve men for overseas duty.  These women became the Women Airforce Service Pilots, better known as the WASP.  The WASP Archive.  They went on to help win the war by ferrying aircraft, flying as test pilots, and towing targets for anti-aircraft gunnery practice.  Trailer of Silver Wings, Flying Dreams: The Complete Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (below).  

Silver Wings, Flying Dreams promo/demo from Bill Suchy on Vimeo.

WASP Archive at TWU provided images, documents and research support to Bill Suchy, the project's writer, producer and director. The film features surviving WASP reliving their personal wartime experiences and their battle for Veteran status--a fight that took decades to win.  WASP in the News.  Texas Woman's University Libraries.

National PBS distribution of Silver Wings is scheduled for 2015.  Screenings of the film in several Texas cities are also planned for later this year.  Watch this blog and the TWU Libraries' Facebook and Twitter for updates.  For more information, see the film's Facebook.

The official archive of the Women Service Airforce Pilots (WASP) is housed in the Woman's Collection in the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton (Texas) campus of Texas Woman's University.  

The TWU Woman's Collection is the largest depository in the Southern United States of research material about women. 

~Sandy Cochran with Kimberly Johnson

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