TIME Magazine, May 29, 1944
WOMEN: Unnecessary and Undesirable?

Robert Ramspeck. . . chairman of the powerful House Civil Service Committee, recently took a look at a bill which. . . General Henry Harley Arnold, has been trying to shove through Congress.

The bill would make the Women's Airforce Service Pilots a part [of the] Army Air Forces. . . . [The] committee . . . found out. . . 1,313 women who have gone to WASP training schools, only 541 have graduated; 281 have flunked out; the rest are still in training. . . .

Wasted Manpower. Hap Arnold's argument has been that there is a serious aviation manpower shortage. . . . From unhappy C.A.A. flying instructors and C.A.A. trained personnel came another story. . . . They are available to ferry planes by the thousands. General Arnold. . . held fast for his WASPs.

The Ramspeck Committee . . . found . . . some 6,000 instructors alone who could be trained for the work the WASPs are doing in about half the time and at half the cost. Furthermore, the A.A.F. could utilize its returned combat pilots, as the Navy does, for noncombat flying. If a manpower deficit really exists, the committee found, it is "due largely to a failure to utilize existing personnel."

Startling and Invalid. . . . the militarization of. . . WASPs is not necessary or desirable; the present program should be immediately and sharply curtailed. . . .


Note: The WASPs were established in August 1943. The order for deactivation of the WASPs was issued October 3, 1944, effective December 20, 1944.

From a WASP web site
In the mid-1970's [1976] newspapers announced that the Air Force planned to train its "first women military pilots." To WASPs, the news was an insult. They began to campaign to be recognized as the veterans they knew themselves to be. In 1977 Congress recognized WASPs as veterans and were awarded veteran status from the United States Airforce. The Women Airforce Service Pilots are also proud that, in 1984, each was awarded the Victory medal. Those who served on duty for more than a year also received the American Theater medal.

Struggle for Veteran Status