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DEEP DIVE INTO HISTORY: The Women Airforce Service Pilots

March 18, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

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One event on May 20, 2023 at 10:00 am

part of a plane with a line of female pilots boarding

Join us on March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as we celebrate Women’s History Month with a story unique to our area.

During World War II, women served in various roles to bring about victory. In North Carolina there were “Wendy the Welders” and “Rosie the Riveters” working at the North Carolina Shipyard. Many women joined the military as US Army WACs, US Navy WAVES, or Coast Guard SPARs. But one of the most interesting was the WASP, or Women Airforce Service Pilots.

Interpreter II Kaitlin O’Connor, of Fort Fisher State Historic Site, will be on hand to talk about the 52 women who came to Southeastern North Carolina. Flying war-weary aircraft, their mission was to pull cloth targets behind their airplanes to help the anti-aircraft gunners learn how to do their jobs. As the planes flew by, the soldiers would fire live ammunition at the targets. These women understood this was a dangerous job, but one they volunteered to do. From its creation in September 1942, more than 25,000 women applied but less than 1,100 would become WASP. It would take 30 years for these women to be recognized for their activities. Because of their actions, today’s female military pilots are descended from these “Daughters of the Sky” as they called themselves. As General Henry Arnold, of the US Army Air Forces, would say, these women “left a brave heritage to America.”

The free Deep Dive into History drop-in program, which is designed for all ages, combines live interpretation, material culture displays and hands-on activities to help visitors understand how seafarers of old explore the world. Registration is not required.



NC Maritime Museum at Southport
204 E. Moore St.
Southport, NC 28461 United States
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