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The Women with Silver Wings

The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

by Katherine Sharp Landdeck

The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck X
The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2020, 464 pages

    Mar 2021, 464 pages


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There are currently 25 member reviews
for The Women with Silver Wings
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  • Ann W. (New York, NY)
    Left out again
    I just finished reading Dovey Johnson Roundtree's Mighty Justice, an incredible book by an amazing woman. In 1943, she challenged racial discrimination in the WAAC and went on to challenge for racial justice until her death at 105 years of age in 2018.
    Now, Landdeck's book The Women with Silver Wings documents more legendary achievements by women in the military. Women are left out of the story, especially that of military history. It took more than 30 years, in 1977 for the WASP services to be acknowledged as veterans of WWII. Women aviators were critically important in training and ferrying planes and after the war, forgotten. The role of women in the Military continues to be understated. It needs to be highlighted. There are many unsung heroes. Let us sing out!
  • Cam Grizmala
    The Women With Silver Wings
    I was a small child in the early 1940's when World War 2 began. My Dad and two of my uncles enlisted to serve in the war. And so I appreciated having been able to read this book.
    The young women, all flyers and the men as well, were eager to help our country despite the dangers that would befall them, and I am forever grateful for them all.
  • Jeanne W. (Colorado Springs, CO)
    More WWII Unsung Heroes
    This is truly an untold story. It starts out like a basic nonfiction book about a group of women and their piloting escapades, but very quickly you're brought into the details of these women's lives and suddenly you're right there with them. There were 1100 women trained to fly various types of planes around the country during the war to free up male pilots for combat. They were considered civilians, although their training was definitely military. It must have been so frustrating to perform so well and then be told that you're not needed anymore, go back to your knitting and having babies. It is galling to look back and realize that even in the 70s there were men (and some women) who didn't think these women should receive military veteran status so they could be honored as veterans and receive retirement and health benefits. They make me proud to be an American woman and I plan to go to the Air Force Academy museum to see the display on their achievements.
  • Sandra H. (St. Cloud, MN)
    A Wonderful Flight
    Katherine Sharp Landdeck' "The Women With Silver Wings" reminded me how far we have come from the days when we were seen primarily as girls and housewives. The Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASPs trained male pilots for service overseas and ferried bombers and pursuits across the country. They were an important part of our defeating the Germans and Japanese. Landeck helps us who have the freedom to use our minds and abilities in occupations once thought of as only for men. I know that my granddaughters, although still young, have opportunities that were simply not available when I was young.

    I strongly recommend this book and if I were still teaching would make it required reading in my classes.
  • Borderlass (Belmont, MA)
    A Battle for Honor and Equity
    I was drawn to this book originally because of my acquaintance with an older woman aviator whose experiences during WWII piqued my curiosity. Due to the quality of the writing, I found myself reading through the night and well into the next day. This non-fiction book provides no shortage of subject matter with a dedicated fanbase: feminist history, U.S. military and political history, plus a human interest story that shows this country and key individuals during some of their most defining moments. The author spares no individual or organization due credit or conversely, a dubious place in this prolonged battle to get WASP members equitable military treatment and recognition for their WWII contributions. We have been left with a scholarly and compelling landmark book that validates these women's struggles with a world replete with male power structures. Supporting bureaucracies and egos of any gender that serve to keep the status quo are revealed - along with the brave individuals who rise to challenge it.
  • Jeff M. (Somerset, NJ)
    The Women with Silver Wings
    "The Women with Silver Wings" is another story in the growing genre of books describing the often little known or little recognized contributions women have made in times of war or as a part of major initiatives, like the space program. Debut author, Katherine Sharp Landdeck, has spent over 20 years, involved with and researching the important role played by over 1100 women who were part of the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during WWII. The book is really two stories woven into one. The first is the stories of the women themselves, their backgrounds, love for flying and the variety of the work they did with 77 different types of aircraft flying over 60 million miles. But, it was not without danger, as 38 of the female pilots did not survive the war. The second part describes the issues they had to overcome, the prejudices against them for being women in what was considered a "male-only" profession and the politics, both internal and by the Army and the US government. I found that the book grew more interesting to me as it progressed. While I had heard of the WASP program, the women fliers that were included in the book put real people to the WASP acronym and the over 30-year effort they endured after the war to finally gain the recognition and military status that was deserved. While there have been other books written about the WASPs, what sets this one apart has been the exhaustive effort by the author to meet and interview these women and become a trusted part of their WASP community. Highly recommended. Would also suggest readers visit the online WASP archives on the Texas Woman's University website. It is a treasure trove of information.
  • Carol C. (Troy, NY)
    The Women With Silver Wings
    An engaging, inspiring history of the many women who served the WWII war effort and their decades-long fight for respect and recognition. Recounting personal histories of a number of the pilots, this is a fascinating read, weaving together the transport and training aspects of the program into what became the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). I highly recommend it.

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