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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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  • Erin J. (Milwaukie, OR)
    Practicality vs sexism
    Katherine Sharp Landdeck's detailed account of the day-to-day experiences of the women who flew for the Army Air Forces and the long-term machinations and political maneuvering involved in the evolving alphabet soup of acronyms is riveting. Her extensive research included interviewing and becoming friends with dozens of the women; reading their letters, diaries, memoirs, and speeches; combing through newspaper archives, photos, accident reports, and government documents; and triple-checking everything. My husband is an air force officer, and he's a military history buff, so I enjoyed the opportunity to read about one of his favorite subjects but from a female perspective.

    It's endlessly astonishing to me how sexist (and racist) beliefs can persist when they are so demonstrably false and utterly ridiculous. Still more astonishing is that they persisted during WWII when sheer practicality should have rendered them moot: women not only could fly anything and everything, they NEEDED to do so in order to maximize the number of men able to fight. (Never mind that women could have also done an excellent job of fighting.) Landdeck's meticulously researched "The Women with Silver Wings" brings this absurdity into sharp focus.
  • Kay K. (Oshkosh, WI)
    Women Took to the Skies
    Katherine Sharp Landdeck has thoroughly researched a forgotten segment of WWII's history, the women who flew and received little recognition or compensation. Well organized, and easy to read, the reader learns about the many women aviators who flew during WWII to help the war effort. I enjoyed the book, it kept my interest. It was a good companion to the book Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien. Definitely worth the read.
  • Sara P. (Longview, WA)
    The Women with Silver Wings
    This is a very interesting book about an untold story of women pilots who were not allowed in the "official" Air Force because they were women. They performed the vital task of flying the planes from the manufacturer to the base they were assigned to. The book did an excellent job of telling the stories of individual women pilots. They came from all over the country; all classes, and did an important job for the war effort.
  • Evelyn G. (Union, NJ)
    A Job Well Done.
    I enjoyed and was inspired reading this book. I marveled at the courage and confidence of women who were our grandmothers and even great grandmothers who stepped forward to take the early wings of transport air traffic during the days of WW2, to free the male pilots for combat. Today we have women who fly wing to wing with men in our military. These women were pioneers and this book chronicles their early path in a most readable way. These ladies did a very dangerous and heroic job and were largely unsung, as many women are even today. I felt a personal strength and glory, reading about them and see them as being among the first to bring about the glimmers of a new dawn for the women today and our struggles for equal status. Good read all the way.
  • Terrie J. (Eagan, MN)
    Important Women's History
    This book told the story of the women fliers of WWII. It highlighted the bravery, fortitude and struggles of these female heroes. It is a piece of history that hasn't been discussed in standard history books. These women sought to serve their country with their flying skills, yet had to prove themselves to a larger extent than men. They were very successful, yet had to fight in the aftermath of war to be credited with their contribution to our country. This book is well written, with notes to substantiate the facts. I highly recommend this read!
  • Jean L. (Omaha, NE)
    Unsung Heroines
    During World War II, there was a severe shortage of military pilots to ferry new planes from factories to military bases throughout the country. Planes needed to be tested after their engines had been overhauled and pilots were needed to tow targets so gunner trainees could practice shooting with live ammunition. A civilian, volunteer group of experienced women pilots fulfilled the needs of the United States Army Air Force through a two year experiment. Army pilots were released from domestic flying to meet the enemy overseas.

    "By December of 1944, over 1,102 women were wearing silver wings. They had flown more than seventy-seven different types of planes and had covered over 60 million miles. They had served as test pilots, flown personnel, and trained ground gunners to find planes as they strafed them. With the exception of combat flying, the women were doing every type of assignment their male counterparts performed. Thirty-eight of them had given their lives."

    THE WOMEN WITH SILVER WINGS by Katherine Sharp Landeck is the story of these brave women who were a part of the Women's Army Air Force Service Pilots. (WASP)

    This is a history book. It is the story of women who answered a call to help this nation win a war.
  • Carolyn S. (Kennesaw, GA)
    The Women with Silver Wings
    This book is a personal account of many of the women who were in the WASP program in WWII, and their struggle to be recognized. It chronicles their lives after they left the service and their lives afterward. It is an interesting look at the women who flew planes for the war effort and their struggles.

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