Women Airforce Service Pilots


Part Three The Legacy

It was not until 2009, under President Barack Obama, that legislation was enacted to award WASPs the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian, for their efforts and years of service during World War II (“History of WASP”). A national ceremony was held in Washington DC to commemorate the women who served as WASPs, and a local ceremony was also held in Lincoln to specifically honor all of the Nebraskan women who served. Mary Ellen Williamson, a retired educator, former WASP, and Omaha local, attended the ceremony and accepted the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of all her “sisters in the sky” (Hovey).

The sacrifices made by women in the sky, on the ground, and overseas during the Second World War helped the nation secure a victory abroad. Though many of the women who took unconventional jobs to help the war effort returned to their traditional roles “in the home” when the men returned from overseas, their efforts were not forgotten by their daughters. We younger generations of women have inherited our foremothers’ courage and adventurous spirit. These women paved the way for future generations of women to step off the beaten path, serve in the military, run for political office, break the glass ceiling, and tear down any other gender barrier that dared to stand in our way.