Haunted Flying Tour Arrives at Avenger Field!

Lady pilots head to Avenger Field
Women taildragger pilots to visit the home of the WASPs
Ladies Love Taildraggers’ Haunted Flying Tour focused on Sweetwater, Tx

As incredible and odd as it is, the biggest surprise of this week’s LLT Flying Tour has been the unsolicited, unplanned, interest we’ve have from local newspapers, radio, and TV stations as we’ve flown the 1100 n.m. from Indianapolis to Ranger Field, Tx. None of us expected particular notice from anyone other than the individual airports and contacts we’d made pre-arrangements with. As we arrived at each new destination, I couldn’t have been more surprised to hear from local reporters anxious to hear our story, meet our ladies, and take a few pictures. I suppose we did get a little kick out of the sudden interest in our fun flying adventure but I can’t help thinking it’s a little nuts women pilots can still garner so much attention in 2018 – just because we fly an airplane. :)  It just goes to show we still need a lot more women flying airplanes, any kind of airplane!

Yes, we did what we set out to do – spend one spectacular day in Sweetwater, Texas celebrating and remembering the WASPs, the Women Airforce Service Pilots. The WASP had no military standing during WWII yet provided an enormous service to our military and our country during WWII.

“The WASP arrangement with the US Army Air Forces ended on December 20, 1944. During its period of operation, each member’s service had freed a male pilot for military combat or other duties. They flew over 60 million miles; transported every type of military aircraft; towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice; simulated strafing missions and transported cargo.Thirty-eight WASP members lost their lives and one disappeared while on a ferry mission, her fate still (2018) unknown. In 1977, for their World War II service, the members were granted veteran status, and in 2009 awarded the Congressional Gold Medal[8][9]

WASP Museum V.P. Carol Cain providing tour of the Museum at our evening gathering

I’d like to thank the WASP Museum for providing such an ideal location to host our event, and especially the remarkably helpful and accommodating Carol Cain for her invaluable help planning and coordinating all the details. Carol works tirelessly on behalf of the WASP Museum and was assisted by two happy volunteers, Brenda and Susie.

Original hangar, museum and gift shop

Newly constructed replica hangar sits adjacent to WASP Museum and gift shop

Group photo at Museum

I can’t think of a more appropriate location for our ladies to experience than the WASP Museum. As women pilots, it’s impossible to walk into this large hangar, see the displays, and not be overwhelmed with emotion. It took years but the WASPs have finally received the appreciation and recognition they deserve for their sacrifices and service to our country.

We had a fun evening and wonderful dinner.

The WASP Museum seemed to do a thriving business during our evening at the Museum!

What a great idea to serve only Texas brews and wine. A little local flavor was a big hit!

Many thanks to Lynn Gardner for being our  guest speaker. Survival techniques and equipment for flyers, especially back-country flyers, was invaluable.

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make this day happen!

KSWW Airport manager posing with a high-heeled memento from our visit to Sweetwater!

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