Women Aviators in World War II: "Fly Girls"

Women pilots have as much stamina and endurance … as male pilots doing similar work. Women pilots can safely fly as many hours per month as male pilots.

—Jacqueline Cochran, Director of Women Pilots "Report on Women's Pilot Program" (1944)

In this lesson, students will explore the contributions of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during World War II. They will examine portrayals of women in World War II posters (and newsreels) and compare and contrast them with personal recollections of the WASPs. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of the WASP program, which enhanced careers for women in aviation.

Guiding Questions

What contributions did the WASPs make during World War II?

What was it really like to be a WASP?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to: Explain the contributions of WASPs to the war effort

Show how women were portrayed in World War II posters (and newsreels)

Compare and contrast those portrayals with personal recollections of the WASPs