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Winning My Wings: A Woman Airforce Service Pilot in World War II Hardcover – October 1, 1996
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Marion Hodgson was one of the first women in the United States to train as a military pilot in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program. Winning My Wings: A Woman Airforce Service Pilot In World War II tells an exuberant story set in 1943 when she and other WASPs earned their hard-won wings learning to fly everything from open-cockpit primary trainers to P-51 Mustangs, B-26 Marauders, and B-29 Superfortresses. Their stateside missions as plan ferriers freed their male counterparts for combat duty overseas. Winning My Wings is an action-packed story often humorous, sometimes harrowing, told mostly through letters Hodgson wrote to a Marine pilot fighting for his life after a fiery crash. Some of her letters describe the crashes that killed 38 other WASPs. Others revealed what it was like for these pioneering women as they ferried planes from factories to airfields, test-flew repaired aircraft, and performed a variety of other duties traditionally assigned to men. Winning My Wings is an important contribution to the historical literature of a very special, quite unique military group that proved itself essential in a time of global war. -- Midwest Book Review
From the Publisher
Summer vacation reading recommendation - Military Trader Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This book chronicles the true story of what it was like for women who supported the USA by being pilots during WWII. There are some very funny anecdotes, some not really appropriate for young audiences, but very funny nonetheless. Things were different back in the 1940s, when no one had ever heard of sexual harassment or discrimination. The women who served as pilots had to put up with a lot of "wolf whistles" and insults, but they took it all with good humor. They knew how to roll with the punches, and they supported each other. They flew airplanes that men refused to fly because they thought they were too dangerous.
You don't have to be a pilot to feel inspired after reading this book. The "can do" attitude of these pilots is truly worthy of respect, and the author keeps you smiling through it all. It makes for a good read!
I loved the look at the life of a WASP. The details of their training, instructors, prejudices they faced, different emergency situations, and information about World War II in general are not told in a boring, textbook like way, but matter of fact and even witty at times. Majority of autobiographies I have read are "woe is me..." or they exagerate the author's good qualities. Not so, this one. Marion retained a positive attitude throughout her experience and the writing of this book. She also tells of mistakes she made, embarrassing situations, and doubts or hesitations that went through her mind.
This was truly a joy to read. As I turned the last page, I had a smile on my face.
Photos of the author at the end of the book depict a tall, pretty blonde who could have easily passed for a movie star. Instead she chose the sky and became a trailblazer for so many other women.
Although she flew many types of aircraft during her short stint as a WASP, the author's favorite was the AT-6. I wiped away a few tears at the end of the book as Marion described her last encounter with this aircraft. As she turned to walk away from her beautiful AT-6 and her life as a WASP, you knew she was leaving behind an old friend. I highly recommend this book to both male and female readers. You don't have to be an aviation buff to enjoy this tale. As the author is fond of saying, "Tail winds and blue skies."
Kathleen M. Rodgers ~ author of the award-winning novel "The Final Salute"
Ranked #1 on Amazon's Top Rated War Fiction - 2012
Ranked #2 on Amazon's Bestselling Military Aviation - 2010.