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Air Zoo Blog

Category: Women's Airforce Service Pilots

The First of the First: A WASP Anniversary Tale

During World War II, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) became the first women to fly America’s military aircraft. But these air-minded pilots didn’t take to the sky all at once. Some paved the way as the first of the first.   Mary Lou Colbert Neale became the first pilot that WASP Director Jackie Cochran selected for class 43-W-1—the new program’s first official class. Of special note, Mary Lou made a significant impact on the ability for women to access pi... Read More
Posted by Euan Simpson at Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023

Women’s History at the Air Zoo: Cool!

Recently, a fourth grader on an Air Zoo fieldtrip admired our P-40 Warhawk with his friends on the mezzanine. After examining the historic pink plane hanging in our atrium, he turned to see that same plane flying in a nearby video. He looked back at the airplane, then back at the video screen, and anyone lucky enough to be near saw (and heard) when he made the connection. “Hey!” he shouted, “That’s the same plane! That’s that lady’s plane!” He sprang ... Read More
Posted by Euan Simpson at Friday, Feb 24, 2023

Suit Up for Women's History at the Air Zoo!

At the Air Zoo, celebrating Women’s History Month really *suits* us! That’s why it’s especially rewarding to share the story of superstar aerobatic champion, Patty Wagstaff, and her flight suit. Patty Wagstaff is a three-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion—the first woman to earn the title. Patty’s flying passion soared when her father, a Japan Airlines captain, welcomed her to take the controls of his DC-6. Patty has represented America in Olympic-level inter... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022

Before They Were WASP, They Were CAP

Did you know that many Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)—including Air Zoo Co-founder Sue Parish—first served as part of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP)? Approved by the United States Commerce, Navy, and War departments in 1941, the CAP recruited American civilian pilots eager to use their aviation skills for national defense. Men and women answered the call and volunteered in many ways. They provided surveillance, missing aircraft searches, forest patrols, and much more. Prior to ... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Dec 30, 2021


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