The Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) included 1,074 female pilots who served during World War II as U.S. federal civil service employees attached to the U.S. Army Air Force. WASPs freed male pilots for combat and transported every type of military aircraft, towed targets for live anti-aircraft practice, simulated strafing missions and delivered cargo. In spite of their valor and the death of 38 WASPs in the line of duty, they were not considered military and had to pay for their own medical care and funerals. In 1977 they were finally granted veteran status, and in 2009 survivors received the Congressional Gold Medal.
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