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FIFINELLA is a female gremlin designed by Walt Disney and used during World War Two as the insignia for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Shown here traveling down the panhandle of Florida is a flight of AT-6 'Texan' based at one of Eglin Air Field (now Eglin Air Force Base and seen in the background.) auxiliary air fields.
The WASPs were formed in 1942 as an organization of civilian female pilots hired to fly military aircraft for the United States Army Air Corps. Because of the need for male pilots in both theaters of war at the time, there was a significant shortage of pilots stateside to fulfill basic needs such as ferrying (WAFS), target towing, and training. WASP pilots also served overseas in various roles.
Jackie Cochran, the well known air race pilot of the 1930's and herself a native of Pensacola, Florida was chosen to head up the program and out of 25,000 applicants 1074 were finally accepted to join. The initial training was completed in Sweetwater, Texas, with the graduates stationed at bases and flying fields all across the country. In the end, 38 of the WASP pilots would give their lives in service for the country.
In 1977 WASP pilots were granted veterans status, and in 2009 the WASPs were given the Congressional Gold Medal for there important contributions.
For more information about the WASP organization you can visit their website here.
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