Friday, February 1, 2008

Grandma was a fighter pilot

I love stories like this. Read the comments too.

A lot of people who were directly involved in fighting WWII were ignored and had to wait years to have their efforts recognized. Its a shame, but sadly, its understandable. The attitude, at the time was that recognizing the efforts of women or blacks would somehow diminish what the white boys were doing. I could choose to see their lack of recognition as shameful, but I prefer to see it as evidence of how far we've come. I don't doubt for a moment that the women in this story would have jumped at a chance to fly combat missions if they'd been given a chance.

As an aside, I've been thrilled by stories of the Tuskegee Airmen ever since I first heard about them. If I ever considered researching and writing a non-fiction book, they'd be the subject. There's actually very little that's been written on the subject and I think I've read most of what's available.


Janiece said...

When I joined the Navy, my folks made jokes that my own children wouldn't be able to refute the childish taunt, "Your mama wears combat boots!"

Then as now, I'm okay with that. These women paved the way for women like me.

Go, Grandma.

John the Scientist said...

Don't forget about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. 4500 soldiers, 3900 decorations.

Nathan said...


I was vaguely aware of the Nisei soldiers, but not about the 442nd. It really is another amazing story about people who would seemingly have little incentive to volunteer. I'm sure there were many motives (real patriotism, a perceived need to "prove themselves"?), but units like this seem to have all served with distinction.

Units like this were formed, in part, because white men didn't want to serve side by side with them. Maybe the next President will sign an executive order establishing a gay regiment. I can just imagine their unit patch. :-)

Anonymous said...

That is a really cool story! I didn't know about the 'Spitfire girls'.

I think that wearing combat boots is a high honor. It was my goal for many years, but I blew out my knee in my my junior year of college ROTC and was no longer medically eligible.

Go grandma - and mom - and today's generation too!