Speaker: Rebecca Hom Location: Online Cost: Free How to Join: How to Join: This will be offered online through Zoom. Click this link to register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__ohLAh0ZQBezqk8C-MVchQ Registration: Please register for this event! You will be able to add this event to an email calendar to remind you to join. Your registration helps us to monitor audience attendance so that we can better serve you in the future. Synopsis: The Women’s Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) program was an essential part of the U.S. military’s air efforts during WWII. Twenty-five thousand women from every U.S. state applied to become a WASP. Of these candidates, only 1,830 were accepted into the program. In the end 1,102 graduated and became WASPs. Twenty-five of these amazing women were from Washington State. The WASP were sent to bases around the country, ferrying planes for male pilots to fly overseas. WASP also towed targets for ground artillery training, repaired planes, and tested planes before delivery. These pilots flew over 60 million miles during the short two years of the program, which was disbanded on December 20, 1944. The reasons for the disbandment were numerous, with public sentiment divided and WASP reaction complicated. Although these women flew military aircraft, they were considered civilians and were not granted military benefits or burials. Of the 1,102 individuals in the WASP program, 38 died while in service, 5 of whom were from Washington State. Women would not fly in the U.S. Armed Forces again until the mid-1970s. When the U.S. Air Force announced it was going to start training the first women to fly military aircraft, the remaining WASP members spoke up and reminded the country of their forgotten WWII service. WASP were granted retroactive military status with the G.I. Bill Improvement Act of 1977 and awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010. Speaker Rebecca Hom will reveal the details surrounding the creation of the WASP program, the conflicts surrounding it, its controversial disbandment, and the arc of public perception of women as pilots. She will also share the stories of several WASP members, including University of Washington graduate Barbara Erickson and Dayton, WA, native and Whitman College alumna Katherine Applegate Dussaq. PLEASE NOTE talk begins at 5 pm, followed by a live Q&A session.