National W.A.S.P. WWII Museum - Sweetwater, Texas, USA

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USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Expansion set for Sweetwater museum honoring female WWII pilots



http://www.ktxs.com/news/sweetwater...il&utm_term=0_e509ef1720-e13e50510b-319951273




SWEETWATER, Texas - A museum in Sweetwater that celebrates the role played by female pilots in World War II is expanding.
Monday, museum supporters broke ground on a new building at the National WASP World War II Museum.
(PHOTOS: Groundbreaking at the WASP museum in Sweetwater)
Planes like the 1940 Boeing-Stearman trained women known as WASPS or Women Air Force Service Pilots at Avenger Field.
“It's all about the ladies, you know, being the first lady pilots,” said Dave Zobrist, the projects architect and project manager.
Zobrist's mother-in-law, Betty Jo Streff-Reed, was a member of the WASP class of 1944. Her ashes were spread over the runway in May of 2014.
“I still have a vision of that happening, having the homecoming and the family being here witnessing the event and the tears and the joy that goes along with it,” Zobrist said.
The $2.2 million expansion is being paid for with more than 3,500 donations from private donors and foundations. It will be a replica of the old hangars, but made with modern materials. The museum opened in 2005 and honors the 1,102 women who trained here.
“They were more or less what we refer to as the forgotten Air Force,” said Sandra Spears, the museum’s president of the board of directors.
“They didn't think women could fly military air planes, but they did,” Spears said. “They were able to ferry planes, be tow target pilots, have many roles so they could free up the men to go to combat.”
Less than 100 of those women are still alive. Now it's a place where their kids and grandkids can visit. For some, this place where they trained some seven decades ago is now their final resting place.
“This meant so much to Betty Jo, and because it meant so much to her it means so much to us," Zobrist said. "Now that when I come here, she's here.”
The new addition is scheduled to open in May, just in time for the museum's annual homecoming celebration on Memorial Day weekend.



WASP Museum groundbreaking _OP_3_CP__1477968409668_4380848_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

WASP Museum groundbreaking _OP_5_CP__1477968410150_4380851_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

WASP Museum groundbreaking _OP_4_CP__1477968409848_4380849_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

WASP Museum groundbreaking _OP_2_CP__1477968410288_4380852_ver1.0_640_360.jpg . WASP Museum groundbreaking _OP_1_CP__1477968410010_4380850_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

Something to add to my tourist destination list.


 

Tinstar

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That a great museum!
I went through it several years back while waiting for maintenance personnel.
Had a main hydraulics failure on a Helo while landing for fuel about 10 years ago.
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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That a great museum!
I went through it several years back while waiting for maintenance personnel.
Had a main hydraulics failure on a Helo while landing for fuel about 10 years ago.
Thanks for chiming in, Tinstar!

Yes, it IS a great museum preserving the history of a VERY specialized aspect of WWII.

DANG! Hydraulics failure on a Helo?!?!? What kind of bird? That could have had a nasty outcome. Yet here you are, able to tell us about it. Glad you survived that episode.
 

Tinstar

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It was a Bell 407
Hydraulic pump was the culprit.
Destroyed itself and spread metal shavings through most of system.
Just one of many emergency’s we train for.

It’s like driving a car without power steering.
Doable but no fun.

The great thing about the Sweetwater airport is it’s an old military airfield.
Lots of long runways
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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R.I.P. WASP Pilot Dorothy Olsen, age 103 - P-51 Pilot !

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/...utm_campaign=Socialflow+NAV&utm_medium=social

Dorothy Olsen, WASP pilot in World War II, dies at 103


I love the quote of hers presented at the end of the article linked above.....

"Why would I want to fly a Cessna when I've flown a P-51."


I am once again reminded of the often quoted pilot's legacy: HIGH FLIGHT


[SIZE=+2]"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

[/SIZE]

[SIZE=+2]"Up, up the long delirious burning blue[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]where never lark, or even eagle, flew;[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]the high untrespassed sanctity of space,[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]put out my hand and touched the face of God."

[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+2]
[/SIZE]
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/highflig.htm


 
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