Natalie J. Stewart-Smith has been an educator for over 25 years and taught at the elementary, high school, and college levels. As a former Army officer and historian, she is interested in women’s contributions to the military, particularly those who served as military aviators.
During World War II over one thousand women served as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), freeing male pilots for combat roles at a critical time during the war. The WASP ferried planes from factories to embarkation points; performed engineer test flying of repaired aircraft and did target towing for gunnery training. By the spring of 1944, every P-51 Mustang flown in combat had already been flown by a WASP. This presentation shares their stories as fliers, patriots, and women who had to fight for the right to be called veterans.