Dr. Katherine Sharp Landdeck wrote The Women With Silver Wings highlighting the story and history of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). Her story of writing this book goes back to when she first started her career and went to an air show and met an WASP. That moment was defining and led her on a path to learn and share the stories of these amazing women.
The Women Air Force Service Pilots Story
I was introduced to The Women With Silver Wings through Erin Miller on Twitter. Erin Miller shared the story of her grandmother on the podcast in episode 49. She wrote the book Final Flight, Final Fight which shares both the story of Elaine Hammond (her grandmother and WASP) along with the fight her family went through after her death to have her interned at Arlington National Cemetery. Reading Erin’s book was the first time I heard the story of the Women Air Force Service Pilots. And I wanted to know more.
The Women With Silver Wings
So when I heard about The Women With Silver Wings I was excited to read it. I loved learning the history of the WASP. Not only how they were created but the stories of the women and the era of love of aviaitation that led to women being ready to fill the roles of pilots during World War II.
I also loved that the story included the fight the women had to go through to get not only recognition for their service but the benefits veterans receive. It was fascinating to hear all the details Katherine was able to collect. Also how she was able to put them together in her amazing book.
Learning how the book came to be
In this interview we talked about the years of research Katherine has done about the WASP (25 years). Then, the ten years it took to write the book. Many different editions and revisions to get the book to what it is today. She also had to narrow down the stories to ensure that the reader didn’t get lost in all the details. She admitted the version she sent to her publisher was almost three times as long as the final version. To help add in stories that were taken out there are pictures at the beginning of the chapter and endnotes with additional details about the WASP.
Learning from the past
Katherine talked about how meeting, interviewing and getting to know the WASP has been inspirational in her own life. They faced so many challenges but they kept pushing forward and worked hard to get recognized for the work they had done. It is amazing how their story resonated with some of the challenges women in the military face today. And there is so much we can learn from them.
Go check out this week’s interview and grab a copy of The Women With Silver Wings wherever books are sold.