Women Airforce Service Pilots Badge


Women Airforce Service Pilots Badge

The Women Airforce Service Pilots Badge is a decoration of the United States Army that was issued during the Second World War. The badge created for the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP (not WASPs, because the acronym already includes the plural "Pilots"), was awarded to more than a thousand women who had qualified for employment as civilian, non-combat pilots of military aircraft used by the U.S. Army Air Forces during WWII. The first wings were privately and hastily designed and paid for out of the pockets of Floyd Odlum and his wife, Jacqueline Cochran, who in 1942 became the head of WASP. The first seven classes of WASP flight school graduates in 1943 were issued silver wings with a central shield-shaped escutcheon, with the class number engraved on it. On the scroll above the shield, where the "999th" appears, was the squadron number of the Training Command. The first two classes were marked with the 319th, and thereafter the 318th for the remaining five classes in l943. Classes graduating in 1944 and thereafter were issued the newly designed official Army Air Forces WASP wings with a diamond-shaped lozenge in the center. Unlike the earlier WASP wing design, with its central shield-shaped escutcheon, the new silver badge conformed to heraldic tradition by incorporating a lozenge centered between two wings. In heraldic usage, a lozenge is the traditional shape of a woman's coat of arms. It is said to have been selected for its resemblance to the shape of the shield carried by Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, weaving, crafts, and war. This design was used until the deactivation of WASP in December 1944. There were no more WASP wings authorized after that.

Following the 1947 creation of the United States Air Force, the next appearance of women Air Force pilots was in the 1970s, at which time all Air Force pilots were authorized to wear the same wing badge.

ee also

* Obsolete badges of the United States military
* Military badges of the United States


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Women Airforce Service Pilots — Elizabeth L. Gardner, WASP, at the controls of a B 26 Marauder The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and its predecessor groups the Women s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) and the Women s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) (from September 10 …   Wikipedia

  • Jacqueline Cochran — c. 1943 Born May 11, 1906(1906 05 11) Muscogee, Florida Died August 9 …   Wikipedia

  • Nancy Harkness Love — Nancy H. Love, circa 1943 Born February 14, 1914(1914 02 14) Houghton, Michigan Died October 22, 1976 …   Wikipedia

  • Cornelia Fort — Cornelia Clark Fort was a civilian instructor pilot at an airfield near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941. Cornelia Clark Fort (1919–1943) was an aviator in the Women s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) later… …   Wikipedia

  • Betty Gillies — Infobox Person name =Betty Huyler Gillies image size =200px caption =Betty Gillies birth date =birth date|1908|1|1|df=y birth place = death date =death date and age|1998|10|14|1908|1|1|df=y death place = occupation =Aviator Spokesperson spouse =… …   Wikipedia

  • Obsolete badges of the United States military — Hap Arnold wearing (above ribbons) conventional wings design and (below ribbons) Military Aviator Badge Obsolete badges of the United States military are a number of U.S. military insignia which were issued in the early 20th century leading up to …   Wikipedia

  • Lozenge — This article is about the shape. For the cough tablets, see Throat lozenge. For lozenges in heraldry, see Lozenge (heraldry). Lozenge A lozenge (◊), often referred to as a diamond, is a form of rhombus. The definition of lozenge is not strictly… …   Wikipedia

  • United States Army Air Forces — Infobox Military Unit unit name=United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) caption=USAAF Shoulder Sleeve Insignia ( Hap Arnold Emblem ) dates=1941 06 20 to 1947 09 17 country= United States of America allegiance= branch=United States Army type= role=… …   Wikipedia

  • List of World War II topics (W) — # W, or the Memory of Childhood # W. Andersen # W. Browning # W. D. Workman, Jr. # W. G. E. Luddington # W. G. G. Duncan Smith # W. George Bowdon, Jr. # W. H. Murray # W. Jason Morgan # W. L. Rambo # W. M. W. Fowler # W. Marvin Watson # W. N. T.… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal New Zealand Air Force — Te Tauaarangi o Aotearoa Crest of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Founded 1913 (first military aviation) 1923 (New Zealand Permanent Air Force formed) 1 April 1937 (Independent service) …   Wikipedia