10:00 a.m. Guests Arrive | 10:30 a.m. Presentation | 11:00 a.m. Program Concludes
The National WWII Museum is delighted and honored to receive an important collection of rare artifacts from one of the only 1,100 women trained as pilots with the Women Airforce Service Pilots, affectionately referred to as the WASPs.
The WASPs were a groundbreaking group of volunteers who defied expectations and gender bias to apply their skills in service for their country during the war. In operation from 1942 to 1944, the WASPs were not recognized as an official auxiliary branch of the military and because their numbers were small, artifacts from women fliers are very rare.
Dorothy Frances Britt (later Mann), suspended her studies at the University of New Mexico before her junior year so that she could secure a pilot's license and the necessary hours to apply to the WASP organization on the day she turned 21. She purchased her own small engine plane to use for flight time and worked for the Civil Air Patrol before being accepted as a trainee in the WASP in November 1943 in the class of 44-4. After graduation, she was assigned to Moore Field and then Love Field in Texas, where she ferried refurbished planes to other airbases or tested new planes for stability and safety before they could be turned over to the male pilots to take into action overseas.
The program will feature introductory remarks, followed by a brief history of the WASPs by Robert M. Citino, PhD, the Museum’s Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy and Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian. Then, Assistant Director for Curatorial Services Kim Guise will sit and interview Dorothy Mann’s daughter, Connie Parker, about her mother and her legacy that has spanned four generations.
To conclude the program, the entire Dorothy Mann family will present the artifact collection to the Museum.
Can’t make it to the Museum? Watch the event live.
The event is free and open to the public, so please come and witness the transfer of these historic items! For more information, call 504-528-1944 x 530.