The Rise and Fall of the Women Airforce Service Pilots
(WASPS) of World War II
In her exhilerating book Clipped Wings: The Rise and Fall of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, author Molly Merryman shines light on the critical and dangerous work of the daring female aviators who changed history.
New York University Press classics series has just updated the book with Merryman’s reflections on the changes in women’s aviation in the past twenty years. A documentary based on Merryman’s work, Coming Home: Fight For A Legacy, is currently in production.
The WASP directly challenged the assumptions of male supremacy in wartime culture. They flew the fastest fighter planes and heaviest bombers; they testpiloted experimental models and worked in the development of weapons systems. Yet the WASP were the only women’s auxiliary within the armed services of World War II that was not militarized.
In Clipped Wings, Merryman draws upon finally-declassified military documents, congressional records, and interviews with the women who served as WASP during World War II to trace the history of the over one thousand pilots who served their country as the first women to fly military planes. She examines the social pressures that culminated in their disbandment in 1944— even though a wartime need for their services still existed—and documents their struggles and eventual success, in 1977, to gain military status and receive veterans’ benefits.
Thank you, Molly Merryman and R&R Book Tours
About the author
Molly Merryman, Ph.D. is the founding director of the Center for the Study of
Gender and Sexuality and an Associate Professor at Kent State University. She
is the Historical Research Producer on the upcoming Red Door Films
documentary about the WASP, Coming Home: Fight For A Legacy. She has
directed and produced nine documentaries that have been broadcast and
screened in the United States and United Kingdom. She is the research director
for the Queer Britain national LGBT+ museum and is a visiting professor and
advisory board member for the Queer History Centre at Goldsmiths, University
of London. Merryman is the vice president of the International Visual Sociology