WASP honored in new novel

In 2010 Congress awarded the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal. KJ Tillinghast combined this recent event and his parents’ activity in the war to write a new aviation-themed novel “Kittyhawks.”

United States Army special investigator Captain John Cutter meets 90-year-old Kirby Stevens, a WASP, after she reveals she has knowledge about the death of an American pilot in a seven-decade-old plane crash. Cutter learns not only about her pioneering flying experience, but uncovers a treacherous plot to ground America’s first women’s flying program.

In the novel, Kirby is one of the first woman pilots to fly military aircraft in order to free the men up for fighting on the front lines. While she is in the midst of investigating suspicious aircraft crashes, she learns that not only is her first love, Jack Martin, who she thought had died in combat, alive and being honored for his time in the war at home, but that her old friend Boyd Russell may be involved in a Nazi espionage ring. Boyd’s mission is to destroy her and her fellow women Air Force service pilots, the WASPs. Cutter must clear Kirby’s name of any wrongdoing by recovering the 70-year-old airplane crash.

Tillinghast’s parents both flew fighter aircraft in World War II, and after his mother received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010, he wrote “Kittyhawks” to honor them for their service. “These courageous women had flown every military aircraft to free up men to fly in combat,” he says. “Every woman military pilot today owes a debt of gratitude to these first brave pioneers.”

Tillinghast is a Vietnam veteran, and has worked with the military department for several years. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon, and has written fiction all his life. He is currently working on his second novel about counterterrorism in America.

“Kittyhawks” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other online book sellers.

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