A new feature film that promises to tell the true story of the Women Airfare Service Pilots (WASP) is now in pre-production.
Producers are Sheila Johnson, Bo Derek, Mark Sennet and David Greenhill, with a screenplay by award-winning writer B. Garida based on the book “Santiago Rhythm and Blues” by Lt. Col. Andra Higgs.
The film follows aviation pioneers Jacqueline Cochran and Nancy Love as they formed the first group of women pilots who flew for the United States military during World War II.
“History is made when stories of greatness are shared. But for too long, history has been just that: HIS story. These women aviators did incredible things for both our country and the world. I can’t wait to share their amazing experience with a new generation,” said Johnson, executive producer, CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts and co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET).
WASP will celebrate the heroics of these women during World War II and honor their struggles for recognition in the following years, including obtaining veteran status in 1977, the 2009 awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the group for exemplary service, and the passage of the 2016 law conferring the pilots’ right to burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
Between 1942 and 1945, 38 WASP pilots sacrificed their lives in the service of their country.
“As a former Time-Life photojournalist, I love uncovering heroic stories. As a producer, I take great pride in sharing the amazing accomplishments of these women,” said Mark Sennet. “The story of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots was lost and forgotten for decades, but more than one thousand courageous women flew for the WASP logging more than 60 million miles in every single aircraft in the Army Air Corps’ arsenal during World War II.”
“General ‘Hap’ Arnold is widely regarded as the father of the United States Air Force. I respectfully submit that Jackie Cochran is therefore the ‘mother of the Air Force.’ Her WASP unit was the first to wear the Air Force blue uniform. The distinctive achievements Jackie and her 1,078 WASP logged on behalf of our nation is nothing short of exceptionally extraordinary,” said Lt. Col. Andra Higgs of the United States Air Force.
Dr. William Hasselberger, Craig Sheftell, and Aleco Bravo Greenberg round out the team who will produce the film.