The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) has awarded its Seventh Annual Combs Gates Award to author and historian Sarah Bryn Rickman and her trilogy based on the Women Pilots of the Ferry Command.
Rickman receive a $20,000 cash award in recognition of her research on women pilots during World War II, according to hall of fame officials.
Rickman’s trilogy explores the stories of the women pilots flying for the Army Air Corps during World War II. With exceptional research and first-hand interviews, Rickman brings out the real story of women pilots who flew more than 9 million miles in 72 different warplane models, officials said.
The first book of the series is “Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II.” This biography focuses on Nancy Love as the first visionary, founder and leader of the first squadron of women ferry pilots and later executive for all WASP pilots flying in the Ferrying Division. The second book, “The Originals: The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II” is the history of the 28 professional women pilots comprised Love’s original ferrying squadron – the first women in the U.S. to fly for the Army. Rickman’s third book, tentatively titled “Wasp in the Ferry Command,” will focus on the women who flew for the Ferrying Division in 1943-1944, graduating from Jackie Cochran’s’ Sweetwater training facility.
The Combs Award grew out of a donation to the NAHF by the late Harry Combs, a 1996 enshrinee of the Hall of Fame. As part of his $1.3 million gift for the creation of a NAHF research center, Combs stipulated that the Combs Award be established to encourage and support relevant aviation history research and preservation efforts. A panel of expert judges reviews each submission based upon criteria, such as historical accuracy, creativity, potential for long-term impact, and value to the Hall of Fame mission of honoring America’s outstanding air and space pioneers.
For more information: NationalAviation.org.