The International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) has produced a collectible deck of playing cards honoring Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II. The cards are available at the museum gift shop and online store.
Between 1942-1944, 1,102 women served the United States as Women Airforce Service Pilots. The WASP collectively flew more than 60 million miles in 77 different kinds of aircraft. The women ferried planes, towed targets, gave flying instruction to male cadets and more. The women were not permitted to fly combat missions but their contribution to the war effort was essential to the success of the U.S. military. Thirty-eight of these women lost their lives in service to their country. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama signed a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the WASP. The women are expected to receive their medals in the spring of 2010.
Friends and family members of WASP around the country sponsored cards honoring the women, which feature photographs taken during their WASP service and facts about the flyers. Included in the deck are Jacqueline Cochran, commander of the WASP, Nancy Harkness Love, head of the ferrying division, and more than 50 other women who served their country as WASP.
The International Women’s Air & Space Museum has an extensive collection and permanent exhibit on the WASP. The exhibit includes a uniform, aircraft engine, a tribute to the 38 who lost their lives, and other artifacts and photographs.
The museum has produced 1,000 decks, which sell for $10 per deck. The cards can also be ordered by telephone (216-623-1111) or through the museum’s online store.
The International Women’s Air & Space Museum is located in the Burke Lakefront Airport terminal building in Cleveland, Ohio. Museum admission is free and exhibits are open 8 a.m.–8 p.m. daily. The Fay Gillis Wells Research Center and Gift Shop are open 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.