In the United States there is much going on concerning female veterans of the Second Worldwar. After nearly 70 years recognition for their war efforts is still not happened.
Sarah Byrn Rickman wrote several books about the WASPs -the women who joined the Women’s Air Service Pilots and she has written an interesting article in the New York Times in which she stand in the breach for these veterans to get them the military honour they deserve.
The WASPs were necessary as more men were sent to the frontlines. Planes had to be flown from factories to the docks to ship them to England. But also repaired aircrafts had to be tested; and nonflying personnel had to be transported. Several women who had their flying licences volunteered and soon the group grew. Over 1000 women flew all kind of aircrafts, in the beginning only small ones, but as the war lasted, they flew bigger planes.
After the war there were no decorations, neither did they get the military status. And today, after 70 years, when a female veteran dies, her family doesn’t get permission to be buried on Arlington!
Thank God, there are women like Sarah Bynr Rickman and many others, who want to restore this terrible mistake in history. All women in countries who were occupied by the Nazi’s should pay their respects to these brave women in one way or the other. We owe it to them, because they were part of the warefforts, so we all can live in peace for 70 years now.
Read the article of Sarah Byrn Rickman: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/21/opinion/sunday/the-female-pilots-we-betrayed.html
When Elaine Harmon died at the age of 95, she had hoped her ashes would laid to rest at Arlington. Elaine Harmon was a WASP –Women Airforce Service Pilots in the Second World War. But a new rule decided otherwise: no women are allowed at Arlington, because the cemetary is running out of space.
From the moment that the WASP- program was started in 1942, General Henry H. ‘Hap’Arnold hoped the women would get the full military status, but that never happened and today even after their death this status is still denied.
The WASP was founded in the summer of 1941 on initiative of Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran and test-pilot Nancy Harkness Love. The United Kingdom had already a program for women to become a non-combattant flyer, which was called the ATA- Air Transport Auxiliary and Jackie Cochran was determinded to start a similar program in the United States of America. When female pilots flew aircraft from factories to military bases, this would free the male pilots to fly warmissions. Many American female pilots followed Cochran to Britain and became members of the ATA.
However, the American Airforce ran out of male pilots because of the war, so there was no alternative than to draft women for a transport unit. The WASP was born with Cochran in command. Over 1.000 women joined the program from 1942 till 1944. They flew sixty million miles of operational flights from aircraft factories to ports of embarkation and military training bases. They also towed targets for live anti-aircraft artillery practice, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo. But after the war all these women were soon to be forgotten. After decades of lobbying, the WASP finally earned veteran status, but they were not guaranteed military burial rights.
Tiffany Miller has started a petition to change this ridiculous rule. Let us never forget the warefforts of military nor civilians, men nor women!
Op 8 september jl. overleed de eerste vrouwelijke militair, Francien de Zeeuw, op 93-jarige leeftijd.
Tijdens de oorlogsjaren zat zij in het verzet. Tegen het eind van de oorlog stond ze aan de wieg van de Marva -Marine Vrouwenafdeling van de krijgsmacht.
Francien de Zeeuw werd geroemd om haar heldhaftigheid en haar risicovolle verzetsdaden.
Voor meer over Francien de Zeeuw en de Marva: zie hier
She was called “the bravest of us all”.
Violette Reine Elizabeth Szabo was born in France, but during Second World War she became a member of Special Operations Executive -a Britsh organization who send special agents and saboteurs to foreign countries, occupied by the Nazis. Szabo was one of those agents. She was send by the SOE to occupied France.
She was an excellent agent, but unfortunately she was caught by the German army and executed in the concentration camp for women: Ravensbrück.
After the war Violette Szabo was awarded posthumously with the George Cross for her merites.
Her daughter has to sell this medal, because of her own bad financial situation.
Read more about this special agent and the sell by her daughter:
on May 2 a ceremony was held at the Dutch embassy in Washington specially for all the ‘Rosie the Riveters’during the war. This was the announcement for that event:
In honor of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II, the Royal Netherlands Embassy; Thanks! Plain and Simple; DC Dutch; and Dr. Hugo Keesing will recognize the remarkable women known as Rosie the Riveter, or Rosies, for their contributions to the war effort.
The Rosies, to be honored at the Royal Netherlands Embassy, are in their 90s. They represent the nearly 6 million American women who worked on the home front during World War II. As civilians, Rosies joined the war-time workforce and did what many considered, “man’s work.” These trailblazing women worked as riveters, welders, sheet-metal workers, farmhands and more.
The people of the Netherlands were direct beneficiaries of the work of the Rosies. In 1945, thousands of Dutch citizens were starving, but B17 planes built by the Rosies and flown during “Operation Manna” dropped life-sustaining food.
At the recognition ceremony, Dutch Ambassador Rudolf Bekink and Defense Attaché Ralph Reefman will express their gratitude on behalf of the Dutch people to the Rosies for their efforts, which still resonate today.
Members of the media are invited to attend the ceremony. Rosies, their family members, Ambassador Bekink, and Defense Attache Reefman will be available to speak with the press.
She was a pioneer on warphotography: Margaret Bourke -White. She made interesting pictures of female factory workers during World War II for Life -magazine. From all her pictures 24 are chosen to be publish in an article on the website of Time. They show the great diversity of work that women performed in the factories.