About WASP Publishing
WASP Publishing was founded on the beautiful idea that women are strong, no matter what they choose to do in life. To celebrate the belief, WASP Publishing’s name was chosen in honor of the Women Airforce Service Pilots from World War II. These brave women pilots broke the gender barriers of the 1940s era and stepped up to serve their country with great courage. To learn more about the dedicated women pilots, please visit below.
Similar to the Women Airforce Service Pilots, WASP Publishing is dedicated to publishing and providing readers with strong female leads, who fly above and beyond limitations. Many books published through WASP Publishing include women-loving-women and celebrate lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, pansexual, intersex, and/or transgender characters. All fictional books promote and celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community.
WASP Publishing provides both print and ebook formats. Currently the books are available and for sale through retailers such as Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, Google Play, Apple iBooks, and Nook.
Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)
When the United States of America entered into World War II, men were joining the military to go into combat and this left a large gap on the workforce, especially in manufacturing, industrial, and service jobs, which were important to the war effort. As a result, the US government encouraged women to fill the void in effort to support the war effort. One special push was for the male pilots performing no-combat duties to be freed up by women pilots taking over their responsibilities so the male pilots could step into combat positions. In 1942, the early beginnings of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) started in the United States.
WASP was founded on August 5, 1943 under the United States Army Airforce and was led by Nancy Love and General Henry H. Arnold. The WASP program had over 25,000 applicants but just over a thousand were accepted into the program, of which the female pilot had to be between 21 and 25 years old, have a current pilot’s license, and 500 hours of flight time. All women pilots were trained in a similar fashion as their male counterparts. Their ground training included such topics as Morse code, meteorology, military law, physics, aircraft mechanics, navigation, and actual flight time. After the women pilots completed training, they were the first ever to fly US military airplanes.
Once training was completed, WASPs were spread out across the country to assist the Airforce with their airplanes. Their main reasonability was to fly new airplanes from the factories to their bases, which was known as ferrying missions. Altogether, the WASP ferried over 12,000 airplanes. Other duties included testing repaired airplanes, towing targets for ground artillery shooting practice, strafing missions, and transported cargo.
One tale about the WASP’s skills with airplanes was when the male pilots complained about flying the B-29 Super Fortress due to its difficulty. Two WASPs, Dorthea Johnson and Dora Dougherty Strother, were asked to fly the B-29 between bases. The hope was that having two female pilots fly the B-29 would embarrass the male pilots and end their resistance. After successfully flying the B-29, the male pilots no longer groused about flying the B-29.
As the war began to wind down, the WASPs and General Henry H. Arnold attempted to appeal to the military and the government to continue the program. However, opposition argued that the women pilots should return home rather than taking jobs away from male pilots. By December 20, 1944, the WASP program was dissolved. Sadly, the WASPs were not recognized as military but rather US Federal civil service employees and couldn’t collect any military benefits.
Following the end of the WASP program, women pilots struggled to find jobs, especially in the aviation field. Airlines turned away WASPs under the concern that the public would be appalled by female pilots. However, the United States Air Force did offer WASPs commissioned positions but only administrative duties rather than flying.
In the coming years, WASPs and supporters fought to earn veteran status for all members of the WASP program. It wasn’t until 1977 that President Jimmy Carter signed the G.I. Improvement Act that finally gave WASPs veteran status and the benefits included with it. In 1984, the WASPs were awarded the World War II Victory Medal to honor their efforts. Then more recently on July 1, 2009, President Barrack Obama further awarded the WASPs with the Congressional Gold Medal to acknowledge the courageous women pilots, who gave to their country during a difficult time.
The WASP program is remembered by the National WASP WWII Museum located at the Avenger Airfield in Sweetwater, TX. Today, the WASPs continue to inspire and empower many women, both in aviation and outside of aviation.
WASP Publishing’s Pilot Logo
To commemorate both the Women Airforce Service Pilots and aviation, WASP Publishing commissioned the artist Turtleduckie to create a one-of-a-kind logo unique to only the company. The model for the logo is a miniature schnauzer named Pilot, who is outfitted with an aviation cap, goggles, and a scarf. Pinned to the scarf is the Women Airforce Service Pilots’ badge. Behind Pilot is the blue skies with the silhouettes of the aircrafts that the Women Airforce Service Pilots would have flown in the 1940s.
WASP Publishing is truly grateful to Turtleduckie for her skill, time, talent, and beautiful artwork to bring the logo to life.