In May the National WASP (Women’s Airforce Service Pilots) WWII Museum in Sweetwater, Texas acquired North American AT-6D 41-34166/N14166 from Courtesy Aircraft Sales of Rockford, Illinois. It joins three other types the WASP pilots trained on, a Boeing Stearman PT-17, Fairchild PT-19 and Vultee BT-13, all of which are airworthy.
Following Pearl Harbor, the US Army was desperate for pilots to deliver newly built trainer aircraft to flight schools in the southern USA. Twenty-eight experienced civilian women pilots volunteered, forming the country’s first female squadron in the late summer of 1942. Between November 1942 and December 1944, 1,074 more women were trained to fly, initially in Houston and then at Avenger Field in Sweetwater. Nancy Harkness Love, who competed in the National Air Races in 1936-37, and record-breaker and air racer Jacqueline Cochran founded the two programmes — the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron and Women’s Flying Training Detachment — that became the WASP.