There is so much that can be said about the Women Airforce Service Pilot of WWII. So, so much. Let us start, for now, with why they are mentioned on a page about a book series that is set in the 1930’s and deals with the mafia, and as time permits, specific information about the WASP will be added rather than just links and video.
So. This series ends in the 1940’s.
In early 2022, Noëlle decided that the character of Josephine Harrison should be a WASP in the The Wars Years books, books which were inspired upon learning that the US government and the mafia worked together during WWII. No one hated fascists more than the US mafia, and no one hated the US mafia more than the Italian mafia and Mussolini. As a lifelong admirer of the WASP, Noëlle saw a chance to write about then, and had the perfect character for it. But when she mentioned this in a writing group, the reactions weren’t what she expected.
”White anglo saxon protestant? Oooookaaaayy.” (Another use of the acronym.)
And more confusion. Noëlle was astounded that no one knew who they were, and so she went to Lisa to, as she admits, complain about this. As Lisa is from where the WASP trained, and they were so important, surely…but Lisa was also unsure about who they were.
So what started out as a mostly-off-screen storyline, though with major repercussion in the story, sprouted into something much, much larger. The decision was made to fully show Josephine’s story fully, but more, the book in the series that will detail her time as a WASP will also be edited as a stand-alone novel that will not require the rest of the series to understand.
Now, Lisa and the writing group not being familiar with the WASP wasn’t so much ignorance as it was that the WASP were pretty intentionally erased from history until the 1970’s, and so a generation of teachers grew up knowing nothing, so had nothing to teach the next generation. To this very day, there are many people living in the small town of Sweetwater, Texas, where they trained and have a national museum, who don’t know who they are. Noëlle knowing is a fluke—her grandmother, who was a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC, or jut WAC), had friends who were WASP, and as a child, the two of them went to Castle Air Force Base on weekends for some grandma/granddaughter thing, and Noëlle met some of them, and thought that that was normal.
Since this discovery, Noëlle has made it a mission to spread the word about these women, both through sharing their story directly, and through an exhibit she is working on. This exhibit will be a long-term project as it is self-funded by someone who isn’t a millionaire. If it weren’t for writing these books, Noëlle may never have known that the WASP were so unknown. She is now also working on putting together an exhibitputting together an exhibit, which will be a long-term project as it’s self-funded, and obtaining artifacts is extremely expensive due to both scarcity on the first place, and so much of that there is getting funneled to one of just a few museums and archived.
To learn more about the WASP, we recommend starting with the Wiki article about the WASP. It’s actually very good.
Noëlle has also compiled a playlist of videos that she can recommend about the WASP. This is the best single video Noëlle has found about the WASP:
A great short video:
And an interesting older video:
We hope you will join us in appreciating what these women did for us, and that that the job we do to Josie and her story, and by virture, their story, will be done justice.