I was a woman pilot in 1945: a memoir of a WASP trainee

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I was a woman pilot in 1945: a memoir of a WASP trainee

A day to day account of the experiences of Winnie LoPinto as a WASP trainee at Avenger Field TX

Authored by Winnie LoPinto, Lidia LoPinto
Edition: 4

Winnie LoPinto wrote "Go Home Little Fifinella" as a young woman after returning from Texas in 1944 from her training as a WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots). She had great dreams of becoming a pilot then and that is why she volunteered to serve at the risk of her own life with the WASP, just for the chance to fly. Her biographical account of her experiences as a WASP trainee in Sweetwater Texas is full of the language and favor of the time. Her lively style allow us relive those times along with her. The exhilaration and the adventure of youth and the disappointments that follow. It has delighted thousands of visitors who originally downloaded it from her web site and brought tears to the eyes of those who knew her. Winnie is a young woman with great dreams of becoming a pilot.
She joins the WASP in hope of serving her country and do what she loved since she was a little girl, fly! Winnie was a slight woman, barely 100 pounds. Her legs didn't reach the brakes in certain models and she often loosened her seatbelt to try to slide down, at great risk of her life. In one occasion she nearly fell out, and in another her hands were so cold riding in an open cabin in 32 degree whether, they did not respond and she almost lost control.
According to the instructors, that kind of whether would ground male pilots, but the WASP were tested to the absolute limit for reasons revealed in the book. One of Winnie's friends from the WASP was browsing the web and found this book. She sent a wonderful letter where she clarified that at one point, women needed only 30 hours of flight time to join toward the end of the program!
We begin to understand, through this story, the profound effect the WASP program had on the women's right movement of the 70's and the backlash that followed. The experience as a WASP trainee changed Winnie's life for ever.
"Tonight I was reading your Aunt's book. I just sat there and cried because it brought back so many memories as a young boy 10 yrs old growing up everyday watching and listening to the drone of training planes flying over day and night. I lived on the west side of Sweetwater. My dreams were to fly myself but I never qualified to fly and so I became a gunner on B-29 in Korea. I hurt so much when there was a crash at Avenger Field. These women were SO courageous and SO determined that I never forgot and always wanted to wanted to praise them. Thank for sharing." --Patrick Purcell Dallas/Grand Prairie, TX.

WOW! This blew me away! I'm fascinated! My name is Susan Hansen. I happened to see a public TV program here about the Wasps2 years ago. I have been so fascinated with their stories. Thank you for this very precious story. I will treasure it forever. I've been looking and looking for more info. Not enough is published about the girls. I've even been up to EAA in Oshgosh. --Susie Hansen
Lidia LoPinto is an engineer, technical writer and author. She and her husband Charles LoPinto, Winnie's favorite nephew (as she called him) publish environmental novels.

Publication Date:
1491283475 / 9781491283479
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Women

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