December 21, 2017
Recently, wing members discovered that during World War II this PT-17 was stationed at Avenger Field, the home of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). This PT-17 Stearman was likely used to provide these trailblazing women pilots their first taste of flying “the Army way.” With the airplane’s authentic wartime history discovered, wing members began discussing how the airplane should be painted and marked to reflect its unique wartime service. A plan is now in place to re-cover and re-mark the airplane. Given the airplane’s history it will now fly as a tribute to and share the story of the WASP with students in the region. CAF units are seeing a tremendous response from communities by engaging and empowering students by sharing the lessons of the greatest generation. Students attracted to the vintage and colorful aircraft are also able to draw inspiration from the dedication, courage and perseverance exhibited by the men and women of American Aviation. There is additional hope that, after hearing stories of women who found a place in the cockpit, more young women will embrace STEM careers and educational paths.