Unsung Heros


The Flyers Educational lesson/theme illustrates women in military aviation dating back to World War II. This theme focuses on the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II and the significant contributions they provided to the defense of America. Deanie Parrish, one of the last surviving WASP, will share her World War II experiences. The college curriculum associated with this theme will introduce academic tools and readings that will use the service of WASP as a foundation to discuss the role of women in military aviation to present day. The theme will also address: the post-World War II elimination of women in military aircraft as pilots for 30 years; the various significant initiatives in the 1970s to reintroduce women to military aviation; the evolution of women in military aviation from the 1980s through 1994 and how each branch of service approached the utilization of women pilots; and the current role of women in military aviation.

Francoise Bonnell, Ph.D., Director, U.S. Army Women’s Museum, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, (Ret)
Francoise Bonnell, Ph.D., is the director of the U.S. Army Women's Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia. She is an author and a recognized authority in women’s military history.
Nicole Malachowski, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force
Lieutenant Colonel Nicole Malachowski was the first female pilot to fly with the Thunderbirds. As a combat pilot, she flew 26 missions in an F-15, providing air-to-ground cover for troops fighting in Iraq.
Deanie Parrish, Women’s Airforce Service Pilots
Deanie Parrish served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. She logged hundreds of hours of flight time in numerous aircraft and made it her mission to convince Congress to award the long-neglected WASP the Congressional Gold Medal.
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