Segments in this Video

Lorraine Zilner Rodgers: Introduction (01:28)


Rodgers worked as a clerk in a Douglas Aviation factory when she went on her first flight. She underwent flight training and joined WASP.

Rodgers' Early Years (02:42)

Rodgers was born in Chicago, IL in 1920. She recalls her fascination with planes. After graduating college, she worked for the Austin Company and transferred to Douglas Aviation; a test pilot took her on her first flight. Experts reflect on Jacqueline Cochran.

Women Air Force Service Pilots (04:03)

Cochran developed a formal proposal for a female military corps to take control of non-combat flight roles. While she was out of the country, the Army implemented the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. Cochran eventually obtained control and recruited women, including Rodgers, to the WASP program.

WASP Training (03:24)

Rodgers arrived at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX for training; she recalls her flight gear. The Army paid wages, but charged the women for room and board. Rodgers recalls the strict rules and regulations, and the joy of flying.

Flying Incident (03:14)

Rodgers studied hard and did well on tests. She recalls her plane going into an inverted spin; she had to eject and went back to flying the same day. An investigation revealed that someone cut her plane's control cables.

Plane Ferrying (02:28)

Rodgers earned her wings and was assigned to the 5th Ferrying Group. She recalls testing planes as they came off the assembly line, taking them to their destination, and the reactions of male crews.

Female vs Male Pilots (02:47)

WASP pilots earned respect on the flight lines, but created controversy in Washington; Congress refused to give them full military status. Women performed the same duties as their male counterparts and faced the same dangers, but earned less money and had no military life insurance. Rodgers reflects on the deaths of WASP pilots.

After WASP (02:38)

Rodgers transferred to Waco Army Base as a maintenance test pilot for a few months before the WASP program ended in 1944. She started work at Glenview Naval Air Station, got married and had children. WASP members were finally recognized for their contributions in 1977.

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Lorraine Zilner Rodgers (00:33)

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Lorraine Zilner Rodgers

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Legends of Air Power: Lorraine Zilner Rodgers

Part of the Series : Legends of Air Power
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Lorraine Zilner Rodgers was a member of The Women Airforce Service Pilots, known as the WASP, the first group of women pilots to serve the United States Army Air Force in WWII. Out of 25,000 women who applied to the program, Rodgers was one out of 1830 who were accepted. Given the task of ferrying aircraft across the country, to allow the men to be available for combat, Rodgers often had to deal with the stigma of being a woman pilot. The WASP did everything the men did with equal ability, but lacked the equality of full military benefits. After many years of fighting for military recognition, Rodgers and her fellow female pilots received their veteran status on March 8, 1979 and cemented their roles in WWII, as well as the history of aviation.

Length: 24 minutes

Item#: BVL129039

ISBN: 978-1-64023-488-8

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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