“Oh, Pop, we made a nighttime formation take off between smudge pots lining the runways. I’ll never in all my life forget that ride! We were nearly touching the other plane, guided only by small lights and the flare of the exhaust. The rapidly fading field looked like a million small fires.”
Dorothy’s letters put you in the aircraft with her. Her voice transcends the years.
Personal stories from 40 daring women who lived the story that IS the legacy of the Ferrying Division, Air Transport Command: Decades ahead of their time, these women ferried the Army’s newest aircraft to the docks to be shipped abroad to the battlefront — or wherever else in the U.S. they might be needed.
Fly the skies over America with three fictional heroines, Annie, Clare and Midge, who become WASP ferry pilots. Meet them on December 7, 1941, and live WWII with them into summer 1945. Through them, you will get to know real-life WASP leaders Nancy Love and Jackie Cochran.
“Nancy’s story comes straight from my heart. We were best friends her final year. She flew P-47s, P-51s, heroic stuff to this child of WWII! Nancy chose me to write the story of her beloved WAFS. THE ORIGINALS is as much her book as it is mine. Then I chose to write her story — the sometimes painful but inspirational portrait of a patriot.” – Sarah Byrn Rickman, 2017
Nancy Love, with General William H. Tunner, created THE workable concept for women pilots to ferry aircraft for the US military and successfully led her WASP to do just that. By September 1944, she had 134 civilian women pilots delivering three-fifths of all single-engine pursuit aircraft coming off factory assembly lines.
How? Read her story and find out.
Lacy Stearns swallows her fear of flying to become a WASP and fly in place of her husband who dies in a B-24 crash early in the war. She and her friends fly, live, love and, because it is wartime, lose loved ones. World War II tested the mettle of a generation — men and women. The WASP were not found wanting.
Twenty-eight women with at least 500 flying hours, commercial licenses and 200-horsepower ratings, answered their country’s call and joined the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. Founder Nancy Love led them from flying trainers to ferrying fighters to U.S. ports for shipment to combat. Personal stories and history blend in this first book about the WAFS.
Air Transport Command
World War II
WASP of the Ferry Command *
“Thanks to Rickman’s devotion to historical accuracy and a gift of storytelling, the adventures, heartaches and triumphs of these inspiring trailblazers will not be forgotten. Get set to ride along with each of these dynamic and patriotic young women as they wing their way into history.”— Ron Kaplan, Enshrinement Director, National Aviation Hall of Fame
* Sarah Byrn Rickman was awarded the Combs Gates Award, given annually by the National Aviation Hall of Fame for creative projects that “reflect an emphasis on the individual pioneers — the people — who defined America’s aerospace horizons.
Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II
“Sarah Rickman tells this story in the exciting style of the journalist she once was. … The writing is so fresh, you often have the sense that you are discovering new things about Love right along with the author. … Rickman has done her subject justice; this is a book rich in insight and opportunity.” — From the Foreword by Deborah G. Douglas, Curator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum
The Originals: The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II
“I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. I looked forward every night to flying with the WAFS. While I was cozy in bed by 10 pm, the rest of me was hanging around with the girls. … I knew what it was like to get up at o’dark thirty for formation and then wait all day for the weather to clear. … When they came down with the flu, I wanted to curl up and die right along with them. But, of course, it was our commitment to the mission that made us crawl like death warmed over out of bed and into the cockpit to fly. For three nights last week I was a WAFS.” — Ann Hollingsworth Patrie, LTC, USAR, Veteran Aviator, Desert Storm, UH-1 Medivac Pilot