Finding Dorothy Scott
Letters of a WASP Pilot
Sarah Byrn Rickman
More than eleven hundred women pilots flew military aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. These pioneering female aviators were known first as WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and eventually as WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Thirty-eight of them died while serving their country.
Dorothy Scott was one of the thirty-eight. She died in a mid-air crash at the age of twenty-three.
Born in 1920, Scott was a member of the first group of women selected to fly as ferry pilots for the Army Air Forces. Her story would have been lost had her twin brother, Edward, not donated her wartime letters home to the WASP Archives. Dorothy’s extraordinary voice, as heard through her lively letters, tells of her initial decision to serve, and then of her training and service, first as a part of the WAFS and then the WASP. The letters offer a window into the mind of a young, patriotic, funny, and ambitious young woman who was determined to use her piloting skills to help the US war effort. The letters also offer archival records of the day-to-day barracks life of these women flying military aircraft. The WASP received some long overdue recognition in 2010 when they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal—the highest honor that Congress can bestow on civilians. Yes, the WASP were civilians during WWII. It was 1977 before they were granted military status.
Author Sarah Byrn Rickman is editor of the official WASP of World War II newsletter for the WASP Archives, Texas Woman’s University. She is the author of six previous books about the WASP, and an amateur pilot.
From Texas Tech University Press
Aviation / Military History
6 x 9, 288 pages; index
36 half tones
$24.95 hardcover, 978-0-89672-972-8
Order from Texas Tech University Press by calling (806) 742-2982. | www.ttupress.org — And available in bookstores and online.
From Hall Ways
“Experiencing the letters was like taking literary communion. They beckoned to me to ‘take, read.’ ” … The writing is intelligent without being overly academic, and the research is outstanding. Rickman provides plenty of additional resources including a must read Preface (you’ll miss too much if you skip it).
From Jennifer Nandlal
As I read about Dorothy and the WAFS, I felt such a sense of feminine pride. … I was captivated by the details Dorothy put into her letters. It’s almost as if she somehow knew she would one day be letting us all into her world.
From Christena Stephens
You immediately meet Dorothy upon opening the book. She was a beautiful woman in 1942. Her photo sets the tone for what you are about to read on her brief time being an airforce pilot.