“The right place at the right time” put BJ Erickson and 1,100 more young women pilots in the cockpits of America’s WWII warplanes — just when they were most urgently needed. Like an adventure novel, the true story of the WASP ferry pilots’ role unfolds as they make history.

BJ Erickson blazed a trail for the women of my generation. I know, I was part of the 1980 US Air Force Academy Class—the first to graduate women!

BJ Erickson: WASP Pilot, is an amazing story that will challenge today’s young women to blaze new trails as BJ did, no matter the obstacles.

–Margaret “Peggy” Dennis Carnahan
Lieutenant Colonel, USAF Retired; Captain, Netjets Aviation

To purchase this book...

BJ Erickson: WASP Pilot
By Sarah Byrn Rickman

ISBN 978-0-86541-247-7
E-book available

March, 2018
Aviation / Women in Aviation, Women in History
6 x 9, 161 pages; bibliography
63 black and white photos

From Filter Press, LLC, also available in bookstores and online.
Order from Filter Press by calling

Finding Dorothy Scott

Letters of a WASP Pilot

I received a call from the WASP Archives at Texas Woman’s University. Dorothy Scott’s twin brother, Edward, had donated Dorothy’s letters written to her family while she was on active duty as a WAFS/WASP between November 21, 1942, and December 3, 1943. A window to Dorothy Scott had opened. Was I interested?

Sitting in the Research Room in the library—surrounded by WASP memorabilia, books about the WASP, and archival boxes containing collections of WASP’s papers and photographs—I “met” Dorothy.

Some of her letters lay unfolded in the archival file folders, but most were still in their envelopes. The paper was crinkly but intact and fragile along the folds. Experiencing the letters was like taking literary communion.

They beckoned to me to “take, read.”

The first page of the first letter bore the wing insignia of the Air Transport Command.

Thanksgiving, 1942 [November 26]

Dear Mom:

To attempt to set down in writing all the events of the past two weeks seems a Herculean task but here goes.

To purchase this book...

Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot
By Sarah Byrn Rickman

ISBN 978-0-89672-972-8
E-book available

May, 2016
Aviation / Military History
6 x 9, 288 pages; index
36 black and white photos

From Texas Tech University Press
Order from Texas Tech University Press by calling
(806) 742-2982 — also available in bookstores and online.

WASP of the Ferry Command

women pilots, uncommon deeds

Winner of the Seventh Annual Combs Gates Award by the National Aviation Hall of Fame for her outstanding work on the women pilots of World War II.

“This is an illuminating and deeply researched book on the role of women during a pivotal time in US military history. Sarah Rickman’s passion for this subject is evident in her detailed accounts. I discovered part of my family’s history that I had never known.” – Suzanne Tunner Hudson, daughter of the Commanding Officer of the Ferrying Division (1942-1944) Gen. William H. Tunner and WASP Margaret Ann Hamilton (Tunner).

“These courageous women were decades ahead of their time. They served their country when called. Sarah Rickman tells their story through meticulous research and personal interviews with these amazing pilots and their families.” – Robert Baker Patterson, grandson of Col. Robert H. Baker, Commanding Officer of the WAFS, New Castle Army Air Base, Wilmington, DE, 1942-Fall 1943.

To purchase this book...

WASP of the Ferry Command
Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds
By Sarah Byrn Rickman with Foreword by Deborah G. Douglas

ISBN 978-1-57441-677-0
$13.99 – Kindle Edition

January, 2017
History – Military/Women’s Studies/World War II
6 x 9, 416 pages; Notes, Bibliography, Index
47 black and white photos

From the University of North Texas Press

Flight to Destiny

a WASP novel

“I was one of Nancy Love’s ferry pilots, flying those lovely P-51s out of Long Beach. No one but a WASP ferry pilot understands what it was like, but Sarah’s book gets down to the grass roots and rings true with me.”
-WASP Jean Landis, Class 43-4
stationed with the 6th Ferrying Group
Air Transport Command, Long Beach, CA, 1944

“Sarah, you got it right. In Flight to Destiny, your description of the approach and entrance to Bluie West One (BW-1) and the flight up the fjord is not only accurate, it is exactly as I remember it. [pages 223-5] — The weather station at Bluie Three at the mouth of the fjord, flying between all those mountains. I was scared to death we were going to hit one of them.

We started looking for the sunken German freighter, spotted it, and then the runway off to the right — beginning at the water’s edge and running uphill ending at the icecap.

You called it ‘the glacier,’ we called it the icecap. By 1954, the runway was concrete rather than the pierced steel planking over pea gravel that you describe. Otherwise, everything was the same.”
-George O’Brien, retired USAF
who served in Greenland at BW-1 in 1954-55

To purchase this book...

Flight to Destiny
A WASP Novel

By Sarah Byrn Rickman

ISBN 978-1-57074-110-4

February, 2017, Second Edition
6 x 9, 242 pages

From Braughler Books

Nancy Batson Crews

Alabama’s First Lady of Flight

… the story of an uncommon woman:

  • high school cheerleader
  • campus queen
  • airplane pilot
  • wife
  • mother
  • politician
  • businesswoman

Born in 1960, right? Just in time to benefit from the Women’s Movement.

Wrong! Born in 1920. As a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), she flew airplanes for the U.S. Army in World War II.

The women pilots shuttled top-priority P-38, P-47, and P-51 high-performance aircraft from the factories to the docks.

After the war Crews raised a family but returned to aviation in her forties. She flight instructed, flew in air races, towed and also flew gliders, and owned her own flight service business.

She flew as copilot in a corporate turbo jet at age 80, and finally returned to her airplane of choice, the J-3 Cub.

To purchase this book...

Nancy Batson Crews
Alabama’s First Lady of Flight
By Sarah Byrn Rickman with Foreword by Jane Kirkpatrick

ISBN 978-0-8173-5553-1
$23.66 – Kindle Edition

August, 2009
6 x 9, 207 pages

From the University of Alabama Press

Nancy Love

and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II

Nancy Love flew the P-51 and the P-38, but the four-engine B-17 Flying Fortress was her forté.

The Army needed pilots to “ferry” trainer airplanes to flight training bases. Nancy Love led the first squadron of 28 women pilots who ferried those military aircraft for the U.S. Army in World War II.

Later, when the Army needed the women to ferry combat-bound pursuit aircraft to the docks for overseas deployment, Love won the right for her women pilots to fly more complex airplanes. She checked out on 23 different military aircraft and became the first woman to fly several of them, including the B-17.

Nancy Love believed that military women should be given the same opportunities as the men to prove their abilities and mettle. Young women serving today as combat pilots owe much to Love for creating the opportunity for women to serve.

To purchase this book...

Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II
By Sarah Byrn Rickman with Foreword by Deborah G. Douglas

ISBN 978-1-57741-576-6
$9.95 Kindle Edition

January 2008
6.25 x 9.25, 353 pages

From the University of North Texas Press

Flight from Fear

A WASP Novel

It’s been a year since the U.S. joined the fight, but World War II is not going well for the Allies. Lacy Stearns’ pilot husband, John, has been killed in the crash of his B-24 in England. Now Lacy has one burning desire — to fly for her country in her husband’s place.

Swallowing the fear that turns her stomach to jelly when she sets foot in an airplane, Lacy earns her private pilot’s license, is accepted into the WASP program in Sweetwater, Texas, and learns to fly “the Army way.” She is assigned to ferry Army airplanes around the U.S.

New friends she meets along the way help her begin to live beyond John’s loss and teach her how to survive. But the war is far from over, and fate still has other obstacles for Lacy to overcome.

Flight from Fear (fiction, from Disc-Us Books, Inc, 2002) was a Finalist in the Original Softcover Category of the 2003 WILLA Literary Competition, sponsored by Women Writing the West.

To purchase this book...

From Disc-Us Books Inc.

Flight From Fear
A WASP Novel
By Sarah Byrn Rickman

October, 2002
6 x 9, 246 pages

ISBN 1-58444-273-5
Second Edition due Fall 2017

The Originals

The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II

Who were The Originals?

  • Experienced women pilots – the first to fly for the U.S. military
  • 28 women who dared to challenge 1940s barriers of gender, politics and bureaucracy
  • Farm girls, socialites, daughters of working families, college graduates; from 15 different states; married and single; three with young children
  • Young women – ages 21 to 35
  • Three of them died serving their country
  • World War II heroines with “the Right Stuff”

Based on personal interviews with the nine who were still alive as of 2000, on papers and diaries, and on interviews and correspondence with descendants and others who knew them. This book tells the story of the WAFS, who they were, how they are different from the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots), and how they ultimately became part of the WASPs. A must reference book for libraries in aviation communities, but it reads like a novel.

To purchase this book...

From Braughler Books


Second Edition

The Originals: The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II

By Sarah Byrn Rickman

September 2017

6 x 9, 416 pages



ISBN 978-1-945091-38-4