News Updates From Sarah

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Sarah Byrn Rickman Receives 2019 Combs Gates Award

September 26, 2019 — Sarah Byrn Rickman, author of 9 books about the WASP — the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II — has been named the recipient of the 17th Annual Combs-Gates Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF.)

The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) awarded Rickman’s two-volume young adult series, WASP Pilots, their 17th Annual Combs-Gates Award and a $20,000 cash prize. She will receive the honor at the National Business Aviation Association’s 72nd annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (BACE) in Las Vegas, NV on October 22, 2019.

The WASP Pilot series, written for readers age 10 and up, begins with two biographies — Nancy Love: WASP Pilot and BJ Erickson: WASP Pilot.  Love founded and commanded the first group of 28 experienced women pilots who flew as part of the U.S. Army Air Forces in fall 1942. Erickson commanded a squadron of 75 women ferry pilots attached to the 6th Ferrying Group, Long Beach, CA. She proved to be an exceptional leader and a versatile pilot, ferrying a wide range of Army aircraft, including the four-engine B-17 bomber.

Rickman also won this award in 2009 for her book WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds.

The Combs-Gates Award emphasizes the individual pioneers – the people – who defined America’s aerospace horizons. The award is named for Harry B. Combs and Charles C. Gates who shared the vision for historic preservation of this history.

Sarah worked as a reporter and columnist for The Detroit News, and, later, as editor of two suburban Ohio newspapers. She often speaks at national aviation conferences and is recognized as an authority on the women and history of the WASP. Rickman is also a pilot who flies a vintage tailwheel aircraft.

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WASP of the Ferry Command
IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN AUDIBLE BOOK

Click here to view and purchase.

OF NOTE:
WASP of the Ferry Command was awarded FIRST PLACE, NONFICTION 2018 in the Marjorie Davis Roller Nonfiction Award. The National League of American Pen Women, Inc., Published by the University of North Texas Press.

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Nancy Love: WASP Pilot
AVAILABLE MAY 25th, 2019

“With publication of her new YA book, Nancy Love: WASP Pilot, Sarah enhances her well-established reputation for bringing the stories of the WASP of WWII to life. If the subject is WASP, Sarah is THE expert.”

–TRISH BECKMAN Commander, US Navy (retired)

“Sarah has a gift for telling compelling stories about the WASP, the women pilots of World War II. Young readers will enthusiastically absorb her love for and fascination for this area of U.S. history.”

–ERIN MILLER, author of Final Flight Final Fight, chronicling the fight to have her, WASP grandmother buried at Arlington Cemetery

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BJ Erickson: WASP Pilot

BJ and Nancy Love flew Genevieve, a much-patched-up, war-weary B-17, to the graveyard — with loving care. She had to be flown at a greatly reduced airspeed because of a large red sign on the instrument panel that read, DO NOT RETRACT LANDING GEAR.

“Along the entire route, we tried to ignore intruders that flew by us and signaled — in a superior manner — that we’d forgotten to pull the landing gear up,” Nancy wrote. “We strongly suspected that the epithet ‘women drivers’ was being directed at us along with their hand signals.”

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Finding Dorothy Scott

“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.

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WASP of the Ferry Command

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.

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Flight to Destiny
Fiction

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.

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Nancy Batson Crews

“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

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Nancy Love and the WASP

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.

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Flight from Fear
Fiction

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.

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The Originals

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.

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a few words from
Sarah Byrn Rickman:

That I write about the WASP — the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II — is no secret.

For four incredible years, thanks to the influence of the WASP, I flew this little Aeronca Champ taildragger that I dearly loved. It is yellow with a red belly. Pictured at left: me and the Champ, November 15, 2010, the day I did my cross-country solo.

In my wildest dreams I fly a P-51 like my heroines, the WASP of the Ferry Command.

I asked Jenny Hancey, my graphic designer to create the logo at the top of this site for me — an old fashioned pen drawing a P-51 in flight. “Flight to Destiny” is borrowed from my WAFS novel of the same name — because we are allowed to dream.

So I invite you to come along and dream with me. More WASP books are coming as I do my darnedest to tell their incredible stories.

CLICK BELOW TO VIEW SARAH’S SCHEDULED APPEARANCES!

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Air Transport Command
World War II
Click on the ATC patch to read Sarah’s thumbnail history of the WAFS/WASP

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Click on the wings to read Sarah’s poem On Wings of Gold