F-18 Super Hornets (03:30)
Lt. Cmdr. Beth "Gabby" Creighton was among the combat pilots performing bombing missions in Afghanistan. She and other women combat pilots fly the most elite jet in the world.
Women Combat Pilots (04:36)
Women were not allowed on aircraft carriers until 1993. Major Maria "Baja" Marion was one of the first women combat pilots in the United States Air Force. She commanded a unit of fighter jets over Iraq.
Women in Early Aviation (06:36)
Catherine Wright was the sister, financial backer, and publicist of her brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright. Harriet Quimby was the first woman to get an aviation license in 1910. As aviation popularity grew, Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
Military Aviation (01:42)
By 1912, the Wright brothers were building planes for military uses. World War I was the first war to include combat aviation. Women were not allowed in the Air Service but flew in military exhibitions.
Women Pilots in World War II (07:15)
Women were not allowed, even in support rules; pilots Jackie Cochran and Nancy Love argued with the military. After Pearl Harbor, the WASPs were created. More than 1,000 women pilots ferried planes, did test flights, and completed military assignments.
Treatment of WASPs (03:53)
The WASPs were never militarized and considered civilians; the 38 that died never received recognition. Returning male pilots used a media campaign to smear the WASPs as unqualified and wasteful. The WASPs were disbanded in 1944 and the pilots received no military benefits.
Combat Exclusion Law (08:47)
Women were permitted to enter the military in 1948, but with a combat exclusion. After the Vietnam War, women were allowed in the Navy's air division but could only fly transport and evacuation flights. Kara Hultgreen was among the pilots who helped overturn the law in 1994.
Modern Women Pilots (07:39)
Today, women are fully integrated as combat pilots. They are a part of the F-18 Super Hornet units that ensure global defense for the United States. In 2002, one of the 38 WASPs who died received a military funeral.
Credits: Women Combat Pilots: The Right Stuff (00:46)
Credits: Women Combat Pilots: The Right Stuff
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