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 I was a woman pilot in 1945

A true account of a woman pilot who also became a W.A.S.P. (Women Airforce Training Pilots) Trainee during World War II. Winnie LoPinto wrote the book which she titled Go Home Little Fifinella, in 1945 sometime after she returned from Avenger Field, the WASP training camp in Sweet Water Texas.

The story starts as she boards the train to Sweetwater, Texas, full of youthful enthusiasm. She vividly describes the activities at Avenger Field, the antics with the bay mates of W7, the flights, the instructors, and visits by Jacqueline Cochran and General Hap Arnold. This book provides a rare glimpse into the every-day experiences of WASP Avengerettes. You'll laugh, cry, and feel a part of that program through Winnie's colorful descriptions. You'll love the 40's language!

Want paper and electronic?  You get the Kindle free and with proof of purchase, you also get the Flipbook free. So go ahead and order the print version. This is a keepsake.

WASP (women air force training pilots) pilots flew dangerous planes by "the seat of their pants," with little instrumentation. Winnie was a slight woman, barely 100 pounds. Her legs didn't reach the brakes and she often loosened her seat belt to try to slide down, inside an open cabin and sometimes hanging upside down! It took a great deal of guts and skill to fly these old planes in freezing whether, but these gals did it! The trainees at her level had to train for an additional 250 hours to make it through and to keep up the pace and the money coming in to support the trainers, they had to go up in the worst weather, sometimes under conditions no man would be allowed to fly in!

Reviews:

Tonight I was reading your Aunt's book. I just sat there and cried because it brought back so many memories as a young boy 10 yrs old growing up everyday watching and listening to the drone of training planes flying over day and night. I lived on the west side of Sweetwater. My dreams were to fly myself but I never qualified to fly and so I became a gunner on B-29 in Korea. I hurt so much when there was a crash at Avenger Field. These women were SO courageous and SO determined that I never forgot and always wanted to wanted to praise them. Thank for sharing.

--Patrick Purcell, Dallas/Grand Prairie, TX.


WOW! This blew me away! I'm fascinated! My name is Susan Hansen. I happened to see a public TV program here about the Wasps2 years ago. I have been so fascinated with their stories. Thank you for this very precious story. I will treasure it forever. I've been looking and looking for more info. Not enough is published about the girls. I've even been up to EAA in Oshgosh.

--Susie Hansen


Beautifully written window into a WWII era woman pilot's aspirations and the WASP trainee experience  Winnie LoPinto is the firsthand author who wrote this piece shortly after her WASP training. Her narrative depicts a young woman with a sense of duty, integrity, innocence and great sense of humor. The dialogue between her and her fellow trainees brings to life this historical work. There was much to be learned by reading this book, and along the way I found myself taken in by the both humble and awe-inspiring woman who tells the story.

-- Carla  Khoury


 

...The fact that these girls, many of them still so young, had to come up against such nonsense is just despicable. The thing that bothers me so much about the whole thing is that they got away with it. They got away with discharging all those women not because they really couldn't perform but all in the name of money. All in all, a good read, but if you get emotionally involved in books you read as I do, it'll leave you feeling angry for all the young women who had to face some of those people and go through what they went through. It'll leave you with more respect for them, even if they never got to fly missions

--Julie Morales
 

From the Publisher

" I was a  Woman Pilot and a WASP trainee in 1945" is a true account of a woman pilot who also became a W.A.S.P. Trainee during World War II and what the government didn't tell you about the program!

We might think the times when women need to prove themselves in careers previously dominated by men are gone. In fields like engineering, medicine and law, we are making great strides toward equality--although not there yet. There are still those retrogressive forces actively working against women in these positions and diligently trying to prove that there are gender differences that prevent women from doing certain jobs, like piloting airplanes. Almost every industry reports gender salary gaps for women in technical and non-technical professions.

Women today can only overcome the remaining obstacles to gender equity if they understand the lessons from the past and that is why books like this, that describe real struggles are so important to young women. So they will not forget.

When I first met Winnie LoPinto, the author of Go Home Little Fifinella, I had no idea she was a pioneer woman pilot. When I visited my husband's aunt, I was a young woman engineer in the 70's, struggling myself in a male dominated career. She was elderly and living quietly at home with her dogs and grand-nephews visiting regularly. Her book was molding in the basement and she hardly spoke of her days as a pilot and working woman. It took some interviewing of Winnie and other women in the LoPinto family to discover that these women of the 40's were the pioneers that sparked the women's movement of my generation. Because they held "men's" jobs during the war they got a taste of independence for a while. They wanted very much to contribute to the end of the conflict and they never were truly happy returning to their roles as housewives or working in a world where women were still not compensated equally. They were angry at the inequalities of the day and passed this anger on to the women that fueled the women's movement in the 70's.


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  • WASP
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