From 1942- 1944, during World War II, over 1000 women left homes and jobs to become the first women to fly for the US military. They became the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the WASP, flying ferrying missions in the US. Thirty-eight pilots did not survive. They were promised military status, but they were disbanded without benefits in 1944, and their records were sealed. The FLY GIRLS portraits celebrate the WASP who defied gender stereotypes during WWII, and then spent decades fighting to gain recognition and secure their place in history. It was not until 1977 that the WASP were granted veterans’ benefits.
Each portrait combines vintage photographs, artifacts, news clippings, digital art, and encaustic wax paint. The portraits are 30x40 and are designed to draw the viewer up close to read the artifacts and learn the WASP stories.
The exhibit is at the Nashville airport (BNA) October 2023- February 2024, then travels
the Palm Springs Air Museum, the US Army Aviation Museum, and the Customs House Museum, and is booking venues into 2025. For inquiries, please email Alison.
LEARN more about the history of the WASP, and the making of the portraits
BOOK the exhibition
Photos and artifacts are used with permission from Texas Women's University WASP archives.