After being privileged to videotape the interviews of over 100 WASP, I can say without hesitation that there is no one single reason these incredible women paid their own way to enter AAF flight training. Every WASP is different and every WASP had her own motivations.
However on this day, this anniversary of the surrender of American troops on Bataan to the Japaneese, one WASP story stands alone: Catherine McBride "Kay" D'Arezzo.
It was on this day in 1942 that Kay's husband, West Point graduate, US Army Captain Al D'Arezzo, was ordered to surrender and give up his gun. It was on this day that he began an horrific journey of incredible cruelty, surviving with uncommon courage, sacrifice and sheer will. It was on this day that Kay decided to do 'just a little more.' She wanted to contribute MORE to the war effort: more than air raid warden, more than volunteer fireman and ambulance driver. Kay decided the best way to help Al was to learn to fly and then apply for the WASP. She had never flown an airplane in her life. That didn't seem to be a problem for Kay. She figured if she flew, she could help the war end more quickly and bring Al home.
On this day, in 1942, lives changed forever.
In honor of Al and of Kay, I post the following short video. From this one clip, you will know all there is to know about Al--at least the important part, when you hear him answer the question, 'What is your favorite word?'
Al is gone. Kay is gone. But the freedom they sacrificed for still remains. We honor them and those who served by remembering. We hold them both in our hearts and in our prayers, on this day.