July 31, 2009: Congressman Chet Edwards of Texas officially adds 'extension of remarks' into the Congressional Record, honoring the service of the WASP and the Waco based "Wings Across America" project:
Mr. EDWARDS of Texas. Madam Speaker,
I rise as an original co-sponsor of this bill, which honors a group of courageous women pilots—all of whom earned their wings in Texas. During World War II, Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, were stationed at 2 air bases located in Waco, Texas: Waco Army Air Field and Blackland Army Air Base.
One of the 38 members of WASP who died while flying for their country was killed in Waco while flight-testing a BT–13 to make sure that it had been properly repaired. Bettie Mae Scott was killed on July 8, 1944, her body sent home in a cheap pine box, with not so much as an American flag draping her coffin.
Madam Speaker, my district not only played an important part in the history of the WASP, my district is also the home of WASP Deanie Parrish, a Martin Marauder B-26 pilot, who towed a sleeved target behind her aircraft while a B–24 would pass by and gunnery trainees in the turrets would practice for combat by firing live ammunition, using color coated bullets, at the target.
Wings Across America, founded by Deanie’s daughter, Nancy Parrish, located at Baylor University, has played a key role in the creation and implementation of the bill we have before us today. Along with interviewing over 100 WASP, creating the website, ‘‘WASP on the Web,’’ founding the National WASP WWII Museum in Sweetwater, Texas in 2003 and creating all the exhibits for the opening of the museum in 2005, successfully nominating the WASP for the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, and designing and creating the ‘‘Fly Girls of WWII’’ WASP exhibit, which is now on display at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington, these 2 volunteers have worked tirelessly to educate and inspire America with the history of the WASP.
This bill honors the WASP and places the WASP history in the national spotlight, where I believe it rightly belongs.
Jakob Stewart, Office of Congressman Edwards presents Nancy Parrish w/ official 'remarks'