"Well written. ... Thoroughly researched and documented.
It's easy to see that the author spent years on this story."
- M. Emmens
Each of Miller’s mini-biographies is inspirational.
He interweaves individual stories with the larger history of the WASP program’s founding, contributions, and its dismantlement as WWII entered its final days.
- Vickie Aldous, Medford Mail Tribune.
These 38 never saw the war end, never had a future, and never heard their country say thank you. They weren’t there in 1977 to celebrate the government finally giving WASPs veteran status and veteran benefits. When WASPs were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010, memories or the 38 had almost faded away.
William M. Miller’s latest book, To Live and Die a WASP, retells the life stories of each of these 38 women pilots—from birth, through their military flight training, and on to their premature and tragic deaths.
It’s also the story of the WASP program, the “Grand Experiment” as it was called, from the earliest dreams of its founders, Jackie Cochran and Nancy Love, to its abrupt end, just before Christmas 1944.
“There have been many books written about individual WASPs,” Miller said, “but I was surprised to see that it was almost impossible to find any book that concentrated on these young women and what they went through.”
In December 1944, the Army ordered women pilots to give it up and go home.
The WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) have been fighting for their rights nearly every day since.
Beginning in late 1942, the first of 1,074 women began training as civilians to fly Army Air Corps warplanes. It was a time when men called women “girls” and few people believed that America’s daughters, sisters and wives were able to do “a man’s job” of flying airplanes all over the country—but they were and they did—and 38 women gave their lives to prove it.