‘So Easy A Woman Could Fly It’

Women pilots in WW II helped men conquer fears of flying the B-29

Former B-29 Pilot Dora Dougherty (left) and Lt. Col. George Hardy ret. a Tuskegee Airman flew the B-29 in Korea. Photo by: Steve Schapiro

In World War Two women were not allowed to fly in combat, and African-Americans were only begrudgingly permitted toward the end of the conflict. But women did perform an incredible amount of military flying as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).

The Boeing B-29 “Superfortress” was the best bomber of the war, but it had some serious teething problems that made male pilots reluctant to fly it. Enter two WASPs who were plucked by Colonel Paul Tibbets to demonstrate that the plane was safe. Tibbets took this extraordinary step because he had a big mission to accomplish; train a bomber group to drop atomic weapons, which at that moment was still a big “if”.

EAA Radio’s Afterburner Al has the largely unknown story of Dora Dougherty, Didi Moorman, and Tuskegee Airman George Hardy, who would have never flown the B-29 due to social attitudes, but they did anyway.

Listen: WASP and Tuskegee Airman fly in the B-29 once again (link for devices that refuse to support Flash)

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