Here are a few of the women aviators that proved women could fly and set the stage for the WASP program.

For Harriet Quimby, learning to fly was a controversial step in not only her life, but in women's history. Quimby enrolled at aviation school in 1911. She became the first woman to earn a pilot's license in the U.S., and the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel.

Harriet Quimby, 1912
Courtesy of Fiddlers Green 

“The men flyers have given out the impression that aeroplaning is very perilous work, something that an ordinary mortal should not dream of attempting. But when I saw how easily the man flyers manipulated their machines I said I could fly.” -Harriet Quimby

 Courtesy of Blogspot

Bessie Coleman was rejected at many flying schools because she was an African American woman. She traveled to France in 1920 where she completed aviation training and earned her pilot's license, becoming the first African American woman aviator.

"The air is the only place free of prejudice." -Bessie Coleman

Always adventurous, Amelia Earhart started flying lessons in 1921. Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, the first person to fly from Hawaii to California, and the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic. Earhart died attempting to be the first woman to fly around the world.

 Courtesy of Whats New World

“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail their failure must be but a challenge to others.” - Amelia Earhart, in the New York Times, July 1928

Header Image: National WASP WWII Museum, Sweetwater, TX