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Notification from General Hap Arnold of the end of the WASP program


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY AIR FORCES
WASHINGTON, DC

1 October 1944

To Each Member of the WASP:

I am very proud of you young women an the outstanding job you have done as members of the Air Forces team. When we needed you, you came through and have served most commendably under very difficult circumstances.

The WASP became part of the Air Forces because we had to explore the nations total manpower resources and in order to release male pilots for other duties. Their very successful record of accomplishment has proved that in any future total effort the nation can count on thousands of its young women to fly any of its aircraft. You have freed male pilots for other work, but now the war situation has changed and the time has come when your volunteered services are no longer needed. The situation is that if you continue in service, you will be replacing instead of releasing our young men. I know that the WASP wouldn't want that.

So, I have directed that the WASP program be inactivated and all WASP be released on 20 December 1944. I want you to know that I appreciate your war service and that the AAF will miss you. I also know that you join us in being thankful that our combat losses have proved to be much lower that anticipated, even though it means inactivation of the WASPS.

I am sorry that it is impossible to send a personal letter to each of you.

My sincerest thanks and Happy Landings always.

H.H. Arnold
General, U.S. Army
Commanding General, Army Air Force

Courtesy of The Woman's Collection, Texas Woman's University


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