Violet Cowden served with the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, a stateside program that enlisted female pilots to ferry supplies cross-country, thus freeing up male pilots for combat roles. For Cowden, serving as a WASP gave her the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream of flying while doing her patriotic duty. “I thought, ‘Well, what better way to serve my country than to fly and do the thing that I love most, and I didn’t have to pay for the gas.'”
As the war wound down and male pilots returned home, the program was discontinued. It would not be until 1977–over thirty years later–that the WASP contributions were recognized by the federal government and they were given official veteran status.
We honor you, Violet Cowden.