Wings of Gold Review: America’s First Female Aviators Fought Only the Navy


Wings of Gold: The Story of the First Girls Naval Aviators, by Beverly Weintraub, Lyons Press, 2021, $ 32.95. 

Overview by Eileen J. Bjorkman

Little has been written in regards to the girls army aviators of the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties who paved the way in which for ladies to fly in fight. Beverly Weintraub’s Wings of Gold begins to beat that drought. Mixing thorough analysis with firsthand accounts, Weintraub paints an interesting story of the primary girls pilots within the U.S. Navy who finally succeeded in overturning archaic legal guidelines and insurance policies.

Weintraub focuses on the primary six girls Navy pilots, starting with their coaching in 1973. The Navy was the primary armed service to coach girls pilots alongside males, however its slender interpretation of a federal legislation restricted the ladies’s profession choices. The legislation forbade girls from flying plane in fight or serving on ships with fight missions. That meant girls couldn’t land on an plane service; the 2 helicopter pilots within the group couldn’t even hover over a ship. The 4 different girls couldn’t initially prepare on jets; finally Rosemary Mariner turned the primary to fly a tactical jet, though solely to coach male pilots. 

Scattered across the nation, the ladies labored on fixing issues on their very own. Mariner discovered a mentor in an African American commander. Some girls wrote letters to senior Navy management to request extra alternatives. One other girl joined a lawsuit. However the challenges continued. By the early Nineteen Eighties, 4 of the six had left lively obligation after realizing that the Navy held no future for them.

In 1991, the Persian Gulf Battle opened the general public’s eyes to the truth that girls have been serving in fight theaters. In 1993 the problematic legal guidelines have been overturned and the providers began coaching girls to fly in fight, though it was too late for the unique six. Regardless of that, Wings of Goldis an inspiring story about robust girls who by no means gave up on their purpose of constructing issues higher for future generations of girls.

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