Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Blog Tour*, Review, & Giveaway!

Letters of a WASP Pilot 


Sarah Byrn Rickman
Genre: Military History / Biography
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Date of Publication: May 30, 2016
Number of Pages: 288
Scroll down for Giveaway!

More than eleven hundred women pilots flew military aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. These pioneering female aviators were known first as WAFS (Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and eventually as WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Thirty-eight of them died while serving their country.

Dorothy Scott was one of the thirty-eight. She died in a mid-air crash at the age of twenty-three.

Born in 1920, Scott was a member of the first group of women selected to fly as ferry pilots for the Army Air Forces. Her story would have been lost had her twin brother not donated her wartime letters home to the WASP Archives. Dorothy's extraordinary voice, as heard through her lively letters, tells of her initial decision to serve, and then of her training and service, first as a part of the WAFS and then the WASP. The letters offer a window into the mind of a young, patriotic, funny, and ambitious young woman who was determined to use her piloting skills to help the US war effort. The letters also offer archival records of the day-to-day barracks life for the first women to fly military aircraft. The WASP received some long overdue recognition in 2010 when they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest honor that Congress can bestow on civilians.

phone: 800.742.2982


“Experiencing the letters was like taking literary communion.
They beckoned to me to “take, read.” "

Much of what makes Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot excellent is the author’s passion and connection she made to her subject matter. When letters recently surfaced, written from 1942-1943 from Dorothy Scott to her family, Sarah Byrn Rickman clearly felt called to write about Scott, one of the nation’s first women to fly its military aircraft. Readers not only get a glimpse into young Dorothy’s incredible and tragically short life but so much more.

I knew of the existence of the WASP WWII Memorial Museum simply because I’d seen the exit signs on I20 on one of my many trips driving from Fort Worth to Lubbock, Texas and back. I knew that WASP stood for Women Airforce Service Pilots – I learned that in middle school – but I didn’t know much more.  For mostly uninformed readers like myself, chapter after chapter of Finding Dorothy Scott reveals pieces of American history that I’d never heard before. (FDR had a female pilot on his campaign for the presidency! Short Snorters!) I was enlightened that so many women were accepted into the world of aviation given that they were struggling for so many basic rights in the same time period. I was disheartened by the limits set upon their service and the lame, unfair reasons behind the limits.  

The actual letters included in the book give an extraordinary snapshot of the lives of the WAFS/WASP who were part of our military without technically being part of our military – yet another travesty in American history (though corrected many years after these women served our country).  Dorothy’s enthusiasm for flying and learning and living life to its fullest made it all the more difficult to see how her life ended. Author Sarah Byrn Rickman honors Dorothy’s life – and all the WAFS/WASP – in the best way possible by putting it in writing so their stories are never lost or forgotten.  

The writing is intelligent without being overly academic, and the research is outstanding. Rickman providess plenty of additional resources including a must read preface (you’ll miss too much if you skip it), appendices, a bibliography, notes, and an index to support the text. Additionally, the inclusion of lots of photographs really enhances the information presented, making Dorothy, her experiences, and the people in Dorothy’s life very real and all the more memorable.

Reading Finding Dorothy Scott has filled-in a huge piece of American WWII history for me in an eye-opening fashion about yet another “unsung hero” role women played.  I can say that next time I make that trek west on I20, I know of a new exit I will take and a museum I will be visiting in Sweetwater, Texas.

Thank you to the Texas Tech University Press and Lone Star Book Blog Tours for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review – the only kind I give. 

Sarah Byrn Rickman is editor of the official WASP of World War II newsletter, the author of five previous books about the WASP, and an amateur pilot. In addition to her books, Sarah is the author of numerous magazine and journal articles about the WASP. 

Sarah is a former reporter/columnist for The Detroit News (Michigan) and former editor of the Centerville-Bellbrook Times (Ohio). She earned her B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University McGregor.

Sarah was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and grew up in Denver, Colorado. She now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, Richard, and their black Lab, Lady.
5 WINNERS Each Win a Signed Copy of the Book
  June 1 - June 10, 2016

6/1       Hall Ways Blog              -- Review
6/2       StoreyBook Reviews     -- Excerpt #1
6/3       My Book Fix Blog          -- Author Interview #1
6/4       Forgotten Winds           -- Review
6/5       Books and Broomsticks -- Guest Post
6/6       Texas Book Lover          -- Author Interview #2
6/7       Missus Gonzo               -- Review
6/8       The Page Unbound       -- Excerpt #2
6/9       The Crazy Booksellers   -- Author Interview #3
6/10     It's a Jenn World           -- Review


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NOTE FROM KRISTINE at HALL WAYS: With the exception of the Hall Ways review, the content of this promo post was provided by Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours.  If you're a Texas blogger interested in joining the ranks of Texas Book Blog Tours, contact Kristine via the Contact Form found at the bottom of the Hall Ways blog.

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