WASHINGTON (KTRE/AP) – A Lufkin woman is one of only 1,830 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) to be honored with a Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress.
Jacqueline Morgan flew A-T-6 planes during World War II. Six hours a day, six days a week she drug targets through the air while being shot at by service men training to go overseas. While most women stayed home looking after their children, WASP became the first women in history to fly American military aircraft. More than 1,000 women based at Avenger Field in Sweetwater,Texas, flew aircraft during the war.
Wednesday those women were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal on Capitol Hill. Thirty-eight of them were killed in service. But they were long considered civilians, not members of the military, until 1977 when they were afforded veteran status. It's estimated that about 300 of the women are still alive. About 200 are expected to attend the ceremony Wednesday. Mrs. Morgan's son is in Washington to accept the medal on her behalf.
The medal is the highest award Congress gives to honor civilians for achievements and contributions to society.