Women Airforce Service Pilots Honored at Rose Parade

Big float commemorates women pilots.

Rose Parade
Rose Parade
** Photo by Dani Blum**

The 2014 edition of the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, which took place just before the 100th Rose Bowl football game, had a special aviation-themed float this year. A T-6 Texan replica soared above eight original members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots riding along on the WASP Rose Parade float. The 20-ton float was made up of a variety of plant materials including 35,000 roses and included a large panel of historical images and the WASP mascot Fifinella, which the WASP used with permission from Walt Disney.

The WASP served in World War II to transport all types of warbirds used by the United States in the war. Despite their military service in the 1940s, the WASP had to fight to receive veteran status, which they were granted in 1977. President Barack Obama also bestowed the WASP the congressional gold medal in 2009.

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