Near Sweetwater in Nolan County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
W.A.S.P. Training Base: Avenger Field
(A quarter of a mile to the north)
Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) trained here in military aircraft during World War II, from Feb. 21, 1943, through final graduation day, Dec. 7, 1944.
Avenger Field first served as a training base for British Royal Air Force Cadets in 1942, then for U.S. Army Air Forces Cadets Aug. 1942 - April 1943.
The WASP program was started under General H.H. ("Hap") Arnold to train women to fly every kind of mission short of combat, releasing male pilots for overseas duty. Jacqueline Cochran was director of women pilots; Ethel A. Sheehy, WASP staff field executive; Nancy Harness Love, WASP staff executive-ferrying division; and Leoti Clark Deaton, WASP staff executive-training bases. Of 25,000 girls who applied for WASP flight training. 1,830 were accepted; 1,074 won their silver wings. The WASPs flew 60 million miles on operational duty; 37 lost their lives serving their country. WASPs had civil service—not military—status, but were granted eligibility to apply for reserve commissions in the Air Corps after the WASP program ended when the allies were winning the war in Europe and the U.S.A. pilot shortage was past.
Avenger Field was closed after a short post-WASP span of service as a missile base.
Erected 1972 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker
Location. 32° 27.185′ N, 100° 28.311′ W. Marker is near Sweetwater, Texas, in Nolan County. Marker is at the intersection of Avenger Field Road (Loop Texas Route 170) and Frontage U.S. 20 Frontage Road, on the right when traveling north on Avenger Field Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 518 Avenger Field Road, Sweetwater TX 79556, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Women Airforce Service Pilots (approx. 0.7 miles away); Sweetwater Cemetery (approx. 2.9 miles away); Roscoe Cemetery (approx. 3.1 miles away); Trammell House (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Bankhead Highway (approx. 3.9 miles away); George Parks (approx. 3.9 miles away); Roscoe Veterans Memorial (approx. 3.9 miles away); Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway (approx. 3.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Sweetwater.
Also see . . . Wikipedia article about the WASP's. (Submitted on September 16, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • Air & Space • Military • War, World II •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 211 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.