Male pilots were afraid to fly the B-29 bomber due to frequent engine fires.
Lt. Colonel Paul Tibbets, in charge of training pilots to fly the B-29 Super Fortress, recruited WASP to fly the bomber.
Men watched the women fly the bomber and stopped complaining about flying the B-29.
"They flew it, no problem," said Brig.Gen. Wilma Vaught, one of the most decorated women in military history. They thought it was great. That ended the (men's) fear of flying that plane."
Excerpt of Letter to Dora Dougherty Strother August 2, 1995
Dear Dr. Strother:
Before you throw this letter into the trash-basket, let me introduce myself.
In 1944 I met you with Col. Tibbets and Didi Moorman when you brought a B-29 to Clovis AFB, Clovis, N.M. I was the Director of Maintenance & Supply and Base Test Pilot at the time. You came to show us that the B-29 plane was not one to be feared. You were the pilot that day and demonstrated your excellent flying skills and convinced us the B-29 was the plane that any pilot could be proud to fly. From that day on we never had a pilot who didn't want to fly the B-29.
It has been many years but I have never forgotten that day at Clovis and never will....
Lt. Col. USAF (Ret)
506 Phelps Street
Sumter, S.C. 29150
Tibbets decided that the way to convince the men to fly the plane was to show that women could do it.Tibbets' plan was a terrific success: After watching the women fly the four-engine bomber, the men stopped complaining about the plane. Air Staff Major General Barney Giles brought the demonstrations to an abrupt halt after just a few days, telling Tibbets that the women were "putting the big football players to shame."
"They had the two women flying around to the various B-29 bases and the men would see them land the plane and get out. That would give them second thoughts, when they saw a woman flying the plane!"
The B-29 bomber led to the Allied victory in World War II, and became part of the legacy
of Love and the WASP organization.
Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets waves to the ground crew on August 6, 1945 as he pilots the B-29 bomber “Enola Gay” on its last bomb run. He flew from Tinian Island in the Pacific to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan that help end World War II a few days later. http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/photos/images/ww2-162.jpg
Congress Awarded World War II Victory Medal