Barbara Erickson became the first WASP to receive the Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement as a Pilot. Erickson received her medal for completing four 2,000-mile deliveries of three different types of aircraft in slightly more than 5 days of actual flying.
Although not allowed to fly combat missions, WAFS/WASP pilots served grueling, often dangerous, tours of duty. Ferrying and towing were risky activities, and some WAFS/WASP pilots suffered injuries and were killed in the course of duty. In 1977, after much lobbying of Congress, the WASP finally achieved military active duty status for their service.
Visit the WASP Virtual Museum to learn more about the Air Medal.