Welcome to the Wasp museum!
Hangar OneThe National WASP WWII Museum is currently housed in the old Sweetwater Municipal Airport hangar, circa 1929. The west hangar doors overlook the old runways where the WASP learned to fly military aircraft in 1943-44. In 2003, WASP Deanie Parrish, her daughter Nancy, and a group of Sweetwater citizens, presented the Sweetwater City Council plans for a Museum to preserve the legacy of the Woman Airforce Service Pilots who trained at Avenger Field. The city granted the group a 200 year lease on the old hangar and 55 acres adjacent to the airport. These were the humble beginnings for a museum that has continued to grow. In the next year this building will be one of three parts of the National WASP WWII Museum campus. It will continue to house the Museum planes, a 1938 Buick and exhibits that do not need to be in a climate controlled environment.
Inside Hangar oneInside Hangar One are displays highlighting planes flown by the WASP plus actual WWII training aircraft. Along with the trainers is the original layout of Avenger Field in 1943 and 1944. Models of the planes that were used for training at Avenger Field are on display, as well as a timeline of WWII in regards to the WASP, handprints of WASP who have visited the museum and vintage vehicles. Around the hangar walls is a film strip featuring WASP in their class photos. In the lobby are current pictures of WASP who have been interviewed by Wings Across America.
Jacqueline Cochran ExhibitThe exhibit reveals Jackie’s life in three stages, her childhood, years as the WASP Director, and later in life. The exhibit tells a true rag to riches story. Life for Cochran was not easy but it shows how she overcame obstacles with grace and dignity. Through all the hardships, she learned how to read, write, fly, and become a very successful aviator and business woman. Her story is as an inspiration to us all not to quit, learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move forward. The National WASP World War II Museum greatly appreciates Geneva Gordon-Derr and James Adams for the donated objects on display.
"The Trainee"“The Trainee” is a sculpture by WASP Dorothy “Dot” Swain Lewis 44-W- 5. This statue is dedicated to the unsung WASP volunteers, who from 1986 to 2004 faithfully carried the WASP torch from tents to tarmacs across America, giving their time and their talents in support of the WASP WWII Organization. This statue was paid for by the WASP themselves. The following are major contributors to the funding of the statue: WASP F.G Shutsy Reynolds, 44-W- 5, Eleanor Shutsy Michalowski, WASP Scotty Bradley Gough, 44-W- 7, Lois H. Sibenik, Ashley “Honey” Godwin, Jeanne B. Godwin, Jeanne B. Godwin, Susan E. Cooper, WASP Helen Wyatt Snapp, 43-W- 4. The statue was dedicated to the National WASP WWII Museum on May 27, 2005.
Historical WWII AircraftThe National WASP WWII Museum is proud to have a wonderful collection of WWII planes housed at the Museum. View a Stearman PT-17, Fairchild PT-19 and our most recent acquisition UC-78 Bamboo Bomber. A priceless WWII plane, the UC-78 is the last known Bamboo Bomber used at Avenger Field that trained WASP. The Museum also looks forward to receiving a completely restored, airworthy Vultee BT-13 in 2016. Come in and view these wonderful pieces of history.
BayDuring 1943 and 1944 Trainees lived at Avenger Field in wooden barracks in rooms called ‘bays’. Each bay contained six Army cots, six lockers, two study tables and six chairs.
Adjacent to the bay was a latrine, with two showers, two sinks, two commodes and a connecting door which opened into an identical bay.