National WASP WWII Museum
Avenger Field Sweetwater, Texas

Welcome to the Wasp museum!



outsideHangar1

Adventure Awaits

The National WASP WWII Museum educates and inspires all generations with the story of Women Airforce Service Pilots who forever changed the course of women in aviation.

In 2003, WASP Deanie Parrish, her daughter Nancy and a group of Sweetwater citizens presented to the Sweetwater City Council plans for a Museum to preserve the legacy of the Woman Airforce Service Pilots who trained at Avenger Field.

The National WASP WWII Museum opened in 2005 in a hangar built in 1929 that served as the Sweetwater Municipal Airport.


InsideHangar1

Hangar Nº1

From 2011-2016, the Museum planned and raised funds for an expansion that doubled the size of the Museum’s complex at Avenger Field. November 2016 saw groundbreaking for Hangar No 1, modeled after the original that burned down March 20, 1951. In advance of Homecoming 2017, the Museum held a ribbon cutting and flag raising ceremony.


Expansion Project Phase 2

General construction of Hangar No 1 has been completed, but there is much work to be done. The climate-controlled structure will house new exhibits, museum archives with a research library, an expanded gift store and catering facility. There will be space for traveling exhibits, video presentations, special events and community celebrations.

Hangar No 2 will display aircraft and allow access to the runways of Avenger Field.

The Memorial Plaza will offer views of the runways and taxiways where the WASP trained in 1943 and 1944. American, Texas and WASP flags fly proudly above this area which will feature expanded exhibits and be used for public gatherings and private events.

While much has been accomplished, there is still much to be done. Funds are still needed to create new exhibits to preserve the legacy of these courageous women veterans. We need your support!



Planes

Hangar Nº2

Artifacts and Aircraft are currently on exhibit in the old Sweetwater Municipal Airport hangar. The Museum displays 4 of the 5 aircraft in which Women Airforce Service Pilots trained during World War II:

Stearman PT-17
Fairchild PT-19
Valiant BT-13
Bobcat UC-78

A priceless WWII plane, the UC-78 is the last known Bamboo Bomber that trained WASP at Avenger Field. See models of the planes flown during training, including the Texan AT-6.


map
The layout of Avenger Field during the WASP program is adjacent to a large map locating the more than 100 air bases to which WASP were assigned.


Planes
Learn about the WASP program by reading our WWII timeline, and connect to the inspiring stories of individual WASP who have returned to Avenger Field for Homecoming and pressed their handprints into cement.


Cochran

Jacqueline Cochran

Meet Jackie Cochran and discover a true rags to riches story. Jackie’s life is revealed in three stages: her childhood, her leadership as the WASP Director, and her post war life. Life for Jackie was not easy, but she became one of the most successful aviators and business women of the 20th century.
Artifacts generously donated by Geneva Gordon-Derr and James Adams.


The Graduate

The WASP Trainee

View The WASP Trainee, a rare sculpture by WASP Dorothy “Dot” Swain Lewis, 44-W-5.  This statue, donated by WASP and unveiled on May 27, 2005 by Texas Governor Ann Richards and Attorney General Janet Reno, is dedicated to the unsung 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.
The following were major contributors:
Susan E. Cooper
Ashley “Honey” Godwin ,
Jeanne B. Godwin
WASP Scotty Bradley Gough, 44-W- 7
Eleanor Shutsy Michalowski
WASP F.G. Shutsy Reynolds, 44-W- 5
Lois H. Sibenik
WASP Helen Wyatt Snapp, 43-W-4


Bay

Bay

Experience Army life of WASP who lived in bays with six cots, six lockers, two study tables and six chairs. Inside the wooden barracks at Avenger Field, these bays were adjacent to latrines, with two showers, two sinks and two toilets, and connected to an identical bay on the opposite side.


Bay

Link Trainer

Picture sitting in a compact mock cockpit with a cover over it so you learn how to fly trusting aircraft instruments and not your eyes. The Link Trainer was a crucial piece of military flight training.


Bay

Memorial Tower

Honor the 38 WASP who gave the ultimate sacrifice. As a civilian program, WASP were not granted military burial rights. Cherish the stories of these brave women who gave their lives in service to our nation.


Bay

Operations Tow Target

Imagine getting assigned to the duty of towing targets behind your aircraft so ground artillery trainees can practice their aim! WASP were shot at with live rounds to help our combat troops improve their marksmanship. Hear WASP Beverly Beesemyer tell her own story about Operations Tow Target.


Bay

Congressional Gold Medal

Marvel at the highest civilian honor to be awarded in our nation. The Congressional Gold Medal was presented to WASP on March 10, 2010 “in recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America”.