The story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II
Why I Chose This Film
It has been an honor to meet and interview the amazing women featured in this documentary. Their stories, humor and candor provided me with information necessary to share this important piece of history.

The idea for this documentary started several years ago when my mother and I were in Italy and met an Italian winemaker from a very small village. Through a translator, he told the story of being a young boy during World War II. When he was 15, a soldier from an Allied Forces plane had been shot down, parachuted and landed in his village. Even though the soldier was the "enemy," he was also just a young man himself. The young boy came face to face with the soldier and made a quick decision to hide him rather than turn him in. The boy lived with his parents above a very small winery. My mother and I were standing in the tiny winery when he told us his story. The boy hid the soldier for over two weeks behind wine barrels. Even his parents didn’t know the solider was there. The boy fed him when he could and gave him water each day. He helped the soldier escape when the time was right. Meeting this Italian winemaker, now in his late '80s, and hearing his incredibly story made me want to learn more.

My mother was in her late teens during World War II, and often shared her own stories about her life during the war when we were traveling together. She speaks about that time in her life like it was yesterday. She often emotionally recounts the day she found out about her brother's death aboard the USS Bunker Hill in Pearl Harbor. Her tears flow while remembering that day and her loss - her sadness is still so raw.

Both my mom and the Italian winemaker's stories were fascinating to me - so much so that I wanted to immerse myself in this generation and what their experiences were like during the war. When we returned home, I asked my mother to find ten women from her assisted-living retirement home who would be willing to share their stories and experiences during the war on camera. I had no idea what to expect, but I was eager to find out about their lives. The ten women talked about working in war factories, taking over farm duties because all of the men in their town went to war, what it was like to have to ration food and gasoline, and, sadly, even experiencing prejudice for the first time. They reminisced about the USO dances and the wonderful big band music they danced to with such fondness and introspective sadness. The women laughed, cried and relived difficult moments of their lives, their honesty and candor bringing me to tears, at times. They relived their experiences as if they were painting a picture transporting me back to that era with just their words. What stood out most clearly to me was that these women were consummate ladies, classy and elegant. There was one woman who had made a lasting impression on me when she arrived at our interview, even though her husband had just passed that same morning. We urged her not come, but she said with dignity, "I am a woman who keeps my commitments." She handled the interview beautifully and with such grace.

During the interviews, one of the women mentioned the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Like so many, I had never heard of them or what they and other female pilots did during World War II. I followed up on their story and caught their spirit. I knew that I needed to produce a documentary/iBook about these women and their accomplishments during the war. In fact, as I conducted my research over the next two years, I learned that many women played a vital role during the 1940s. Whether they worked in a war factory building bombs or airplanes, or served overseas in one of the military branches, their contributions were invaluable during World War II.

I found that I couldn't get enough of these stories, so I set out on my journey to find and interview surviving WASP and their families. I was honored to interview 13 WASP and four of their daughters during the past year. Every one of them touched me in some way. They are amazing, strong women. Their daughters are so proud of their mothers, and it was so endearing to meet them. I have also written a companion I Book also called We Served Too as a companion piece.

I encourage you to learn more about these women, become inspired by their unwavering tenacity, and share their motivational stories with others. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."