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Monday, January 04, 2016

Female WWII pilots barred from Arlington National Cemetery

McLEAN, Va. — The ashes of World War II veteran Elaine Harmon are sitting in a closet in her daughter's home, where they will remain until they can go to what her family says is her rightful resting place: Arlington National Cemetery.

Harmon piloted aircraft in World War II under a special program, Women Airforce Service Pilots, that flew noncombat missions to free up male pilots for combat. Granted veteran status in 1977, the WASPs have been eligible to have their ashes placed at Arlington with military honors since 2002.

But earlier this year, then-Secretary of the Army John McHugh reversed course and ruled WASPs ineligible.

After Harmon died in April at age 95, her daughter, Terry Harmon, 69, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was dismayed to learn that the Army had moved to exclude WASPs. She said her mother had helped lead the effort to gain recognition for WASPs.

"These women have been fighting this battle, off and on, for over 50 years now," she said.



Anonymous said...

They were never part of the military not received benefits, they were a civil service contracted by the US military.

Anonymous said...

They were airline pilots, PERIOD!!! Just some well to do family trying to become relevant.

Anonymous said...

exactly what has been said above, but I will add if she honestly believes that her mother played such a major role in the war, and should receive such an honor, then maybe she shouldn't have placed her mom's ashes in a closet! They should have a place of honor at least in her own daughter's house! Shame!