#onthisday in 1944 the Schenectady Gazette published the following interesting article about Virginia Sweet from Quaker Springs who joined the WASP during World War II and shatter the glass ceiling in many arena.
FLYING CHATTER A lot of words have been said in past columns and along the aviation news front about Johnny Disbrow and Ginny Sweet who are well known at the local airport where they put in plenty of flying time. We’d rather let the following article from a Seattle. Wash. newspaper speak for itself: “Forced to wait in Yakima whenthe “celling” closed in over western Washington early yesterday. John Disbrow, an airlines pilot, hurried to Seattle and arrived just In time to testify in court where he was awarded a divorce from Virginia Sweet Dlsbrow also a flier. Disbrow testified that he and his wife were married in Schenectady, NY, Aug. 11. 1942. He said his wife is employed by the army to ferry airplanes (she’s a member of theWAFS) and is stationed in Michigan. “Since she has taken up flying she refuses to make a home for me.” Dlsbrow testified. “She’s flying back there and I’m flying’ out here and she refuses to come here and live.”
The article through today’s eyes is sexist and it is symbolizes much to the treatment of women including pilots during this period. Quaker Springs native Virginia Sweet was very bitter about this treatment as highlighted in a 2009 article in the Times Union. “She liked to say she would have been a general if she was a man,” said a nephew, Edward Grinter of Schenectady. Sweet wasn’t shy about articulating the bitterness she felt for being treated as a second-class citizen because she was a woman in a man’s realm during the war. She felt she could fly as well as any male, even if she was issued men’s flight jumpsuits that never fit quite right across her sinewy 5-feet-6, 100-pound body.“ – Times Union 17 July 2009
This link will provide some background on Virginia Sweet, a woman that broke barriers in the aviation world for decades. She can provide inspiration and is role models for young women seeking to enter the aviation profession.