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Westfield Memorial Library Hosts 'A W.A.S.P. Takes Wing'

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WESTFIELD, NJ - On Wednesday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m., the Westfield Memorial Library will present “A W.A.S.P. Takes Wing: the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots of World War II as seen through the Eyes of NJ Pilot Ann B. Carl.” The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.

During World War II, more than one thousand women volunteers completed the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) military pilot training program. They endured terrible Texas weather, snakes, spiders and scorpions, as well as the hostility of some male instructors.

Graduating WASPs piloted every kind of military aircraft, tested new and overhauled airplanes (some with defective parts or dangerous reputations), delivered more than 12,000 planes, and flew over 60,000,000 miles (sometimes towing targets that soldiers shot at with live ammunition!) Thirty-eight of them died serving their country.

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Carol Simon Levin tells the story of the amazing WASPs through the eyes of Ann Baumgartner Carl, the Jersey girl who trained as a WASP, became the only American woman to test-fly experimental planes during the war, and the first American woman to fly a jet airplane.

Ms. Levin is a Youth Services Librarian with a background in the history of technology and women’s history. In the past she has spoken at the library about other early female flyers, and Emily Roebling’s part in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The program is free and open to Westfield Memorial Library and MURAL cardholders. (MURAL cardholders belong to libraries that are part of the Middlesex Union Reciprocal Agreement Libraries. Check our website to see if your library participates.) To register for the program, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, click on the Online Calendar, or call 908.789.4090 option 0.

Founded in 1879, the Westfield Memorial Library—the community’s destination for discovery and ideas—engages minds, entertains spirits and facilitates lifelong learning for people of all ages. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information call 908-789-4090, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, and sign up for the monthly e-newsletter “Library Loop,” or stop by the library at 550 East Broad Street for a copy of the award-winning quarterly newsletter “Take Note.”

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