13 female pilots to return to Sweetwater for WASP Homecoming 2017


ABILENE, Texas - The National WASP WWII Museum is welcoming back thirteen WWII-era female pilots for its Homecoming 2017 event this weekend.

Held annually, the events aim to raise awareness and honor the members of the Women Air Force Service Pilots who served at Avenger Field in Sweetwater. The museum held its grand opening in 2005 and has been telling the stories of the female pilots with exhibits, archives, and aircraft.

This year, the special guest for Homecoming is Maj. Heather "Lucky" Penney, who was the first and only woman in the 121st Fighter Squadron and was one of the units scrambled during the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

The events will start at 11 a.m. Thursday with a flag raising and ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Hangar No. 1. The hangar is modeled after the original Hangar No. 1 at Avenger Field, which burned down.

Friday will see fly-ins of aircraft all day as long as weather permits.

The museum will open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and the EAA Young Eagles will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. when kids can fly for free. The WASP homecoming photo will be at 10 a.m. followed by the luncheon at 11 a.m. A meet & greet with the 13 WASP members will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the museum, and a memorial service at 6 p.m. will be followed by a dinner.

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