Congress Just Approved Arlington Burials for Female WWII Pilots

Congress Just Approved Arlington Burials for Female WWII Pilots


May 12, 2016

Congress just passed legislation to allow the cremated remains of Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery — the hallowed burial place typically reserved for those who worked for the U.S. armed forces.

The legislation is currently waiting for a signature from President Barack Obama.

In the 1940s, the U.S. was faced with a shortage of pilots and the courageous new group also known as WASP, became the first women to fly military aircrafts. Their jobs were not without danger. Thirty-eight female pilots died in service.

But the road to a burial in Arlington National Cemetery was not easy for the WASP. Federal law did not recognize their military service as war veterans until 1977. As veterans who were honorably discharged, WASP were eligible for burial.

Despite that fact, in 2015, the U.S. Army blocked the right for WASP burials in the revered grounds. They pointed to limited space.

Now that will soon change.

NEXT: Women In The Military »

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Photo Credit: PhotoQuest/Getty Images 

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