by Channel 2 News staff
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Three Alaskans were among the women honored Wednesday with the Congressional Gold Medal.
More than 1,000 WASPs, Women Air Force Service Pilots, were awarded the nation's highest civilian honor for their efforts in World War II.
They were the first women allowed to fly for the military, but got no recognition or benefits. They paid their own way to training, and when 38 WASPs died in the line of duty, it was their families, not the military, that paid to bury them.
The Alaskans awarded the medal were Nancy Lee Baker of Fairbanks, Ellen Campbell of Juneau and Virginia Wood of Fairbanks.
Only 1,800 of the 25,000 women who applied for the program were accepted.