Airforce Service Pilots of World War II Receive
Congressional Gold Medal
by U.S. Mint
The Women Airforce
Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II were
honored with the Congressional Gold Medal during
a ceremony today in Emancipation Hall at the
Capitol Visitor Center. Both surviving members
of the WASP, as well as representatives of
deceased members of the organization,
participated in the ceremony. The medal,
presented by the Congressional leadership,
honors WASP members for their pioneering
military service that led to reform in the U.S.
The WASP was composed of the first women in
history to fly American military aircraft. They
flew more than 60,000,000 miles in every type of
aircraft and on every type of assignment flown
by their male counterparts except combat
missions. During that time, 38 women pilots lost
The obverse (heads side) of the WASP
Congressional Gold Medal was designed by United
States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master
Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United
States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
The design depicts the portrait of a WASP with
three others in the foreground in period
uniforms with an airborne AT-6 in the
background. Inscriptions on the obverse are
WOMEN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOTS and 1942-1944.
The medal's reverse (tails side) was designed
and sculpted by United States Mint
Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. The design
features the three aircraft that the WASPs flew
during their training: the AT-6, B-26 and P-51.
The WASP wings are depicted at the base of the
design. Inscriptions on the reverse are THE
FIRST WOMEN IN HISTORY TO FLY AMERICAN MILITARY
AIRCRAFT, ACT OF CONGRESS and 2009.
A digital image of the WASP Congressional Gold
Medal is available at: http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/?action=Photo.
The United States Mint will also strike and sell
three-inch and 1-1/2-inch bronze reproductions
of the medal. These will go on sale March 26,
2010, at noon Eastern Time (ET) at the United
States Mint's online catalog, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog.
Customers may also order by calling
1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and
speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may
call 1-888-321-MINT (6468).
The United States Mint, created by Congress in
1792, is the Nation's sole manufacturer of legal
tender coinage. Its primary mission is to
produce an adequate volume of circulating
coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and
commerce. The United States Mint also produces
proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins;
Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and
platinum bullion coins.