My Mother Had Wings

The daughter of a WASP tells her mother’s tale.

(Courtesy Melissa Jordan)

In Uniform

(Courtesy Melissa Jordan)

“As we grew up,” writes Jordan, “our mother’s anecdotes about WASP life became part of our everyday lives. My favorite story was about the time my mother and another WASP snagged front-row seats to Broadway’s hottest show, a new musical called Oklahoma! Arriving late to the St. James Theatre, the pilots crept quietly toward their seats, but their unfamiliar uniforms were creating a stir in the audience. Who were these women? As the audience whispers grew, actress Celeste Holm, in her star-making turn as Ado Annie, stopped the show and had the house lights raised. Coming to the edge of the stage, Holm leaned down and asked, ‘Who are you?’ When the women explained they were WASPs, Holm smiled broadly and simply exclaimed, ‘Oh, wow!’ And on went the show.”

Here, Hardman in a contemplative moment with a Vultee BT-13.

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