Image Above: Courtesy of f-14.net
Cochran's Effect today
"Frankly, I didn't know in 1941 whether a slip of a young girl could fight the controls of a B- 17 in the heavy weather they would naturally encounter in operational flying... we haven't been able to build an airplane you can't handle." (General Hap Arnold)
Cochran opened doors for aviation and women by demonstrating that women could fly as well as men. In an interview with Andy Hoekstra - naval pilot experienced seventeen years- "Some of the best pilots I've flown with have been women" (Interview with Andy Hoekstra). Her program allowed women today to enter the Air Force and helped change society's attitudes towards women's capability. "Jackie had a dream, just like the rest of us. It took me years to understand she really wanted us to be able to fly everything just to show the men that it could be done. And, I think she largely succeeded in this," (former WASP Madge Rutherford Martin).
Today, the total military pilot population is made up of 18.9% women. Hoekstra explained, "The women... they have all been really good pilots... We've all held the same jobs because we'll rotate jobs, and they've all had the same leadership roles as the men" (Interview with Andy Hoekstra).
In another interview with Nicole Johnson, naval pilot experienced eight years, she said,"Through the legacy she left, Cochran teaches women today that they can alter the status quo with dedication, passion, and taking action- and she is proof... She is a legacy as far as females and aviation and women. She definitely had an impact. It showed the rest of us that we could do it... She has been a great role model, is a very strong individual, and we were lucky to have her to pave the way for what we do today." She also noticed, "I have seen a lot more female pilots today than I had previously" and, "I've had the same number of hours as the men, if not more" (Interview with Nicole Johnson). Because of Cochran, equality is exhibited today.
Women today have the liberty to participate in the military because of how Cochran led the WASPs. For example, Nicole Malachowski, first woman Thunderbird, was inspired by the WASPs in the following impactful video.
Courtesy of YouTube