Thursday, May 30, 2024

Fly Girls Revolt

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Sunday June 25th  at 11 a.m.
Connecticut Air and Space Museum in Stratford

Our own Air and Space Museum in Stratford is hosting Dr. Eileen A. Bjorkman, Executive Director, Air Force Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, in California.  Join Dr. Bjorkman as she tells the story of the Fly Girls Revolt on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Drawing on extensive research, interviews with women who served in the 1970s and 1980s, and her personal experiences in the Air Force, Eileen Bjorkman weaves together a riveting tale of the women who fought for the right to enter combat and be treated as equal partners in the U.S. military.

This is the untold story of the women military aviators of the 1970s and 1980s who kicked open the door to fly in combat in 1993—along with the story of the women who paved the way before them.

In 1993, U.S. women earned the right to fly in combat, but the full story of how it happened is largely unknown. From the first women in the military in World War II to the final push in the 1990s, The Fly Girls Revolt chronicles the actions of a band of women who overcame decades of discrimination and prevailed against bureaucrats, chauvinists, anti-feminists, and even other military women.

Although the military had begun training women as aviators in 1973, by a law of Congress they could not fly in harm’s way. Time and again when a woman graduated at the top of her pilot training class, a less-qualified male pilot was sent to fly a combat aircraft in her place.

Most of the women who fought for change between World War II and today would never fly in combat themselves, but they earned their places in history by strengthening the U.S. military and ensuring future women would not be denied opportunities solely because of their sex. The Fly Girls Revolt is their story.

Dr. Bjorkman was commissioned through Officer Training School in 1980 and served nearly 30 years in the Air Force, retiring as a colonel. During her military career, she served as a Flight Test Engineer, Instructor and Test Squadron Commander. She was a Senior Non-rated Aircrew Member and flew more than 700 hours as a Flight Test Engineer in more than 25 different aircraft, primarily the F-4 Phantom II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, C-130 Hercules and C-141 Starlifter.

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