On New Year’s Day, Honoring the Women of World War II

A- A A+

On New Year’s Day, Honoring the Women of World War II

By Kay Philips 
Chair of the YWCA Pacific Region Advocacy Committee 

This year, the Rose Parade in Pasadena, C.A. on New Year’s Day will feature a float honoring the women pilots of World War II. Almost three years ago (in March 2010), 300 remaining women pilots of the 1,100 women pilots who served during World War II were honored in Washington, D.C. with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Most were in their late 80’s and 90’s. (Read more about the honorees who will also be on the Rose Parade float.)

Peg Calhoun, via Texas Woman's University
Peg Calhoun, via Texas Woman’s University

We in the YWCA have a special reason to celebrate, for our own YWCA leader was one of those pilots: Peg Calhoun. 

Peg Calhoun served on the Board of Directors of many YWCAs during her career: Long Beach and Mid-Peninsula (Palo Alto) in California; the National Board of the YWCA of the USA during the 1950’s and 1960’s; the YWCA of India; and on the Executive Committee of the World YWCA. She visited YWCAs all around the world as she traveled with her husband, Cal, an economic consultant with Stanford Research Institute. She was a good friend of Margaret Hathaway, who worked for the World YWCA to establish numerous YWCAs in Africa when colonialism ended. She and Cal helped Margaret build a camp for women in Zimbabwe for the YWCA.

How did Peg become a pilot? When World War II broke out, she and Cal spoke of what they should do. Cal could not join the service because of a bad back. They decided Peg should be the one to serve.

So, she took flying lessons and even practiced take offs and landings at the San Francisco airport! And she became a pilot in the WASPs—the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots. She flew huge bomber planes solo, test-piloting them from the end of the production line of Douglas aircraft in Long Beach, C.A. to the east coast, where male pilots took them overseas. She told stories about how the only navigation instrument they had was an old-fashioned compass, and how some women pilots were assigned to pull targets for the artillery to practice shooting and died when the shooters missed the targets.

After the war, Peg began her many years of volunteer work with the YWCA until retiring in Claremont, C.A., where she continued to enjoy the friendship of Margaret Hathaway and Elizabeth Palmer, former General Secretary of the World YWCA, as well as many other YWCA retirees at Pilgrim Place. She was able to attend several special reunions with her flying friends during her lifetime before passing away.

Vibrant, positive, enthusiastic, humorous, full of interesting tales, and a devotee of the YWCA — and a good pilot. We will salute you, Peg, as the float rolls by and recognizes the women heroes of the past.

Kay Philips is currently Chair of the YWCA Pacific Region Advocacy Committee and previously served as Executive Director of the YWCA Mid-Peninsula in Palo Alto for 22 years. Kay was on the National Board twice, and received the YWCA’s Dorothy I. Height Racial Justice Award in 2008.

129 responses to “On New Year’s Day, Honoring the Women of World War II

  1. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A few of my blog readers have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

  3. naturally like your website but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth on the other hand I will definitely come back again.

  4. Good day I am so excited I found your blog page, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  5. I enjoy you because of all of the labor on this website. Betty loves making time for internet research and it’s really obvious why. I learn all regarding the dynamic way you present vital steps through the web blog and attract contribution from website visitors about this subject matter plus our princess is without question becoming educated a lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You’re the one performing a remarkable job.

  6. Thanks for another informative site. Where else could I get that kind of information written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.

  7. Normally I do not read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice post.

  8. I just couldn’t depart your web site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often in order to check up on new posts

  9. What i don’t understood is in fact how you are no longer really a lot more neatly-appreciated than you may be right now. You are very intelligent. You understand therefore considerably in the case of this topic, produced me personally believe it from so many numerous angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be interested unless it’s something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding. Always handle it up!

  10. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. many thanks

  11. A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit of evaluation on this. And he in reality purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If attainable, as you change into expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra particulars? It’s extremely helpful for me. Huge thumb up for this blog publish!

  12. Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing on your augment and even I success you get admission to consistently rapidly.

  13. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  14. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  15. Helpful information. Lucky me I found your web site by chance, and I am stunned why this coincidence did not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  16. Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we are looking to exchange techniques with other folks, please shoot me an email if interested.

  17. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in our neighborhood. Your blog provided us with valuable information to help us get started|.You have done a great job!

  18. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Genuinely rarely should i encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail about the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is an element that insufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I am delighted we came across this during my look for something with this.

  19. Hi, I just read texts on your blog and I became interested in the topic. I like your post and I am thinking whether I could use your words in my work? Would it be doable? If yes, please contact with me. Thank you.

  20. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.

    I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Lots of people will be benefited from your writing.


  21. Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Howdy! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My site looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might
    be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please
    share. Thanks!

  23. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would definitely
    benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks!

  24. Asking questions are truly fastidious thing if you are not understanding something fully, however this paragraph presents good understanding yet.

  25. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog
    and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed
    and I hope you write again soon!

  26. Unquestionably imagine that that you stated. Your favourite justification seemed to
    be at the net the simplest thing to be mindful of.
    I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider concerns that they just don’t recognize about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out
    the whole thing with no need side effect , other folks can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  27. You are so interesting! I don’t believe I have read through a single thing like that before.
    So wonderful to discover someone with a few unique thoughts
    on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up.

    This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a
    bit of originality!

  28. Hey there! I simply want to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you’ve got right here on this
    post. I will be coming back to your web site for
    more soon.

  29. Can I just say what a reduction to find someone who truly is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know tips on how to convey a problem to light and make it important. More individuals have to read this and perceive this side of the story. I cant consider youre not more common because you positively have the gift.

  30. Amazing things here. I am very glad to see your article. Thank you a
    lot and I am having a look ahead to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  31. Subsequently, after spending many hours on the internet at last We’ve uncovered an individual that definitely does know what they are discussing many thanks a great deal wonderful post

  32. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome site!

  33. Thank you for every other fantastic post. Where else may just anyone get that kind
    of information in such a perfect manner of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.

  34. You made some decent points there. I regarded on the internet for the difficulty and found most individuals will associate with with your website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *