Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review: Seized by the Sun

Of the 38 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) confirmed or presumed dead
World War II, only one—Gertrude “Tommy” Tompkins—is still missing.
On October 26, 1944, the 32-year-old fighter plane pilot lifted off 
from Mines Field in Los Angeles. She was never seen again.

Seized by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins by James W Ure is part of the "Women of Action" series.

This is a good introduction into the lives of the women of WASP. The focus of this work is on one woman in particular - Gertrude "Tommy" Tompkins (1912 - 1944). It is more of a memoir than a factual history, and we are treated to stories from Gertrude's early life (childhood and family), schooling, travels and marriage prior to her joining WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) at its very inception.

Then the book details Gertrude's "career" with WASP - her training, her female comrades, the flying, all the while reminding us - the reader - that these were dangerous times, and many of the female pilots were killed in the commission of their duties - 38 documented losses.

And then we come to Gertrude's final flight - what did happen that day is not fully known; some details are very sketchy; her state of mind was unknown; and even today, theories abound. 

As I mentioned, it is not a factual history of WASP, its pilots, nor a traditional biography. It is a simply written memoir for the curious reader. 

Review also @ Goodreads
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