U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Passes Bill Titus Co-Sponsored to Reinstate Interment Eligibility for Women Airforce Service Pilots at Arlington National Cemetery

Feb 25, 2016
Press Release

February 25, 2016
Contact: Kyle Roerink
Phone: (202) 657-3219

 

Washington D.C. – Today Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District and her colleagues in the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs unanimously approved H.R. 4336, which will reinstate interment eligibility at Arlington National Cemetery for the World War Two-era Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Rep. Titus co-sponsored the legislation.  

In 2002, an Army policy change allowed WASPs to be interred in the Arlington National Cemetery.  In 2009, WASPs were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for flying military missions in World War Two.  Then, in 2015, the Army rescinded WASP eligibility for interment at Arlington National Cemetery, citing an error in originally granting eligibility. This legislation would allow the WASPs to once again be interred at the cemetery.

“These brave pilots risked their lives, defended our country, and broke barriers when they were called to serve at the height of World War Two,” Rep. Titus said. “Some lost their lives. All played an equally valuable role alongside their male counterparts in the wartime effort. Yet WASPs did not receive military benefits after the war and now are unable to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. While the government has taken some steps toward giving the WASPs proper recognition and veterans benefits, decades later these heroic Americans are still being treated as second class citizens. I am pleased my colleagues on the committee supported this legislation and look forward to it passing the full U.S. House.”

  • Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) flew military missions in World War Two.

 

  • WASPs logged over 60 million miles in more than 12,000 aircraft, and 38 WASPs died serving their country.

 

  • The Army allowed WASPs to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery between 2002 and 2009.

 

  • A Department of the Army policy from 2015 prohibits WASPs burial at Arlington National Cemetery. There are about 115 WASPs still alive.