Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, nonfiction, Spotlight on June 2, 2016

Dorothy Scott Banner


Letters of a WASP Pilot 

by Sarah Byrn Rickman

Genre: Military History / Biography

Publisher: Texas Tech University Press

Date of Publication: May 30, 2016

Number of Pages: 288

Scroll down for Giveaway!

dorothy scott cover


More than eleven hundred women pilots flew military aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. These pioneering female aviators were known first as WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and eventually as WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Thirty-eight of them died while serving their country.

Dorothy Scott was one of the thirty-eight. She died in a mid-air crash at the age of twenty-three.

Born in 1920, Scott was a member of the first group of women selected to fly as ferry pilots for the Army Air Forces. Her story would have been lost had her twin brother not donated her wartime letters home to the WASP Archives. Dorothy’s extraordinary voice, as heard through her lively letters, tells of her initial decision to serve, and then of her training and service, first as a part of the WAFS and then the WASP. The letters offer a window into the mind of a young, patriotic, funny, and ambitious young woman who was determined to use her piloting skills to help the US war effort. The letters also offer archival records of the day-to-day barracks life for the first women to fly military aircraft. The WASP received some long overdue recognition in 2010 when they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest honor that Congress can bestow on civilians.


Purchase From Texas Tech Press

phone: 800.742.2982




Excerpt from the Preface to Finding Dorothy Scott

No stone angels, no blocks of marble with massive shoulders point the way to her grave. But three small American flags fluttering in the breeze were hard to miss in the vast grassy expanse dotted with flat stones. A rectangular slab identified her: Dorothy Faeth Scott, Oroville, WA, February 16, 1920–December 3, 1943, plus the letters W.A.S.P., a winged star within a circle, and a pair of pilot’s wings. The bronze flag holder bears the inscription “Dorothy Scott WAFS Pilot–US.

Women pilots—1,102 of them—flew military aircraft for the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) in World War II. They were known originally as WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and later as WASP—Women Airforce Service Pilots. Thirty-eight died serving their country.

Dorothy Scott was one of the thirty-eight.

Dorothy is buried in Valhalla Memorial Gardens in Burbank, California. Her mother, Katherine Faeth Scott (1882–1946), is buried next to her. In 1954, Dorothy’s father, G. M. Scott, joined his wife, his father, and his daughter in the family plot.

On September 10, 2009, I stood looking down at Dorothy’s final resting place. What did I really know of this young woman—of her unselfish patriotism? Does that simple flat stone do justice to what she gave for her country—her life, at age twenty-three? What can do justice to such a sacrifice?

Dorothy Scott Pilot Image

The guttural whine of jet engines in takeoff mode interrupted my thoughts. A giant red and blue bird—a Southwest Airlines jetliner—rose from behind a line of trees off the cemetery’s perimeter. With the inherent grace of the breed, the aircraft climbed out at what Dorothy would have considered a stall-inducing angle of attack—something far steeper than the rate of ascent she knew to be safe in the airplanes of her era.

The jet crossed above and disappeared into the opposite distance—a fleeting moment in time, a metaphor for Dorothy’s life.

The roar repeats every few minutes. Runway 15 at Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport lies beyond that tree line. How fitting. Daily, airplanes soar over this young woman—who would be ninety-six had she lived to see this written. But Dorothy fell in love with flight and gave her life doing what she loved—flying.

Dorothy’s story was almost lost to us.

If not for her twin brother’s love and devotion, we would know next to nothing about the twenty-fifth woman to join that first elite squadron of World War II women fliers. But Edward Scott saved his beloved sister’s wartime letters home and donated them to the WASP Archive in 2000, not long before his own death.

I am a WASP author and historian. Because of those letters, in September 2009, I visited Dorothy’s grave and met Tracy Scott, Edward Scott’s elder son. Tracy never knew his Aunt Dorothy. She died three months before he was born. But he is the keeper of the family history. And Tracy told me something that struck a chord. “Somehow, my father realized that his sister was different. I think he regarded her as the smartest woman who ever lived.”

Gary Devon, the editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune, told me when I visited Oroville, Washington, in 2005 searching for Dorothy, that Ed Scott often came by the newspaper office just to talk to him about Dorothy—to tell him stories about her. Ed did not want her to be forgotten.

In the end, by leaving her letters to posterity in the care of the official WASP Archive at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Edward Scott ensured that his twin sister Dorothy would not be forgotten.

What remains now is to tell her story.

Author: Sarah Byrn Rickman


about the author

Sarah Byrn Rickman is editor of the official WASP of World War II newsletter, the author of five previous books about the WASP, and an amateur pilot. In addition to her books, Sarah is the author of numerous magazine and journal articles about the WASP.

Sarah is a former reporter/columnist for The Detroit News (Michigan) and former editor of the Centerville-Bellbrook Times (Ohio). She earned her B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University McGregor.

Sarah was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and grew up in Denver, Colorado. She now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, Richard, and their black Lab, Lady.

Facebook * Website



5 WINNERS Each Win a Signed Copy of the Book


Dorothy Scott Giveaway Image

  June 1 – June 10, 2016


a Rafflecopter giveaway


6/1       Hall Ways Blog              — Review
6/2       StoreyBook Reviews     — Excerpt #1
6/3       My Book Fix Blog          — Author Interview #1
6/4       Forgotten Winds           — Review
6/5       Books and Broomsticks — Guest Post
6/6       Texas Book Lover          — Author Interview #2
6/7       Missus Gonzo               — Review
6/8       The Page Unbound       — Excerpt #2
6/9       The Crazy Booksellers   — Author Interview #3
6/10     It’s a Jenn World           — Review


lone star lit life 

blog tour services provided by

lone star book blog tours