Taking Flight:

The Nadine Ramsey Story

“From humble beginnings, Nadine Ramsey was destined to fly… and was one of the first women to fly military aircraft. This honest and heartfelt book chronicles the life of a woman who struggled to overcome the barriers of her day, and occasionally brushed the bounds of heaven.”

– Lisa K. Shapiro, San Diego State University

TAKING FLIGHT: The Nadine Ramsey Story

After her first solo flight in 1936, Nadine Ramsey was stunt-racing and barnstorming the Midwest, hoping for a career in aviation. The irrepressible young woman from Wichita had long been determined to fly and the gathering storm clouds of World War II provided an unexpected opportunity. Taking Flight is the inspiring story of a girl from Depression-era Kansas who overcame tremendous challenges and defied convention to become an elite pilot—one of the few American women to fly fighter aircraft during World War II.

Taking Flight follows Nadine as she became one of 1,102 women to join the newly-created ranks of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and one of only 303 female pilots to take to the skies in military fighter cockpits, transporting aircraft to bases across the nation for use in the theaters of war.

This book marks Nadine’s milestones: the first Kansas woman to earn a commercial pilot license; among the earliest women to fly the US Air Mail; one of only 26 WASPs who flew the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a fighter aircraft—and the first woman to own one; and the only woman in the country to instruct male pilots to fly fighter planes after the war.

Disbanded in December 1944 to make way for male pilots and barred from piloting for commercial airlines, the WASPs spent the next three decades fighting to win veteran status – and it wasn’t until 2009 that they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, posthumously for Nadine and many of her colleagues.

Taking Flight: The Nadine Ramsey Story is a profile in courage of a woman who helped clear the flight path for today’s female combat and commercial aviators.

“The authors balance Nadine’s sacrifices and achievements with her human foibles and disappointments, presenting to readers of all ages a thoroughly captivating and heroic woman in an era when America desperately needed heroes. A riveting narrative.”

– Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center

What better way for a woman in the 1940s to penetrate a glass ceiling than by piloting military aircraft! Both enlightening and inspirational, Taking Flight is a must-read.

– Thomas J. Cutler, US Naval Institute

Taking Flight is currently available in hardcover and ebook editions.

  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Date of Publication: September 3, 2020
  • Language: English
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0700629807



For signed, dedicated copies of Taking Flight: The Nadine Ramsey Story, please email Raquel Ramsey at raquiramsey1946@gmail.com.

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