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Collection Veterans History Project Collection

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[Detail] Catherine Vail Bridge standing in front of an airplane [January 1945]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots)
  • Service Unit/Ship: 5th Ferrying Division; Air Transport Command
  • Location of Service: Texas; California
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/34158

View full service history

"Of course, the ideal was to stay out as long we could so we'd get more flying time." (Video Interview, 44:04)

Catherine Vail got her first taste for flying on a teen date with a boyfriend, who had a pilot take them for a ride in a small plane. In college at Berkeley, California, she signed up for the Civilian Pilot Training Program and obtained her pilot's license. When aviator Jacqueline Cochran began forming the group that would be come the WASP, Vail interviewed with her and was hired as her personal secretary. Cochran would make an exception for Vail and other young pilots with less than the required flying time, and Vail became a member of the second class of WASP to graduate. She flew over 1000 hours, doing ferrying work all over the U.S., while her husband, whom she married in June 1944, served as a pilot in the Pacific Theater. She admits her life's biggest disappointment came when the WASP were deactivated in December 1944, with so much experience behind them and so much still to offer to the war effort.

Interview / Recording

About this Item

Title

  • Catherine Bridge Collection

Names

  • Dreier, David
  • Bridge, Catherine
  • U.S. House of Representatives/David Dreier
  • Chiera, Athena Monique

Home State

  • California

Headings

  • -  Bridge, Catherine
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots).

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Female

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots)
    • Service Unit/Ship: 5th Ferrying Division; Air Transport Command
    • Location of Service: Texas; California
    • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
    • Dates of Service: 1942-1944
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Video: Digital Betacam [1 item] -- Digitized Copy (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Clippings [5 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 1993-2000)
  • Manuscript: Book [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2010)
  • Manuscript: Periodicals [9 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 1988-2007)
  • Manuscript: Unit histories [1 item] -- (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of audio recording (collected 2003-10-27)
  • Photograph: Original photographic print [3 items] -- Photograph (collected 1944)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2005-08-05)
  • Video: MiniDV [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2005-08-05)
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2005-08)
  • Photograph: Digital print [3 items] -- Photograph (collected 1944)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/34158

Cite as

  • Catherine Bridge Collection (AFC/2001/001/34158), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Dreier, David, Catherine Bridge, U.S. House Of Representatives/David Dreier, and Athena Monique Chiera. Catherine Bridge Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.34158/.

APA citation style:

Dreier, D., Bridge, C., U.S. House Of Representatives/David Dreier & Chiera, A. M. (1942) Catherine Bridge Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.34158/.

MLA citation style:

Dreier, David, et al. Catherine Bridge Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.34158/>.