Unsung heroes of World War II finally get their due

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The Women Airforce Service Pilots was born in 1942 to create a corps of female pilots able to fill all types of flying jobs at home to free male military pilots to travel to the front.

In the days after the outbreak of the war, Jacqueline Cochran, one of the country's leading female pilots at the time, went to a key general to argue that women would be just as capable pilots as men if they were given the same training.

She won the argument, and the program was launched.

Some 65 years after their service, the WASPs are being honored with the Congressional Gold Medal -- one of the national's highest civilian honors.

Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, shepherded a bill through the Senate, and it now awaits a vote by the House of Representatives.

With fewer than 300 living former WASPs, all in their late 80s or older, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, a sponsor of the bill, told CNN it's important for the House to act quickly.

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