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International Women’s Air & Space Museum Unveils New Exhibit

Features Ruth Fleisher, WASP and Longtime IWASM Member

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) has a new exhibit on Ruth Fleisher, a pilot, longtime member of IWASM, and member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Fleisher joined the WASP in 1943.

Although 25,000 women applied to join the WASP during World War II, Fleisher was one of only 1,102 pilots accepted. The WASP worked as test pilots for aircraft, ferried aircraft, and transported equipment, among other duties, until they were disbanded in December 1944, without recognition as military veterans until 1977.

In addition to being a member of the WASP, Fleisher had her instrument and flight instructor ratings, and worked as a ground instructor and charter pilot. She joined the Air Force in 1949 and retired as a major in 1973. Fleisher flew in air races and also served as a judge at the 1978 Angel Derby. In 2016, she passed away at the age of 94.

Currently, on display in the museum are her WASP jacket, flying goggles, flying helmet, charm bracelet, Powder Puff Derby trophy, flying ribbons, and WASP portrait.

The museum offers free admission. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Office, gift shop, and research center hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Guided tours are available by calling 216.623.1111. Tour group size will be limited to eight guests to comply with current social distancing guidelines. Masks are required.

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum is located in the terminal of Burke Lakefront Airport, only seconds from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center. The mission of IWASM is to preserve the history of women in aviation and space and to document their continuing contributions today and in the future. In 1986 the museum opened in Centerville, Ohio. IWASM was welcomed to the City of Cleveland, Ohio in 1998, where you will find their home at Burke Lakefront Airport. Exhibits are in the lobby at Burke, as well as the west concourse, and are accessible



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