One of the services in WWII that is not known by many people is the Women Airforce Service Pilots. During WWII pilots were needed in Europe and the Pacific. And unlike the Soviet Union, women were not allowed in combat. Since every single male pilot was needed for the front lines, there was a real need for experienced pilots to ferry airplanes from place to place, both within the United States and abroad. In 1943 the WASPs were formed.
If you’ve never heard of them, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. During the war, they weren’t considered a part of the military, only an auxiliary, and received no military recognition or benefits. This is starting to change. There is now a WWII WASP museum located in Sweetwater, Texas. I plan on visiting it sometime.
One of the books that I read that helped to tell me about the WASPs and about the Mercury 13 is Amelia Earhart’s Daughters, The Wild and Glorious Story of American Women Aviators from World War II to the Dawn of the Space Age. This isn’t the most scholarly book, but it is a good place to start.