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Bill introduced to let female pilots ashes rest at Arlington | News

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Bill introduced to let female pilots ashes rest at Arlington
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WASHINGTON (AP) - An Arizona congresswoman is introducing legislation to ensure that a group of female World War II pilots can have their ashes laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

The pilots, known as Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, flew military aircraft in noncombat roles during the war to free up male pilots for combat. They were considered civilians until Congress retroactively granted them veteran status in 1977.

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For years, the women were permitted to have their ashes placed at Arlington. But last year, then-Secretary of the Army John McHugh rescinded their eligibility. In a memo, he said lawyers determined they should never have been allowed in Arlington in the first place.

Republican Martha McSally said the Army's exclusion of WASPs is wrong and filed legislation Wednesday to reverse McHugh's decision.

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