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This is the story of World War II's great unsung heroines- The Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical Engineering Cadettes. These 918 young women received training at seven top-notch universities and then filled the shoes of the many Curtiss-Wright Engineers who were called to war. Without the Cadette's assistance, thousands of planes would have lagged in production - and the war would have dragged on. Curtiss-Wright repaid these young women by abruptly dumping them after the Japanese surrender. Adding insult to injury, the company later "lost" all their records on the program.
At the heart of the book is the author's mother, Ricki Cruse, a bright 19-year-old beauty who managed, in 1943, to bust out of a small town, East Texas, by stepping onto the "Curtiss-Wright Starlight Express" and travel north to one of the most important experiences of her life. In 2008, five years after Ricki's death, her daughter began crisscrossing the country to find documentation about the Cadettes, seeking to discover whether the women had been "real engineers." The result is a compelling narrative that will keep you turning pages, eagerly anticipating the results of her digging, right up to the dramatic - and inspiring end.