American Women and Flight since 1940

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Daughters of Minerva Military Women in Aviation.

How Little-Known WWII Female Pilots Laid the Groundwork for US Military Reform | HuffPost

Should Women Fly? Demobilization and the Postwar Transition The Feminine Mystique and Aviation The s. Captains of Industry Airlines and the Military New World Order? Statistics for American Women and Flight.

Glossary of Abbreviations. Women with the Right Stuff The s. Douglas , Amy E. Defense Visual U. Then I looked way up and saw formations of silver bombers riding in. I saw something detach itself from a plane and come glistening down.

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My eyes followed it down, down, and even with knowledge pounding in my mind, my heart turned over convulsively when the bomb exploded in the middle of the Harbor. Most people wonder how they would react in a crisis; if the danger comes as suddenly as this did you don't have time to be frightened.

“American Women in Flight Since 1940”: Insight into a Woman’s Place in Our Society

I'm not brave, but I knew the air was not the place for our little By July of , almost two years into the war, England was desperately short of pilots, and the flight schools couldn't keep up with demand. The Royal Air Force's solution was to use trained female aviators to ferry planes around the British Isles.

The women's contribution was invaluable. They were moving planes around by the thousands with just a few minor accidents. In the summer of , Cochran spent some time in London studying how that operation worked. When she returned to the U. Army Air Corps. The following summer Cochran returned to Britain, this time with 25 hand-picked American women recruits who would help ferry planes for the British Air Transport Auxiliary. In both Love and Cochran again independently submitted proposals regarding a female flying squadron.

But this time their ideas met with much more enthusiasm. Encouraged by the British women's stellar performance and cognizant of the desperate shortage of pilots resulting from America's entry into the war, U.

What American Women Looked Like in 1945

Love and Cochran's suggestions were very different. Cochran's proposal, sent to General Arnold, suggested that the Army train a division of women pilots who would not only conduct ferrying missions, but who would ultimately be involved in all kinds of domestic military aviation operations.

Establishing the Women's Airforce Service Pilots

She suggested establishing a small ferrying squadron of already trained female pilots. Within months, Love's proposal was approved.


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In September she began pulling together a handful of experienced pilots, each of whom was required to have at least hours of flying time, a commercial license, and a high school education. Almost simultaneously, General Arnold asked Cochran to return to the U.


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Although they were recruited by the Army Air Forces to learn to fly military aircraft, they weren't considered military conscripts. They were given no accommodation, no transportation to base, no uniform, or even an allowance to buy uniforms. A few months into the program, the Army managed to cobble together some crude off-base housing.

After the war one of these early recruits remembered being dismayed by the reception she received: "I don't think I'd put my dog today in the motel we lived in.

It was just cruddy. All the rooms had double beds. We were assigned rooms, and here I was sleeping with some woman I'd never met before. There were rats in the motel. Still we were getting to fly; that was the big thing!

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List of women aviators

Even though this was a training program, the women were required to be already in possession of pilot's licenses and to have a minimum of hours of flight time in order to be accepted in the program. Over the course of its operation, more than 25, women applied to the training program of whom only 1, were accepted. While Cochran's program was training women to fly the military way, Love's squadron was already flying ferrying missions.

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