Women's Efforts During World War Ii: Women Airforce Service Pilots

1980 words - 8 pages

“Women pilots… are a weapon waiting to be used.” Eleanor Roosevelt said this statement during her “My Day” speech on September 1, 1942 in order to promote the use of women pilots in the Second World War. She was supporting the women by saying that if they could pass the same tests as their fellow men pilots, then they should be given the same opportunity to join in noncombat service. During World War II, women had to rise to the occasion in order to help their country in a time of desperate need. With most of the American men serving in the army and other branches of the armed forces, women stepped up and took their place. Some chose to stay closer to home and took men’s everyday jobs in order to keep the country running regularly. Other women chose a different route, and strayed a little farther from home. These brave women replaced some of the men soldiers stationed in the noncombat jobs in the United States military so that the men could go overseas to Europe and contribute to fighting the enemy. These women were not always accepted by their fellow soldiers, for the men were worried that their masculinity would be undervalued as more and more women joined. An example of these very brave women was the women pilots who served in the women’s division of the Air Force. The women pilots were put in noncombat jobs that most people viewed as safer, but the women pilots were actually risking their lives every day.
Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran and Nancy Love achieved the unexpected; they assist in the creation of a flying program for women. It all began when Jackie Cochran first wrote a letter to first lady Eleanor Roosevelt with her idea of forming a flying program for women in the Army Air Forces (AAF). She wanted to help her country in its time of need, but she also wanted to satisfy her aspirations, for her herself had set many flying records for both men and women. Jackie also sent a letter to Colonel Robert Olds, who at the time was aiding in the creation of the Ferrying Command for the Air Corps. In these letters, Cochran suggested the use of women pilots in noncombat missions, in order to allow the men pilots to go overseas and fight in the more dangerous, combatant jobs. Despite General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold’s establishment of the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPT) to turn out more qualified pilots from which to choose, there were still not enough pilots to go around. So, “Hap” Arnold sent Cochran to investigate how they accomplished this at the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) over in England. Meanwhile, Nancy Love was also working hard to promote women pilots. Love was working in a managerial position for the Ferrying Division. In 1942, she proposed to Colonel William Tunner, the commander of the Ferrying Division, that he use qualified women pilots to aid in the ferrying; Tunner fancied the idea. Because Love and Tunner shared a dislike of Cochran, for they thought her ideas too ambitious, they hurried the announcement...

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