During World War II many women played roles as daring and courageous as were required of any man. This is the true story of one such woman, who gambled her life to help the Allies win the final victory in Europe.
"...I began my mission in wartime France as a British secret agent. Colonel Maurice Buckmaster had told me what my assignment was:"
"You will parachute into France with a wireless operator and a demolition specialist. The drop will be 40 miles from Le Mans, where Rommel's army is concentrated..."
Click here to read about the women who spied for the Nazis during the Second World War.
"The WASP program, for as such the Women Airforces Service Pilots became known, was begun in August, 1943. In addition to providing women fliers who could take over certain jobs and thereby release their brothers for front-line duty, the program was designed to see if women could serve as military pilots and, if so, to serve as a nucleus of an organization that could be rapidly expanded...The women who took part in the pilot program proved of great value to their country, flying almost every type of airplane used by the AAF, from the Thunderbolt fighter, to the C-54 transport, they flew enough miles to reach around the world 2,500 times at the Equator."
The WASPs were fortunate enough to have pioneering aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran (1906 – 1980) to serve at their helm.
Click here to read about the WAC truck drivers of the Second World War.
Attached is a photo-essay from a 1943 issue PIC MAGAZINE illustrating the roll women played in a California bomber factory.
When it became clear to the employers on the American home front that there was going to be a shortage of men, their attention turned to a portion of the labor pool who had seldom been allowed to prove their mettle: they were called women. This article recalls those heady days at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground when local women were trained to fire enormous artillery pieces in order that the Army weapons specialists understand the gun's capabilities. This column primarily concerns the delight on all the men's faces when it was discovered that women were able to perform their tasks just as well as the men.
Here is an account by one reporter of his visit to an American aircraft factory early in the war. His article concerns the novelty of female laborers:
"We climbed to a catwalk in the rafters and looked down on one of the most fascinating factories on earth. It was gay as a flower garden. Women in bright blouses and slacks were everywhere, doing everything. Blondes and brunettes and redheads and - well , middle-aged ones. Mostly pretty. And every one eagerly intent upon her job."
In an effort to put an end to worker absenteeism at defense plants, a fetching welder at the Albina Engine & Machine Works shipyard (Portland, Oregon), Jeannine Christiansen unhatched a sure-footed scheme to do just that. Recognizing that (most) men don't find life worth living without rubbing noses with the females of the species, Miss Christiansen instituted the NO WORK NO WOO movement (I think you can guess what Woo means). The attached report states that it was effective and spread to other factories along the West Coast.