Women Pilots Sent to War (March 25, 1942) – Ms. Magazine

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March 25, 1942: It was officially confirmed today that 25 of America’s best women pilots will be going to Britain to help with the Allied war effort.

PHOTO: Jacqueline Cochran being awarded the Bendix Trophy by Vincent Bendix.

After learning that our Army Air Forces had no immediate plans to use women, Jacqueline Cochran began recruiting women pilots about six weeks ago for duty in the British Air Transport Auxiliary.

According to Commodore H.R. Thornton, the women will ferry light aircraft from factories to airfields after first going to Canada for physical examinations, training, and flight tests.

Though Americans are quite supportive of our British allies, today’s move is controversial because experienced pilots will be needed here to train new pilots for our own rapidly expanding war effort. But a number of qualified women aviators will remain in the U.S. in…

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