In 1940 Nancy Love wrote General Bob Olds with a plan, which he rejected, to use women pilots in the Air Transport Command (ATC). The ATC was a division of the Army that transported supplies and troops, and ferried military aircraft from factory to combat zones.
On December 8, 1941 Japan launched a surprise attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. President Roosevelt declared war on Japan and America became fully involved in World War II.
At the beginning of World War II the demand for pilots was great. Love was employed in non-flying duties by the Air Corps Ferrying Command. She sent proposals to the Ferrying Command and Air Transport Command to use female pilots to deliver military aircraft from factory to military air bases. These proposals called for a small group of highly qualified women flyers who would need little additional training to fill the growing demand for ferrying pilots.
In 1942 General Arnold directed the ATC to start the training program "to provide at the earliest possible date a sufficient number of women pilots to replace men in every noncombatant flying duty in which it is feasible."
The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron was established. Love, who was only twenty-seven years old, was named commander.
The water cooler conversation that changes history...
“My wife flew to Baltimore to work this morning,” said Major Love, airing his weather concerns. “I hope she got there OK.”
#3. Authorizes appointment of Nancy Love
Letter & Questionnaire To Prospective WAFS
Telegram To WAFS Recruite
Video Clip From unctv.org North Carolina's WW II Experience
"I've been able to find forty-nine qualified women pilots I can rate as excellent material ... There are probably at least fifteen more of these whom I don't know about and so haven't starred. I really think this list is up to handling pretty complicated stuff. Most of them have in the neighborhood of a thousand hours or more -- mostly more, and have flown a great many types of ships."
Video Clip From WOMEN IN THE WILD BLUE
Secretary of War Henry Stinson Names
"If the WAFS are to succeed, our personal conduct must be above reproach," she told her recruits. "There cannot be the faintest breath of scandal."
“Don’t present us as a glamour outfit, we’re not. There’s no room or time for glamour in the W.A.F.S., we’ve got a serious job to do.” Nancy Love