In addition to the books shared earlier, there are two that look at the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) –

 

‘Archie’ Hall, WAAF wrote We, Also, Were There.  “ This is a collection of recollections of those hitherto forgotten young women, the WAAF of Bomber Command, some of them very young, leaving home for the first time – pitched overnight into a strange, and at first, terrifying world.  It tells of the fun, the tragedy, the comradeship, and above all, dedication to the job.”

The writer recalls her work with Intelligence/Operations, “Just at the time when the Battle of Britain was hotting up I joined the WAAF as a plotter… the most coveted job at that time for WAAFs – to be a plotter in the Battle of Britain!  These were exciting and dramatic days, and many pictures of this Operations Room (No. 11 Group Fighter Operations Room at Uxbridge) have since been shown on television, etc. It is now a museum, called ‘The Bunker’ – we used to call it ‘The Hole’.”

 

The WAAF – A History of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in the Second World War was written by Squadron Leader Beryl E. Escott.  The WAAF was raised a few weeks before the war started in 1939 to provide, “among other trades, telephonists, plotters and radar operations at RAF stations and British embassies around the world, and this is what they are remembered for.  But they undertook duties from cleaning and clerical work to becoming dental hygienists and flight mechanics.

The author describes the training they received, the work they undertook and what happened when WAAFs were off duty. Their key role was communications and intelligence, for which the women’s ‘antihamfistedness’ (as one scientist put it) made them particularly suited.. A number of WAAFs won gallantry awards and their stories are also included.