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Land, Air and Sea

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The WAAF

The Women's Auxiliary Airforce was founded during the First World War and disbanded in 1920. The Government reintroduced it in June 1939 when war seemed imminent. The women were billeted in Nissan huts and wore a blue uniform which was considered much smarter than the ATS one.

Like the women of the ATS they were not allowed to fight. Originally they were used as clerks, and drivers and such like to release men for the front-line duties. However, as the war progressed they became involved with codes and ciphers at Bletchley, and engineering duties. They were responsible for all the barrage balloon sites throughout Britain, which was a physically demanding job.

Women were not allowed to fly planes at first, but eventually women were transferred to the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) to fly aircraft between the factories where they were made and the airfields where they were required. 12 women lost their lives doing this.

The WAAF played an essential part in the Battle of Britain where they operated key radar positions, which warned of approaching enemy aircraft.

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Poster: Serve in the WAAF with the men who fly.

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