Title: WAAAF at War – Life and Work in the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force

Author: Robertson, E M

Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Publisher: Mullaya Publications

Publication Date: 1974

ISBN: 0859140105

Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 112 pages

Comments: The detailed history of the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF).

The Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) was formed in March 1941  after considerable lobbying by women keen to serve and by the Chief of the Air Staff who wanted to release male personnel serving in Australia for service overseas. The WAAAF was the first and largest of the World War II Australian Women’s Services. It was disbanded in December 1947.

Not long after World War II was declared in 1939, the Royal Australian Air Force had an urgent need for more skilled and semi-skilled signals and maintenance personnel to fulfil its wartime commitments to the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) for local defence in Australia.

On 4 February 1941, the formation of an air force women’s auxiliary was approved by the War Cabinet. It had taken 14 months of difficult discussion and opposition to achieve this final outcome.

The formation of the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) set a precedent for the formation of other women’s service organisations such as The Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) and the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS).

Approximately 27,000 women enlisted in the WAAAF between 15 March 1941 and 24 August 1945. In June 1941, Squadron Officer Clare Stevenson was appointed Director of the WAAAF.