By Sarah Byrn Rickman
Love was once addicted to flight at an early age. At 16, after simply 4 hours of guide, she flew solo “a really damaged down Fleet biplane that my barnstorming teacher imported from components unknown.” The yr was once 1930: record-setting aviator Jacqueline Cochran (and Love’s destiny rival) had no longer but realized to fly, and the main recognized girl pilot of all time, Amelia Earhart, had but to make her acclaimed solo Atlantic flight.
When the U.S. entered global struggle II, the military wanted pilots to move or “ferry” its combat-bound plane around the usa for out of the country deployment and its coach airplanes to flight education bases. such a lot male pilots have been assigned to strive against instruction, leaving few to be had for ferrying jobs. Into this vacuum stepped Nancy Love and her civilian Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS).
Love had endorsed utilizing ladies as ferry pilots as early as 1940. Jackie Cochran predicted a extra formidable plan, to coach girls to accomplish numerous the military’s flight-related jobs stateside. the military carried out either courses within the fall of 1942, yet Jackie’s proposal piqued common Hap Arnold’s curiosity and, by means of summer time 1943, her proposal had received. The women’s courses grew to become one below the identify ladies Airforce provider Pilots (WASP), with Cochran because the Director of ladies Pilots and Love because the govt for WASP.
Nancy Love prompt the Ferrying department, which used to be a part of the Air delivery Command, as to the simplest use in their WASP ferry pilots. She supervised their allocation and air-training software. She proved adept at organizing and encouraging these lower than her command, incomes the affection and admiration of her pilots. Her army superiors depended on and revered her, to the purpose that she turned Ferrying department commander Gen. William H. Tunner’s troubleshooter.
By instance, Love received the precise for girls ferry pilots to transition into a growing number of advanced airplanes. She looked at on twenty-three diverse army plane and have become the 1st girl to fly numerous of them, together with the B-17 Flying citadel. Her global warfare II profession ended on a excessive word: following a general’s orders, she piloted an enormous C-54 military delivery over the fabled China-Burma-India “Hump,” the the most important airlift direction over the Himalayas.
Nancy Love believed that the ladies connected to the army had to be on equivalent footing with the boys and given a similar possibilities to end up their skills and mettle. younger women serving this day as wrestle pilots owe a lot to like for growing the chance for girls to serve. Her foresight and tenacity approximately seventy years in the past helped make sure their destiny. Now writer Sarah Byrn Rickman, aviation historian, provides the 1st full-length biography of Nancy Love and her position within the WAFS and WASP courses. Her publication will attract all with a love of flight.