As We Were

ISBN 1-903953-76-6
RAF memoir
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Beryl R Williams (ed.)


Former members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force recall their experiences in World War Two

The stories in this book were contributed by those who served, in various capacities, in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) during World War II. Most were just teenagers or in their early twenties when they answered the call for women to volunteer for non-combatant duties in the Armed Forces.

Having left home, many for the first time, they faced the daunting prospect of entering a previously all-male preserve and taking over tasks that women had hitherto been thought incapable of. The girls of the WAAF operated barrage balloons, teleprinters and radar sets, they worked as mechanics on motor vehicles and aircraft, they worked in office and administration jobs, in hospitals, as drivers of ambulances, trucks and staff cars, as cooks and batwomen and a host of other roles, and usually under hazardous and makeshift conditions.

But in their off-duty hours the girls partied, danced and had fun with an intensity that could only happen in wartime. Friendships were made which lasted a lifetime, romances flourished, and despite their sadness when friends or sweethearts were killed and the horrors that many of them witnessed, the youth, faith and camaraderie they shared carried them through the bad days.

This book contains first-hand accounts of all the above, and much more besides, and provides a valuable insight into the lives and loves of these indomitable young ladies, who made such an invaluable contribution to the war effort over 60 years ago.

details softback | 180 pages | b/w photos