By Sarah Byrn Rickman
Love used to be addicted to flight at an early age. At 16, after simply 4 hours of guide, she flew solo “a particularly damaged down Fleet biplane that my barnstorming teacher imported from elements unknown.” The yr used to be 1930: record-setting aviator Jacqueline Cochran (and Love’s destiny rival) had now not but realized to fly, and the main well-known girl pilot of all time, Amelia Earhart, had but to make her acclaimed solo Atlantic flight.
When the U.S. entered global warfare II, the military wanted pilots to move or “ferry” its combat-bound plane around the usa for in another country deployment and its coach airplanes to flight education bases. so much male pilots have been assigned to wrestle instruction, leaving few on hand for ferrying jobs. Into this vacuum stepped Nancy Love and her civilian Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS).
Love had encouraged utilizing girls as ferry pilots as early as 1940. Jackie Cochran anticipated a extra formidable plan, to coach girls to accomplish a number of the military’s flight-related jobs stateside. the military applied either courses within the fall of 1942, yet Jackie’s proposal piqued normal Hap Arnold’s curiosity and, by means of summer time 1943, her proposal had gained. The women’s courses turned one less than the identify ladies Airforce carrier Pilots (WASP), with Cochran because the Director of girls Pilots and Love because the government for WASP.
Nancy Love suggested the Ferrying department, which was once a part of the Air delivery Command, as to the simplest use in their WASP ferry pilots. She supervised their allocation and air-training application. 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 proper for ladies ferry pilots to transition into an increasing number of advanced airplanes. She looked at on twenty-three various army plane and have become the 1st lady to fly a number of of them, together with the B-17 Flying fort. Her global warfare II occupation ended on a excessive word: following a general’s orders, she piloted a massive C-54 military shipping over the fabled China-Burma-India “Hump,” the an important airlift path over the Himalayas.
Nancy Love believed that the ladies hooked up to the army had to be on equivalent footing with the lads and given an analogous possibilities to turn out their skills and mettle. younger women serving at the present time as strive against pilots owe a lot to like for growing the chance for ladies to serve. Her foresight and tenacity approximately seventy years in the past helped make certain their destiny. Now writer Sarah Byrn Rickman, aviation historian, offers the 1st full-length biography of Nancy Love and her function within the WAFS and WASP courses. Her publication will attract all with a love of flight.