Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Workday Wednesday: Air Transport Auxiliary, 1939

   With the release of the 1940 census, we'll be learning new information about the World War II generation. While some of their experiences were still in the future as of 1940, a small population of Americans would shortly be involved in war. In 1939, the British had formed a civilian organization called the Air Transport Auxiliary. The ATA ferried planes, allowing RAF pilots to devote themselves to combat missions. In August 1940, they began seeking out American pilots.

  For those determined to enter the war, this was the perfect way to fight. Men and women both could protect their American citizenship and serve the cause - joining the RAF would have been considered treason. Women had an added reason. They weren't yet permitted to join the military effort at home as pilots. The ATA veterans would lay the groundwork for the Women's Air Force Service Pilots and, eventually, women in the Air Force.

   If you're interested in indexing the 1940 census, visit


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