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Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron

Nancy E. Batson, WAFS pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Nancy E. Batson, WAFS pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Nancy Batson (left) briefs two pilots before a flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Nancy Batson (left) briefs two pilots before a flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Gen. Hap Arnold and Barbara Erickson at Avenger Field, Texas, after she was awarded the Air Medal. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Gen. Hap Arnold and Barbara Erickson at Avenger Field, Texas, after she was awarded the Air Medal. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Barbara J. Erickson. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Barbara J. Erickson. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cornelia Fort. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cornelia Fort. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cornelia Fort (with a PT-19A) was a civilian instructor pilot at an airfield near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cornelia Fort (with a PT-19A) was a civilian instructor pilot at an airfield near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Betty Gillies, the first WAFS pilot to qualify. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Betty Gillies, the first WAFS pilot to qualify. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Teresa James in a P-47 Thunderbolt. She was an instructor pilot before joining the WAFS. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Teresa James in a P-47 Thunderbolt. She was an instructor pilot before joining the WAFS. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Mrs. Nancy Harkness Love, founder of the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. (Photo courtesy of Woman's Collection, Texas Woman's University.)

Mrs. Nancy Harkness Love, founder of the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. (Photo courtesy of Woman's Collection, Texas Woman's University.)

Evelyn Sharp (middle) was a barnstormer with more than 3,000 flying hours. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Evelyn Sharp (middle) was a barnstormer with more than 3,000 flying hours. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Gertrude Meserve was an instructor pilot who taught hundreds of students at Harvard and MIT. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Gertrude Meserve was an instructor pilot who taught hundreds of students at Harvard and MIT. (U.S. Air Force photo)

WAFS mdoel various uniforms. From left are Delphine Bohn in two piece winter flying suit; Evelyn Sharp wearing flying and traveling outfit of tan working shirt, gray jacket and trousers; Bernice Batton in same outfit but with dress skirt; and Barbara Erickson in white shirt with gray jacket and gray skirt worn for more formal occasions. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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WAFS mdoel various uniforms. From left are Delphine Bohn in two piece winter flying suit; Evelyn Sharp wearing flying and traveling outfit of tan working shirt, gray jacket and trousers; Bernice Batton in same outfit but with dress skirt; and Barbara Erickson in white shirt with gray jacket and gray skirt worn for more formal occasions. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- This skirt, blouse, service overcoat and handbag in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force were worn by the donor while serving as a WAFS pilot. The items were donated by Delphine Bohn of Amarillo, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- This skirt, blouse, service overcoat and handbag in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force were worn by the donor while serving as a WAFS pilot. The items were donated by Delphine Bohn of Amarillo, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), never numbering more than 28, was created in September 1942 within the Air Transport Command, under Nancy Harkness Love's leadership. WAFS were recruited from among commercially licensed women pilots with at least 500 hours flying time and a 200-hp rating. (Women who joined the WAFS actually averaged about 1,100 hours of flying experience.) Their original mission was to ferry USAAF trainers and light aircraft from the factories, but later they were delivering fighters, bombers and transports as well.

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