History of the Women Pilots in the Air Ferrying Division, ATC Collection

Nancy Harkness Love's 1942 proposal to set up a group of female pilots to ferry aircraft from factories to air bases during World War II was approved as the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS). Love commanded this unit until August 5, 1943, when the WAFS were merged with the newly formed Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and she was named the executive for all WASP ferrying operations. From light aircraft, the WASPs advanced quickly to fly every Air Corps aircraft in use at the time. With the exception of aerial gunnery and formation flying, these women received the same training as the male pilots. WASPs ferried planes, towed targets, flew cargo, simulated bombing missions, performed radio control, flight tested aircraft, gave instrument instruction, and performed many other duties. Their work allowed more men to participate in aviation combat roles'. Walter J. Marx held a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. Marx taught at the College of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia and Catholic University in Washington before serving four years in the Air Force, where he reached the rank of major. During his service, Marx wrote the 600 page report History of the Women Pilots in the Air Ferrying Division, ATC. After the war he worked at the State Department.