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WASP TIMELINE

1938

MARCH 12 • Germany’s forces march into Austria

SEPTEMBER 28 • President Franklin D. Roosevelt confers with Brigadier General Henry “Hap” Arnold re danger of war with Nazi Germany. Germany has 8000 combat aircraft, US. less than 800 (over 700 are obso- lete). President Roosevelt orders production of 11,000 new combat-ready aircraft.

SEPTEMBER 29 • General Arnold named Chief of Staff , Army Air Corps (1,650 offi cers, 16,000 enlisted). Orders civilian fl ying schools be established to train Air Corps Cadets to fl y military aircraft.

1939

SEPTEMBER 1 • Germany invades Poland SEPTEMBER 3 • Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany.

SEPTEMBER 28 • America’s most famous woman pilot, Jacqueline Cochran, contacts America’s First Lady, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. She suggests women could fl y non-combat stateside military missions “as, for instance,

in fl ying ambulance planes, courier planes, commercial and transport planes, thereby releasing male pilots for combat duty.“

“And,” she adds, “If

they had offi cial stand- ing or patriotic objec- tive... there would

be thousands more woman pilots than there are now.”

1940

SEPTEMBER 15 • FIRST

peacetime draft in history enacted by Congress.

Jacqueline Cochran

• Jacqueline Cochran addresses the Ninety Nines, women pilots organization, at the New York World’s Fair:

“There should be an organized women’s air corps auxiliary to the other air forces in the government—con- trolled, supervised and supported by our government.”

NOVEMBER 7 • Robert Lovett appointed Sec. of War for Air. Begins reorganization plan to modernize the US air arsenal.

1941

MARCH 11 • President Roosevelt signs Lend-Lease Act, HR 194.

OCTOBER 30 • Gen. Arnold named Deputy Chief of Staff for Air.

APRIL 16 • Britian receives its fi rst American Lend- Lease aid shipment of food.

MAY • Army Air Corps Ferrying Command estab-

lished.

MAY 29 • Col. Robert Olds, WWI pilot, ordered to orga- nize Ferry Command to pilot Lend-Lease planes bound for Britain.

JUNE 7 • Canada placed off -limits by Congress. The fi rst Ferry Command Lend-Lease planes land in Maine. Crews shove them across the border to waiting British and Canadian pilots.

EARLY JUNE • Chief/British Air Mission in Washington confers with Gen Arnold re staggering British losses and shortage of pilots. Ms. Cochran off ers to pilot a Lend- Lease Lockheed “Hudson” bomber to Great Britain and, as suggested by Gen. Arnold, study the use of British women pilots.

• Lord Beaverbrook authorizes Ms. Cochran’s fl ight. She must fi rst pass a Canadian fl ight test. Assigned male check pilot continually ‘stalling’ to pass her. Ms. Cochran fi nally demands to be passed. She passes.

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