Military Wiki
Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force
WAAAF Recruiting Poster.JPG
WAAAF Recruiting Poster
Active 1941–1947
Country Australia
Branch Royal Australian Air Force
Type Women's service
Engagements World War II
Mary Bell
Clare Stevenson

The Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) was formed in March 1941 after considerable lobbying by women keen to serve and by the Chief of the Air Staff who wanted to release male personnel serving in Australia for service overseas. The WAAAF was the first and largest of the World War II Australian Women's Services. It was disbanded in December 1947.[1]



WAAAFs during an inspection parade in Townsville

Not long after World War II was declared in 1939, the Royal Australian Air Force had an urgent need for more skilled and semi-skilled signals and maintenance personnel to fulfil its wartime commitments to the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) for local defence in Australia. On 4 February 1941, the formation of an air force women's auxiliary was approved by the War Cabinet. It had taken 14 months of difficult discussion and opposition to achieve this final outcome. The formation of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) set a precedent for the formation of other women's service organisations such as The Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) and the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS).

Approximately 27,000 women enlisted in the WAAAF between 15 March 1941 and 24 August 1945. In June 1941, Squadron Officer Clare Stevenson was appointed Director of the WAAAF.[1]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Royal Australian Air Force. "Women in Air Force". Retrieved 2008-10-14. 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).