1939 - And in the back of a three-ton lorry, a strangely assorted group of young women bumped over the road to RAF Colston. They were the first of the Waafs.
Barmaids mixed with secretaries and debutantes. They had appalling living quarters and no uniforms. And, worst of all, the Station Commander, David Palmer, didn't want them. They were a nuisance, unable to do the work of men, and undoubtedly they would collapse and panic if the station was bombed.
Felicity Newman, the officer in charge of the girls, took the scathing criticism with a red face and in angry silence, then began to try and mould the ragtag bunch of girls into a disciplined fighting unit.
There was Anne Cunningham, who knew how to dance and have fun, but found herself peeling vegetables and skinning rabbits in the station kitchens. Winnie Briggs from a Suffolk farm - who longed to work on the aeroplanes themselves but met rigid rejection at every turn. And Virginia Stratton, who saw the Waaf as an escape from a miserable home, wanting to build a new life for herself.
As the war progressed, so the girls showed their worth - behaving heroically under fire, supporting the pilots with their steadfast strength, loyalty, and often their love - a love that was sometimes tragic, sometimes passionate, but always courageous.show more