FROM 1943!

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by Jacqueline Cochran

The  tribute to me in  the first issue of The Fifinella Gazette touched me deeply and pleasured me no end.

With the start of the war, I became convinced that there was a sound, beneficial place for women in the air--not to compete with or displace the men pilots, but to supplement them--and I never let up trying to establish in practice the birth of  my belief.   I flew a bomber to England partly to bring out the point, and   partly  to  see   what  the  English  women pilots were accomplishing and how  they were organized.  

b17.gif (17069 bytes) On my  return, I worked with the General Staff of the Ferry Command for several weeks on a  plan which later developed.    The time just then did not seem opportune; so, with the blessings of our own authorities, I took twenty-five women pilots to England, where they have been doing a fine job, flying operational equipment (behind the lines) including Hurricanes, Spitfires, and two-motored bombers..Now, we are on the verge of seeing this whole dream blossom into reality in a truly big way. 

The Women's Flying Training program has already approached the proportions of our entire air program prior to the start of the war

What will be the ultimate result -- good or bad -- will be up to the girls themselves.  You of the first classes will have the real responsibility.  By your actions and results the future course will be set.  You have my reputation in your hands. 

Also, you have my faith. I have no fear -- I know you can do the job. fifinell.gif (4645 bytes) After graduation, I will be following you with anxious and proud eyes, and your success will be my satisfaction.

This work of mine -- planning, sitting at a desk, and working well into the night as regular routine -- is no great pleasure for one who loves to have her hand on the throttle; but, it has to be done if you are to succeed. 

My compensation can only come from your morale and accomplishments.   -- I'm proud of you!


reprinted from the Fifinella Gazette, March 1, 1943