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World first woman to become an aircraft

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World War II was a terrible
event that affected just about everyone in the world. World War II employed
almost everyone. While men were fighting at war, women were not allowed to
fight in war, so they worked in factories or provided something helpful for the
people on their side of the war and for their country on the homefront. Though
women were not allowed to fight at war, they were a vital helper for the
soldiers. Even though women had limited positions into contributing to the war
effort in the beginning, women’s positions had expanded in being more a part of
the war, such was the case for them on the homefront. Women were a significant
vital helper into contributing to the war effort. An examination of women
working in Canadian industries, women working as nurses, and women working in
the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force will prove that women contributed significantly to the Allied war
effort in World War II.

Women working in Canadian industries proves that women
contributed significantly to the Allied war effort in World War II. A woman
named Elsie MacGill was the first woman to become an aircraft designer. She was
also the first woman to graduate with an electrical engineering degree and an
aeronautics degree. MacGill became the world’s first female aircraft. “Elsie designed, oversaw production and was aboard the
test flight of the Maple Leaf Trainer II.  She was “Queen of the
Hurricanes” and pivotal in the production of the Hawker Hurricane in Canada
during World War II and designed a series of modifications including deicing
and skis to equip the plane for cold weather flying.”1 Another woman
named Veronica Foster also known as “Bren Gun Girl,” worked in a large industry
called John Inglis Company Ltd. This industry was making guns. Foster made her
own type of machine gun called “The Bren.” There were thousands of these guns
produced and used in the battles of World War II. This following quotation presents
Foster’s hard work, “the Bren Gun Girl worked at the heavy-manufacturing John
Inglis Company Ltd. plant. The factory was converted from building large
machinery and pumps into a gun-making plant, specializing in the Bren machine
gun. The facility was expanded to cover 23 acres with 1 million square feet of
floor space. The Bren was a light and reliable machine gun used by the British
and Commonwealth military. The Inglis facility contracted with governments in
1939 to make the weapons for both British and Canadian soldiers, producing
12,000 guns over the war years.”2 Lastly, Louise Johnson was a
Canadian worker who worked in the munitions industry with thousands of working
women in the community of Ajax, her job in the Defense Industries Limited (DIL)
was to prepare explosives for World War II. The following quotation proves that
Johnson and other women were hard workers, “Louise need not have worried. She
was assigned the Blue Shift filling 3.7” shells with cordite. There were three
colour-coded shifts in the plant that worked around the clock six days a week.
The safety bandanas that the women wore to cover their hair were different
colours for each shift. The shell filling wasn’t difficult but the threat of
static electricity around explosives made the job dangerous.”3 After
all, Elsie MacGill, Veronica Foster, and
Louise Johnson prove that women were vital helpers for the soldiers serving
overseas and that they did contribute significantly to the Second World War.
 

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Canadian women working as nurses proves that women contributed significantly to the Allied war
effort in World War II. Women contributed to the war just as much as men,
especially nurses who were helping to save soldiers’ lives. These nurses either
served in the navy, air force, or army. The nurses would perform surgery;
provide therapy, medications, etc. Nurses would also need to be physically
active because the days would be so intense, that they needed to keep up with
the day and provide medical attention to many soldiers in need. This quotation
shows how stressful and hard being a nurse was in battle, “this work exposed them to progressive new techniques
like burn therapy, intravenous therapy, musculoskeletal reconstruction, and
blood transfusions. The skills and stamina of the nurses were constantly put to
the test. One of the most vigorous and intense days occurred in 1942 when the
Battle of Dieppe resulted in over 600 casualties, with as many as 95 operations
performed in a single day.”4 Being a nurse was
definitely a hard job to do at war. The nurses were in dangerous situations,
not as much as the soldiers were, but they were still a vital helper to the war
effort. Soldiers were not the only people dying, nurses died too. This
quotation shows how soldiers were not the only ones in danger, but nurses too, “we could see the glow of fires burning in the city,
and our own hospital was subjected to attack by incendiary bombs. Medical
students took turns to man the rooftops of the hospital in fire-watching
duties, having been trained to deal with threatening incendiary bombs.”5
About 4,480 Canadian nurses had enlisted to join the war. These nurses
were separated into the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, Royal Canadian Air
Force Branch, and Royal Canadian Naval Medical Service. Unfortunately, about
200 Canadian nurses died trying to save other people’s lives and to serve their
country. The following quotation proves that nurses were needed for any battle, “with the average age of 25, by war’s end 4,480
Nursing Sisters had enlisted, including: 3,656 with the Royal Canadian Army
Medical Corps, 481 with the Royal Canadian Air Force Medical Branch, and 343
with the Royal Canadian Naval Medical Service.”6 Even though it was
tragic for so many to die, their honour and bravery, will never be forgotten.
Their lives represent the Canadian flag and who Canada is as a country.

Women were not allowed to participate in combat, but were
allowed to be a part of the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force which proves
that Canadian women contributed significantly to the Allied war effort in World
War II. Women who were part of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force – originally
named Women’s Royal Air Force – were recruited to be drivers, fill posts as
clerks and other jobs that men would original do. Over a short amount of time
women got even more involved in the war by doing telegraphy, telephony, using
codes, and ciphers. There were also women who provided maintenance for
aircrafts. All of these positions that are involved in supporting an air force
would not have been done without women because these women released men to be
moved to front-line duties. The following quotation proves that women were
contributing in the air force, “WAAF found
that they were now doing far more than driving, cooking etc. WAAF were trained
in radar plotting, the maintenance of barrage balloons, photographic
interpretation etc.”7 Women’s options of positions in contributing
to the war expanded. In 1941, the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (CWAAF)
became part of the Royal Canadian Air Force. There were 17,038 women who were in
the Royal Air Force. Kathleen Walker and Jean Flatt Davey were the first two
female members of the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Walker, the first
officer in the Women Division’s and Davey was a Section Officer who was under
Walker’s supervision. “Kathleen Oonah Walker was the Women Division’s first
officer, with the rank of Flight Officer from the start of the Division. H.R.H.
Princess Alice was to be the Division’s third officer, as an honorary rank,
though. Kathleen Walker’s mandate was to set up the RCAF’s women auxiliary
services. She was well versed in the RCAF’s structure, her husband – who died
in May 1941 – having been Group Captain C.C. Walker. She also had in-depth
experience of volunteer and auxiliary organizations. Recruitment started in
1941 under Walker’s supervision and that of Section Officer Jean Flatt Davey.”8
Finally, The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force was successful in many ways.
There were successful in getting women jobs. They helped men at war, they provided
additional skills and knowledge to the air force, and they did a huge favour in
serving their country. The following quotation shows that women added
additional support to the war effort, “during the war opportunities opened up
and the working lives of women drastically changed, their skills were sharpened
and their confidence grew and their contribution to the war effort was a huge
one. They also changed a lot of attitudes along the way. For example, a Group
Captain in the RAF had previously been skeptical about the WAAF commenting in
1939.”9 Overall, women in the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
helped the war effort, themselves, and their country.

Women contributed to the war effort as
vital helpers and fighters. Elsie MacGill, Veronica Foster, and Louise Johnson are just a few who
truly made history and made a change with their inventions and hard work in
industries. All of the soldiers in war would never be forgotten and neither
would the nurses. Nurses risked their lives to help other lives and they did
that by giving medical attention to those in need. Women also contributed to
the war by participating in the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, their
help and success has added more skills and knowledge to the force. As Canadians
look back in the past, the Canadian Human Rights and the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms has changed and improved the equality of human rights for
Canadians over time. This constitution was meant for every Canadian to have
equal rights and freedoms no matter who they are, yet there are still incidences
where people are treated unfairly. Is the constitution enough for people to be
exactly equal in respect to rights and freedoms?  

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