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Recalls Bitter Days Of Blitz on Britain By the Associated Press. NEW YORK. Dec. 29.—Among the multitude of women in uniform on Fifth Avenue, the two in RAF blue were not conspicuous. There was only, at second glance, an impres sive amount of gold braid on the elder one's service cap. <*, There was nothing to indicate they had any more pressing duties at hand than Christmas shopping. Actually, they had just completed inspection tours in Canada and conferences with the WACS' Col. Oveta Culp Hobby and Mrs. Roose velt in Washington. On the register of their East Side hotel they were inscribed as Air Chief Commandant K. J. Trefusis Forbes and Squad Officer Barbara Holmes. Their organization is Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force. Com mandant Forbes' title gives her status equivalent to RAF directors of the Air Ministry, rank on a par with a British vice air marshal or a United States major general. Squad Officer Holmes, her assistant, has rank equivalent to a major. Holds Important Job. The commandant, whose energy _ is so concentrated she seems to be moving around even while sitting still, is more than the WAAFS' su preme active commander. She is one of three women responsible for giving Britain a nucleus of women officers around which a great corps of emergency workers could be built quickly when England entered the war. It's a story that goes back to 193.S and tea at Miss Forbes' flat in London. Her guests were the Viscountess Trenchard and Dame Helen Gwynne Vaughn. All three served in the last war—Trefusis Forbes at the 8ge of 16 when she left school to drive ambulances and trucks. All three believed war was coming again and they determined to or ganize a group of women trained in administrative work who would be geared for military duty when the need came. women organized. Under the auspices of the Ministry of War and the RAF. they set up a volunteer emergency service—three years before the alarm sounded loud enough in England to bring about formation of the ATS—Brit ain's WACS. Trefusis Forbes was chief in structor for the ATS until June. 1939. when the air companies were made part of the RAF. Then she was made director of the new group, the WAAFS. Two months later, just before Germany marched into Poland, pub lic appeals for recruitment were used for the first time. 4 Says Air Chief Commandant Forbes, in her unusual voice which holds wells of enthusiasm, "They rolled up in thousands. We in creased by 15.000 in 10 weeks.” There never was any question of women's usefulness in Britain. During the battle of Britain the only concern w*as to get planes into the air. "You must remember,” says Tre fusis Forbes, "our pilots were fight ing 5 to 1. 10 to 1 and 20 to 1. Whatever you could do, you did." Raid Is Recalled. It's hard even for the chief air commandant to recapture com pletely those times of desperation, for they developed into times of steeled calmness. "I remember once I was dictating." she says, "when they came over. As they bombed. I remarked, ‘there is a big one.'" When the letter came back for her signature, in corporated into its text—because; she had said it in the same tone of voice as her dictating—was “there is a big one." At one post, "things kept getting knocked out." says Trefusis Forbes. "Water mains, gas pipes, sleeping accommodations —now that” — in serious understatement—"isn't very convenient. "There were four cookhouses at this field. Three cookhouses and one sleeping barracks were knocked nut at one moment. Feeding's no joke. You've got to be fed.” Men Fed in Shifts. By running continuous meals, the men were fed in shifts. As for sleeping. Miss Forbes is casual, "Oh. you doubled up, slept on the floor y slept anywhere.” Yet. even while the blitz progres sed. the WAAFS whose purpose is to release men for combat duty, began to branch into specialized fields. From orderlies, clerical workers, they became skilled me chanical. electrical, radio workers. By early 1943 they had expanded »o 78 times their original size. WAAFS are serving now in Brit «m. Canada., the United States and North Africa—where Commandant Forbes is heading next. Cabaret Girl Willed $1,600 A fund of $1,600 awaits Miss Fanja Lefkovaite, cabaret girl of "Vienna. Kaunas. Petrograd or Budapest." providing she is found within four years. The amount was provided in the will of Gerald P King. Royal Air Force flight officer of Horsell, Eng land. c -_—---— Complete Stock 1944 Diaries E. Morrison Paper Co 1009 Penn. Ave. N.W. 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