Women's Auxiliary Air Force

RAF Drem had a large WAAF contingent. Women's Auxiliary Air Force personnel were employed in most areas of the airfield, and not purely in an administrative role. WAAF officers worked on codes and cyphers. Other WAAF trades included Armourer, Flight Mechanic (airframe and engine), Instrument Mechanic and Repairer, Motor Transport Driver and Mechanic, Photographer, Wireless and Radio Operator, Cook, Fabric Worker (balloons and parachutes), Clerk, Pay Accounting, Aircrafthand, Bomb Plotter, Cine Operator, Pigeon Keeper, Workshop Hand, and so on. One of their most famous roles was that of Plotter in Radio-Location - working in underground operations rooms. Their presence at Drem was indispensible, as it was at all RAF stations during the war. When Drem became HMS Nighthawk, the WAAF role was taken over by their nautical sisters of the Women's Royal Naval Service, better known as "Wrens".

The WAAF accommodation site is now occupied by the Fenton Barns Retail Village, their mess being the building which now houses the RAF Drem Collection and Exhibition.


A cartoon from the early 1940s, but in reality the WAAFs
were a vital workforce within the RAF
Contrary to the caption, later in the war WAAFs did undertake servicing of aircraft.


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