How did Woman help the War Effort?

In WW2

The Call to Arms

Woman played a pivotal role on the American's side of the war both at home and in uniform. Not only did they give their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers to help in the war effort but they gave their blood, sweat and tears to cover jobs men would normally take. Such as repairing airplanes, being radio operators, photograph analysers and being an active role in society whilst the men were away.

Woman's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)

Initially, members of the WAAF were recruited to fill posts as clerks, kitchen orderlies and drivers, in order to release men for front-line duties. However, the occupations open to women recruits diversified as the war progressed. Women in the WAAF were involved in telephony, telegraphy and the interception of codes and ciphers, including at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park.


They were mechanics, engineers, electricians and fitters for aeroplanes. They undertook the interpretation of aerial photographs and provided weather reports. Many members of the WAAF worked in the radar control system as reporters and plotters. Their work was vital during the Battle of Britain and later in guiding night-fighter aeroplanes against German bombers.

Woman's Royal Naval Service (WRNS)

Woman in the Royal Naval Service were often named Wrens. Wrens were initially recruited to release men to serve at sea. This was reflected in the recruiting slogan 'Join the Wrens today and free a man to join the Fleet.'


As the wartime navy expanded, the WRNS followed suit, taking on tasks that the Royal Navy had previously considered beyond their capabilities. WRNS responsibilities included driving, cooking, clerical work, operating radar and communications equipment and providing weather forecasts.


The Naval Censorship Branch was staffed by WRNS clerks and censor officers either worked in mobile units or in London. Many Wrens were involved in planning naval operations, including the D-Day landings in June 1944.

Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS)

The first women who joined the ATS had no uniform and received little training, working in traditional female roles as cooks, clerks and storekeepers. After the initial flood of volunteers a system of basic training was established lasting six weeks.


New recruits were issued with their uniform and asked to carry out trade tests to establish which area they should go into. Experience in civilian life was usually crucial– for example, if a woman had been a shorthand typist she would almost certainly be assigned clerical duties.


During the course of the war the range of duties undertaken by the ATS expanded and women worked as telephonists, drivers, mess orderlies, butchers, bakers, postal workers, ammunition inspectors and military police.