Women’s Junior Air Corps

G-AIYO

Operated from Apr 1951 to Mid-1955

Founders/Directors – National Association of Training Corps for Girls

While Southend Airport would see a vast number of airlines and companies basing themselves at the airport during the post WWII period, it was also home to a number of private and governmental associations and organisations. One such entity was the Region 12, Women’s Junior Air Corps which in a similar drive to the regular boy’s air corps, was set up to attract high school girls into its ranks. This association was quite naturally rather militaristic in nature with marching, drills and parades taking place on a regular basis while a certain number of practical skills would be taught too, such as aircraft recognition and Morse code; the latter two taking place within an old Anderson shelter.

The WJAC were also provided with a single engined Argus named ‘Grey Dove’, which was used for basic flight instruction and pleasure flights around the airfield, all under the watchful eye of Ms. Freydis Leaf – a highly experienced, former Air Auxiliary pilot who had carried out numerous ferry flights during WWII. Flights were usually carried out at weekends and for the modern day equivalent of 37-1/2p each, three girls could accompany the pilot on a 10 minute jaunt around the airfield, sometimes even taking the controls themselves. The details surrounding the organisations demise are unknown, however the aircraft itself was finally sold off during June 1955.

 

WJAC fleet from 1951 to 1955

Fairchild Argus

G-AIYO – 4/51 to 7/55

Sold to Air Navigation and Trading Company

 

Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this organisation’s SEN history or indeed, any pictures or paraphernalia that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.