The War of Aircraftwoman 2146391
Mary Lee Settle is best known as the author of a quintet of novels set in her native West Virginia. But her memoir All the Brave Promises: The Memories of Aircraftwoman Second Class 2146391, published in 1966, is set in another world. In 1942 Mary travelled to Britain to volunteer for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force of the RAF and the book is an account of her time in the WAAF. I first came across it in 1985 during events to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. I had never heard of the book or its author but I was intrigued to discover a war memoir that was not about combat but about women in the support services. Their experience appeared to be missing from the national story that was being presented. So an account like this seemed unusual if not unique.