SEPTEMBER 1, 1942
HYDE PARK, Monday—Yesterday afternoon I went to the annual Roosevelt Home Club party, which had been scheduled for Saturday afternoon but had to be postponed.
In spite of the change of time, it was well attended. We all listened to a recording made by the War Department of the last message sent from the Fortress of Corregidor. The mother of the boy who sent it was in the audience and she came to the rostrum to say a few words.
She has heard nothing from her boy and the best she can hope is that he is a prisoner and can survive under whatever conditions to which he is subjected. Very simply, she said she had attended these gatherings for three years. Last year we were at peace and she prayed that we might remain at peace, but now she prays daily that the next year we may return to peace. Her other boy is on the coast of the state of Washington somewhere near Seattle, which must give her a feeling of being bereft at home.
I have a letter from a gentleman who is very much exercised because our women pilots are not being utilized in the war effort. The CAA says that women are psychologically not fitted to be pilots, but I see pictures every now and then of women who are teaching men to fly. We know that in England, where the need is great, women are ferrying planes and freeing innumerable men for combat service.
It seems to me that in the Civil Air Patrol and in our own ferry command, women, if they can pass the tests imposed upon men, should have an equal opportunity for non-combat service. I always believe that when people are needed, they will eventually be used.
I believe in this case, if the war goes on long enough, and women are patient, opportunity will come knocking at their doors. However, there is just a chance that this is not a time when women should be patient. We are in a war and we need to fight it with all our ability and every weapon possible. Women pilots, in this particular case, are a weapon waiting to be used. As my correspondent says:
"I think it is time you women spoke up for yourselves and undertook a campaign to see that our 3,500 women fliers, every one of whom is anxious to do something in the war, be given a chance to do it. Hence, I am speaking up for the women fliers, because I am afraid we cannot afford to let the time slip by just now without using them."