SEPTEMBER 12, 1942
WASHINGTON, Friday—There is a very lovely story in the Louisville Courier-Journal about Southern hospitality as it is extended by one family, particularly the mother of the family, to the boys in the nearby camp.
The newspaper photograph and the clipping is sent me by one of the boys. I think a quotation from his letter will show you what genuine hospitality these boys receive: "We are the boys Mrs. Edmonson adopted. She and Mr. Edmonson opened their home and hearts to us, as are many women all over the country to our soldiers. Tribute should be paid to Mrs. Edmonson as a shining example of those greatest of morale builders, the American housewife like `our [originally: 'our] Mom."'
These four boys of varying backgrounds spend every weekend at the Edmonson home. They can sleep, or read, or listen to the radio, or even help in the kitchen! Mrs. Edmonson will cook for them the meals of their choice, each in turn, and she has made them feel much like her own children.
On her birthday they called her up to sing happy birthday to her, and reversed the charges as most of our children do! She has even gone one step further and writes to the families of her adopted boys, so that the real parents will know more about their boys than any young man will probably impart in his own letters home.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration has sent me some facts on the use of women in their CAA pilot training and on their attitude toward women fliers in general. They say that they have been the greatest benefactor and aid to the aspirations of women in aviation. When they began their pilot training program in 1939, there were only 675 certified women pilots in this country, and today there are 3,698. Out of this number, 2,450 received their initial flight training from the CAA.
The use of women is a problem, they concede, but the problem is created by the budget and congressional committees, who feel that the money appropriated has a wider potential if used for men, so far as the war effort is concerned. For the fiscal year 1942, only enough money was appropriated to train the enlisted reservists requested by the Army and Navy. Therefore, the CAA has been unable since July 1, 1941, to take any women for CAA training.
Even such women as now acting as instructors, may be removed if the armed forces require all civilian instructors in military flying schools and CPT schools to become enlisted reservists, so that greater control may be had over the assignments. It seems, therefore, if women fliers wish really to bring pressure to bear to be of use in the war, they must exert it on the heads of the armed forces and the budget and congressional committees.