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O’MALLEY Betty Constance

Service: RAAF – Women’s Auxiliary Australian Airforce Laverton
Service number: 170098
Locality on Enlistment: Birregurra
Duration of Service: 10 Apr 1944 – 1 Mar 1946
Prisoner of War: No
Honours: None for display
Date and Place of Birth: 23 Jun 1922 Apollo Bay
Parents: John Edwin O’MALLEY and Gertrude STEELE
Spouse: Edward Charles WARD
School/s: Wye River and Apollo Bay State Schools
Occupation: Home duties and Woolspinner
Date and Place of Death: 19 Jan 1962 Melbourne
Place of Burial: Whoorel Cemetery

O’Malley sisters-Betty, Nancy, Ruth

NOTES: Prior to 1940, women were not permitted to serve in the RAAF. Rapid expansion of recruiting during World War II led to a shortage of men with essential skills such as wireless telegraphy. From a first intake of 37 recruits in March 1941, the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force expanded rapidly to number just over 18,000 women by 1944. The initial aim was to release men for combat duties but the WAAAF soon became a vital part of almost every RAAF activity in wartime Australia. Women were not permitted to serve as aircrew but carried out more than 70 other roles including radar operators, parachute packers, instrument repairers and drivers.  RAAF Museum