B-36201, AUG 13, 1943

B-36201: Aug 13, 1943

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THE SECRETARY OF WAR: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4. AS FOLLOWS: "YOUR DECISION REGARDING THE LEGALITY OF THE PURCHASE AND ISSUANCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF SPECIAL DISTINCTIVE UNIFORMS FOR WOMEN PILOTS EMPLOYED BY THE ARMY AIR FORCES FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR DUTIES WILL BE APPRECIATED. "THESE WOMEN PILOTS ARE CIVILIANS EMPLOYED ON AN UNCLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE STATUS AT A MONTHLY SALARY OF $150 DURING TRAINING AND $250 AFTER ASSIGNMENT FOR DUTY WITH THE AIR TRANSPORT COMMAND. THEY ARE EMPLOYED TO REPLACE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MILITARY PILOTS IN THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF AIRCRAFT IN ORDER THAT SUCH OFFICERS AND PILOTS MAY BE ASSIGNED TO OTHER DUTIES. THEIR ENTIRE WORK IS WITH AND UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE ARMY AIR FORCES AND IN EFFECT CONSTITUTES A PART OF THE MILITARY OPERATIONS CONDUCTED BY THEM.

B-36201, AUG 13, 1943

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE HONORABLE, THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

"YOUR DECISION REGARDING THE LEGALITY OF THE PURCHASE AND ISSUANCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF SPECIAL DISTINCTIVE UNIFORMS FOR WOMEN PILOTS EMPLOYED BY THE ARMY AIR FORCES FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR DUTIES WILL BE APPRECIATED.

"THESE WOMEN PILOTS ARE CIVILIANS EMPLOYED ON AN UNCLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE STATUS AT A MONTHLY SALARY OF $150 DURING TRAINING AND $250 AFTER ASSIGNMENT FOR DUTY WITH THE AIR TRANSPORT COMMAND. THEY ARE EMPLOYED TO REPLACE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MILITARY PILOTS IN THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF AIRCRAFT IN ORDER THAT SUCH OFFICERS AND PILOTS MAY BE ASSIGNED TO OTHER DUTIES. THEIR ENTIRE WORK IS WITH AND UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE ARMY AIR FORCES AND IN EFFECT CONSTITUTES A PART OF THE MILITARY OPERATIONS CONDUCTED BY THEM.

"THE TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT OF THESE PILOTS WAS FIRST COMMENCED LATE IN THE YEAR 1942 AND HENCE THE PROGRAM HAS ONLY RECENTLY REACHED THE STAGE WHERE SUCH PILOTS ARE BEING EXTENSIVELY USED ON MILITARY WORK. ORIGINALLY IT WAS CONTEMPLATED THAT THEIR USE WOULD BE CONFINED TO THE FERRYING OF SMALLER TYPES OF MILITARY AIRCRAFT WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, THEIR USEFULNESS HAS DEVELOPED TO SUCH A DEGREE THAT NOW THEY ARE BEING USED TO FERRY ALL TYPES OF PLANES, INCLUDING MULTI ENGINE AIRCRAFT, BOTH IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES. IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT THEIR SERVICES MAY ALSO BE REQUIRED IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IN THE NEAR FUTURE. FREQUENTLY THEY ACT AS CO-PILOTS WITH UNIFORMED MILITARY PILOTS. IN ADDITION, THE ARMY AIR FORCES HAVE RECENTLY COMMENCED TO USE THESE PILOTS FOR TOWING TARGETS FOR TARGET PRACTICE CONDUCTED AT HIGH ALTITUDES, CALIBRATING RADAR UNITS, AND OTHER TASKS REQUIRING A HIGH DEGREE OF TRAINING AND TECHNICAL SKILL.

"THE DUTIES OF THESE PILOTS REQUIRE THAT THEY BE ON DUTY AND PERFORM WORK IN RESTRICTED OR MILITARY AREAS, I.E., AIRCRAFT FACTORIES, SPECIAL DEFENSE AREAS AND ARMY POSTS. THE USE OF A DISTINCTIVE UNIFORM WILL AID IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE PILOTS, WILL AVOID POSSIBLE CONFUSION WITH UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS AND WILL THEREFORE PROMOTE SECURITY. THE INCREASING NUMBER AND IMPORTANCE OF THE DUTIES WHICH SUCH PILOTS ARE NOW FULFILLING, THE FACT THAT THEY ARE AT ALL TIMES UNDER THE ORDERS OF MILITARY AUTHORITY AND THE FACT THAT THEY ARE ENTRUSTED WITH VALUABLE MILITARY EQUIPMENT ARE ALL FURTHER REASONS FOR REQUIRING THAT A DISTINCTIVE UNIFORM BE WORN. HENCE IT IS APPARENT THAT THESE UNIFORMS ARE NEEDED PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE AND INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE PROSECUTION OF THE WAR RATHER THAN FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, COMFORT OR PROTECTION OF THE EMPLOYEES THEMSELVES.

"HITHERTO, THESE WOMEN PILOTS HAVE WORN COVERALLS OR SIMILAR ITEMS OF APPAREL PURCHASED AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE. HOWEVER, THESE HAVE HAD NO DISTINCTIVE MARKINGS OR INSIGNIA, HAVE NOT BEEN MADE ACCORDING TO ANY STANDARD DESIGN, AND THERE HAVE BEEN NO REQUIREMENTS AS TO THE TYPE OF ARTICLES WORN, AND HENCE THERE HAS BEEN NO UNIFORMITY IN APPEARANCE. INASMUCH AS IT WAS NOT CONTEMPLATED ORIGINALLY THAT THE WEARING OF A SPECIAL UNIFORM WOULD BE REQUIRED, AND INASMUCH AS THE PAY OF THESE EMPLOYEES IS RELATIVELY SMALL IN VIEW OF THE SPECIALIZED AND DANGEROUS WORK IN WHICH THEY ARE ENGAGED (BEING LESS THAN THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF A 2ND LIEUTENANT IN THE AIR FORCE) IT IS DESIRED TO ISSUE SUCH UNIFORMS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

"PRESENT PLANS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF THE UNIFORMS CONTEMPLATES THAT ONLY EXTERNAL ARTICLES OF CLOTHING, SUCH AS BLOUSES, SLACKS, COVERALLS, CAP AND OVERCOAT WILL BE PRESCRIBED AND ISSUED, AND THAT ALL OTHER ARTICLES OF CLOTHING, SUCH AS SKIRTS, SHOES, STOCKINGS, GLOVES, POCKETBOOKS, UNDERWEAR, ETC., MUST BE PURCHASED BY THE EMPLOYEES THEMSELVES AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE. ALL ARTICLES OF CLOTHING ISSUED TO THESE PILOTS WILL REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WILL BE SURRENDERED TO THE GOVERNMENT UPON TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT FOR REISSUE TO OTHER EMPLOYEES. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE PILOTS ARE FREQUENTLY REQUIRED TO FLY LONG DISTANCES AND TO REMAIN AWAY FROM THEIR HOME STATIONS FOR SUBSTANTIAL PERIOD OF TIME UNDER CONDITIONS WHICH REQUIRE THAT THEY CARRY LITTLE OR NO BAGGAGE, IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR THEM TO WEAR THE UNIFORMS WHILE AWAY FROM THE HOME BASE.

"IT IS PROPOSED TO MAKE THE NECESSARY EXPENDITURES OUT OF THE MILITARY APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1944, APPROVED 1 JULY 1943 (PUBLIC LAW 108, 78TH CONGRESS), WITH WHICH YOU ARE DOUBTLESS FAMILIAR, AND WHICH PROVIDES UNDER THE HEADING, AIR CORPS, ARMY, FOR EXPENDITURES FOR:

"'*** FOR THE PURCHASE, MANUFACTURE, AND ISSUE OF SPECIAL CLOTHING, WEARING APPAREL AND SIMILAR EQUIPMENT FOR AVIATION PURPOSES; ***'

"IT IS BELIEVED THAT YOUR DECISION OF 22 DECEMBER 1942, B-30882, CONSTITUTES AUTHORITY FOR THE PLAN HEREIN DESCRIBED AND THAT INSOFAR AS POSSIBLE THE ISSUANCE, USE AND DISPOSITION OF THE UNIFORMS CONFORMS TO THE SITUATION APPROVED IN THAT DECISION. HOWEVER, BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE PLANS ABOVE DESCRIBED, YOUR CONSIDERATION THEREOF IS DESIRED."

IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 17, 1940, B-13849, TO YOU, IT WAS STATED:

"UNIFORMS FOR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES GENERALLY ARE CONSIDERED PERSONAL FURNISHINGS WHICH AN EMPLOYEE MUST PROCURE AT HIS OWN EXPENSE TO QUALIFY HIM FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH APPOINTED. HOWEVER, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THESE PARTICULAR UNIFORMS ARE NOT TO BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE INDIVIDUAL BUT ARE TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES AND WILL BE SURRENDERED TO THE ISSUING OFFICER WHEN THE DUTY FOR WHICH PROCURED HAS BEEN COMPLETED, AND HAVING IN MIND, ALSO, THE EMERGENCY CREATED BY THE NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAM, THIS OFFICE WILL INTERPOSE NO OBJECTION TO THE PURCHASE OF SUCH UNIFORMS FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR SEACOAST DEFENSES. COMP.GEN. 433; 11 ID. 247; A 57132, AUGUST 25, 1934."

A SIMILAR RULING WAS MADE IN THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 22, 1942, B 30882, TO YOU, WITH RESPECT TO UNIFORMS FOR CIVILIAN GUARDS AT THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY, AND IN DECISION OF AUGUST 7, 1943, B 32980, TO ALBERT D. MISLER, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, OFFICE FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, WITH RESPECT TO UNIFORMS FOR ELEVATOR OPERATORS. IN VIEW OF THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE IN YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, ESPECIALLY THAT THE UNIFORMS WHICH IT IS PLANNED TO PURCHASE WILL BE CONFINED TO ARTICLES OF EXTERNAL CLOTHING WHICH WILL REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WILL BE SURRENDERED TO THE GOVERNMENT UPON TERMINATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT FOR REISSUE TO OTHER EMPLOYEES, AND, ALSO, OF THE CLOSE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE WORK OF THESE WOMEN PILOTS AND THAT OF OUR ARMED FORCES AND THE NECESSITY FOR PROMPT IDENTIFICATION OF SAID WOMEN PILOTS, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE AIR CORPS, ARMY 1944, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF THE DISTINCTIVE UNIFORMS, AS PROPOSED, FOR THEIR USE WHILE EMPLOYED BY THE ARMY AIR FORCES.