B-38478, FEBRUARY 17, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 601

B-38478: Feb 17, 1944

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IN THE ABSENCE OF AN AFFIRMATIVE SHOWING THAT OTHERWISE PROPER AERIAL FLIGHTS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WERE PERFORMED IN OTHER THAN COMBAT AIRCRAFT. A WOMEN'S RESERVE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED WHICH SHALL BE A BRANCH OF THE NAVAL RESERVE AND SHALL BE ADMINISTERED UNDER THE SAME PROVISIONS IN ALL RESPECTS (EXCEPT AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO ADAPT SAID PROVISIONS TO THE WOMEN'S RESERVE. AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: * * * SECTION 502 WAS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 183. SUCH AMENDMENT IS NOT PERTINENT TO THE MATTER HERE INVOLVED. AMONG THE ENCLOSURES ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTERS ARE COPIES OF TWO FLIGHT CERTIFICATES EXECUTED BY DIRECTION OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER. THE RATING OF SPECIALIST IS ESTABLISHED DURING NATIONAL EMERGENCY OR WAR TO INCLUDE PERSONNEL WHO HAVE QUALIFICATIONS TEMPORARILY REQUIRED FOR THE DURATION.

B-38478, FEBRUARY 17, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 601

PAY - AVIATION DUTY - WOMEN'S RESERVE OF THE NAVAL RESERVE IN VIEW OF THE PROVISION IN SECTION 504 OF THE ACT OF JULY 30, 1942, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING THAT MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE OF THE NAVAL RESERVE SHALL NOT BE "ASSIGNED TO DUTY * * * IN COMBAT AIRCRAFT," THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN ALLOWING CREDIT OF FLYING PAY TO MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE, REGARDLESS OF THE NATURE OF THE MISSION, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN AFFIRMATIVE SHOWING THAT OTHERWISE PROPER AERIAL FLIGHTS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WERE PERFORMED IN OTHER THAN COMBAT AIRCRAFT.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, FEBRUARY 17, 1944:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1943, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER CERTAIN ENLISTED PERSONNEL OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE LEGALLY MAY BE PAID AVIATION PAY FOR THE MONTHS OF JULY AND AUGUST, 1943, UNDER THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE CORRESPONDENCE ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER.

SECTIONS 501 AND 502 OF THE ACT OF JULY 30, 1942, 56 STAT. 730, PROVIDED, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 501. A WOMEN'S RESERVE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED WHICH SHALL BE A BRANCH OF THE NAVAL RESERVE AND SHALL BE ADMINISTERED UNDER THE SAME PROVISIONS IN ALL RESPECTS (EXCEPT AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO ADAPT SAID PROVISIONS TO THE WOMEN'S RESERVE, OR AS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED HEREIN) AS THOSE CONTAINED IN THIS ACT OR WHICH MAY HEREAFTER BE ENACTED WITH RESPECT TO THE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.

SEC. 502. MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE MAY BE COMMISSIONED OR ENLISTED IN SUCH APPROPRIATE RANKS AND RATINGS, CORRESPONDING TO THOSE OF THE REGULAR NAVY, AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: * * *

SECTION 502 WAS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 183, APPROVED NOVEMBER 8, 1943, 57 STAT. 586, BUT SUCH AMENDMENT IS NOT PERTINENT TO THE MATTER HERE INVOLVED.

AMONG THE ENCLOSURES ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTERS ARE COPIES OF TWO FLIGHT CERTIFICATES EXECUTED BY DIRECTION OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE; ONE COVERING THE MONTH OF JULY, 1943, EVIDENCING THE FULFILLMENT OF MINIMUM FLIGHT REQUIREMENTS OF THREE ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE DESIGNATED AS SPECIALISTS. THE OTHER FLIGHT CERTIFICATE COVERED THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 1943, TO THE SAME EFFECT, AND INCLUDES THE NAMES OF SIX SUCH ENLISTED PERSONS; THREE DESIGNATED AS SPECIALISTS, TWO AS PARACHUTE RIGGERS, AND ONE AS AN AVIATION MACHINIST'S MATE.

UNDER ARTICLE D-5246, BUREAU OF PERSONNEL MANUAL, THE RATING OF SPECIALIST IS ESTABLISHED DURING NATIONAL EMERGENCY OR WAR TO INCLUDE PERSONNEL WHO HAVE QUALIFICATIONS TEMPORARILY REQUIRED FOR THE DURATION, BUT FOR WHICH THERE ARE NO PROVISIONS IN REGULARLY ESTABLISHED RATINGS.

THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR PARACHUTE RIGGERS ARE COVERED BY ARTICLE D 5234 OF THE MANUAL WHICH REQUIRES, AMONG OTHER QUALIFICATIONS, PRIOR TO SUSPENSION, AT LEAST ONE PREMEDITATED FREE FALL PARACHUTE DESCENT WITH A PARACHUTE PACKED BY HIMSELF.

THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR AVIATION MACHINIST'S MATE ARE CONTAINED IN ARTICLE D-5230 OF THE MANUAL, AND AMONG OTHER QUALIFICATIONS THE PERSON MUST HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF AIRCRAFT ENGINE PERFORMANCE AND THEORY OF OPERATION; BE ABLE TO OVERHAUL INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES OF VARIOUS TYPES AND ACCESSORIES, SUCH AS IGNITION APPARATUS AND STARTING GEARS; BE ABLE TO MAKE ALL KINDS OF REPAIRS TO FABRIC OR AIRCRAFT; BE ABLE TO SPLICE AIRCRAFT WIRING AND BE A GOOD SEAMAN AND ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF GROUND AND BEACH GEAR, SUCH AS LINES, TACKLE, ETC. WHETHER ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE HOLDING RATINGS OF AVIATION MACHINIST'S MATES ARE EXCEPTED FROM ANY OR ALL OF THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS IS NOT SUGGESTED, ALTHOUGH IT IS TO BE NOTED FROM THE TESTIMONY OF A NAVY REPRESENTATIVE BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS AT THE HEARING ON S. 2527, 77TH CONGRESS, THAT THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF ENGINES, ETC., DO NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN CONTEMPLATED BY THESE WOMEN RESERVISTS.

IN A CIRCULAR LETTER ISSUED BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, DATED AUGUST 18, 1943, IT WAS PROVIDED:

1. AS A GENERAL POLICY, PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO DUTY INVOLVING FLYING SHOULD BE RESTRICTED TO MALE MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL FORCES.

2. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE, PERSONNEL OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE SHOULD BE ORDERED TO DUTY INVOLVING FLYING ONLY UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

(A) AS STUDENTS, UNDERGOING INSTRUCTION IN AN APPROVED TRAINING COURSE WHICH REQUIRES INSTRUCTION IN AIRCRAFT IN FLIGHT.

(B) AS INSTRUCTORS, TEACHING AN APPROVED TRAINING COURSE WHICH REQUIRES THAT INSTRUCTION BE GIVEN IN AIRCRAFT IN FLIGHT.

SECTION 18 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942, 56 STAT. 368, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

OFFICERS, WARRANT OFFICERS, NURSES, AND ENLISTED MEN OF ANY OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT AND MEMBERS OF THE RESERVE FORCES OF SUCH SERVICES, AND THE NATIONAL GUARD SHALL RECEIVE AN INCREASE OF 50 PERCENTUM OF THEIR PAY WHEN BY ORDERS OF COMPETENT AUTHORITY THEY ARE REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY IN AERIAL FLIGHTS, AND WHEN IN CONSEQUENCE OF SUCH ORDERS THEY DO PARTICIPATE IN REGULAR AND FREQUENT FLIGHTS AS DEFINED BY SUCH EXECUTIVE ORDERS AS HAVE HERETOFORE BEEN, OR MAY HEREAFTER BE, PROMULGATED BY THE PRESIDENT: * * *

SECTION 1 (G) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9195, APPROVED JULY 7, 1942, DEFINES THE TERM "AERIAL FLIGHT" AS A JOURNEY IN AN AIRCRAFT. NAVAL PERSONNEL, GENERALLY, BECOME ENTITLED TO INCREASED PAY FOR FLYING UNDER SECTION 18 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942, AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER PROMULGATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING THE SECTION INTO EFFECT, UPON MEETING THE MINIMUM FLIGHT REQUIREMENTS THEREIN ENUMERATED, THE TYPE OF AIRCRAFT IN WHICH THE NECESSARY FLIGHTS ARE TO BE PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS PRESUMABLY HAVING NO BEARING ON SUCH RIGHT. HOWEVER, UNDER SECTION 504 OF THE ACT OF JULY 30, 1942, IT IS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE SHALL NOT BE "ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON BOARD VESSELS OF THE NAVY OR IN COMBAT AIRCRAFT.' GIVING THIS LANGUAGE ITS ORDINARY AND USUAL MEANING, IT SEEMS PLAIN THAT THE DETAIL OR ASSIGNMENT OF SUCH MEMBERS TO DUTY INVOLVING REGULAR AND FREQUENT FLIGHTS IN COMBAT AIRPLANES IS CONTRARY TO THE PROVISIONS OF SUCH SECTION, REGARDLESS OF THE NATURE OF THE MISSION. UNLESS THE CONGRESS WAS TOTALLY UNFAMILIAR WITH THE SUBJECT UPON WHICH THEY WERE LEGISLATING, IT SEEMS REASONABLE TO SUPPOSE THAT HAD THE RESTRICTION BEEN DIRECTED ONLY TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF THESE FEMALE MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE IN AIRPLANES WHILE ENGAGED IN COMBAT MISSIONS, MORE APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE WOULD HAVE BEEN USED TO ACCOMPLISH THAT PURPOSE.

THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE SECTION DISCLOSES NOTHING TO SUGGEST THAT THE WORDS "COMBAT AIRCRAFT" AS USED IN SECTION 504 WERE INTENDED TO HAVE A DIFFERENT OR BROADER MEANING THAN THE WORDS IMPLY AND ARE CONSIDERED DESCRIPTIVE OF THE TYPE OF AIRCRAFT RATHER THAN THE TYPE OF MISSION. THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN AFFIRMATIVE SHOWING THAT OTHERWISE PROPER FLIGHTS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WERE PERFORMED IN OTHER THAN COMBAT AIRCRAFT, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN ALLOWING CREDIT OF FLYING PAY TO MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE.