WORRALS OF THE W.A.A.F

First Published in September 1941 - 220 pages

This story was originally published in the “Girls Own Paper” in 12 parts from October 1940 to September 1941.  Each part corresponds with one of the 12 chapters.

Click here to see the original illustrations from the very first printing of the story – and note the original title was “Worrals of the WAAFS” with an “S”

 

Click on the dust jacket below to enlarge

 The original first edition dust jacket – showing the original book price of 3/6.  This one is in poor condition but the dust wrapper for this book is rare.

An untorn dust jacket from the first reprint showing the title on the spine (NOTE: the different title to the text on the back of the book!)

 

WORRALS OF THE W.A.A.F - STORY SUMMARY

 

This book introduces us to Flight Officer Joan Worralson known to her personal friends as "Worrals" and her friend Betty Lovell, nicknamed "Frecks" due to her freckled complexion. Johns describes Worrals as follows - "Not even her friends could truthfully call Worrals pretty, although her features were regular enough". Worrals and Frecks are both in the Woman's Auxiliary Air Force. Worrals is 18 and a pilot, whereas Frecks is only 17 and hasn't yet qualified as a pilot because of this. Worrals' job is to ferry aircraft back to the makers for reconditioning. However, her friend Bill Ashton has once allowed her to pilot a Reliant Fighter and also to try out firing the guns. The story starts with both Bill and Worrals being severely reprimanded for this by their Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader McNavish. However, an emergency causes the C.O. to have to eat humble pie and ask Worrals to pilot the Reliant Fighter to another aerodrome where it is urgently needed. Taking Frecks with her, Worrals hears over the radio that a mysterious aircraft has been seen and "must be stopped at all costs". Worrals has just seen the plane and goes after it, managing to shoot it down - much to the astonishment of her male colleagues, when she eventually lands. Worrals had seen the unknown plane swoop down over an old abandoned golf course and appear to drop something. When she returns to her base, she and Frecks decide to use their weekend leave passes to investigate various suspicions they have. Driving down to the old golf course, which is by a Rectory, they find a system of lights in bunkers, which are being used to signal to enemy aircraft. Worrals is captured but Frecks escapes. Worrals is imprisoned in a room in the rectory after meeting a man called 'Corton'. Frecks, after some initial problems, manages to help Worrals escape out of her barred window by obtaining a hacksaw for her. The two girls hide in the back of a large car, which is then driven by a pair of villains to a rendezvous. Our heroes are able to overhear the plans of villains who are obviously German spies. Arriving at a farmhouse, the villains go inside, to leave Worrals and Frecks to decide how best to foil the plans they have overheard. Worrals realises that they must get to the telephone in the farmhouse to put the RAF on immediate notice. This they do, but they are interrupted and have to make a hasty escape in the car. Chased, they are captured by a ruse and returned to the Rectory. This time they are locked in a room in the cellar, but by using a nail file and after many hours' hard work, they file through the lock and get out. There appears to be no way out of the actual cellar, until Worrals finds a secret passage that runs to the Church. Here they climb to the top of the Church tower and find an ideal vantage point for spying, as well as signalling equipment. Things go wrong and they are spotted by the villains in the Rectory and have to use all their wits and courage to escape. Going back through the tunnel, the girls hide in a large chest in the Rectory. They overhear Corton's plans to return to Germany in an aircraft he has hidden and to blow the Rectory up. Worrals resolves to foil these plans, come what may. Finding the "real" Corton a prisoner in the house, they release him in the nick of time. Then Worrals and Frecks make a desperate attempt to take control of the fake Corton's aircraft. Worrals jumps into the pilot's seat and tries to take off, whilst Frecks tries to buy her time. Once the aircraft is moving at speed, it is difficult for the villains to overpower Worrals without endangering them all, due to her extremely low flying. Spitfires arrive and attempt to shoot the German plane down. Worrals is forced to land only to find that a hail of bullets has hit the fake Corton and his cronies. The Spitfire lands and the pilot is revealed to be Bill Ashton, who is astonished to see Worrals in the plane. He had managed to trace Worrals' phone call from the farmhouse and make arrangements for all the remaining spies to be arrested.

 

 

With the exception of the frontispiece, there are no story illustrations in the first edition of this book, however you can

Click here to see the story illustrations from the 1950 “New Illustrated Edition” of this book

 

Click here to see the story illustrations from the 1952 French Edition of this book

 

 

 

Frontispiece

Click on the picture below to see it in more detail

 

Worrals of the W.A.A.F.

Subtitle - none

Publication Details - published by Lutterworth Press

 

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