What happened to stewardesses and air travel during WWII?
During WWII, commercial air travel came to a halt and gave way to flying limited aircraft designed to serve the war effort. WWII also brought changes for the stewardess.
When the second world war began in 1939, female stewardesses with their nursing skills left the airlines to offer their healing skills in the military. This exit opened the door to hire non-nurses for work as stewardesses.
WWII changed the stewardess uniform since the extra fabric was going to make military uniforms for men serving overseas. With the fabric shortage, the airline uniform designers innovated by taking out the pleats and heavy materials used in women’s wear. The result was a tighter-fighting garment that left less to the imagination. At the time, airlines imposed various sexist standards on female employees. The permission to work in the skies allowed only single stewardesses between the ages of 20-25, weighing between 110-118 pounds, standing between 5’ and 5’ 4″ feet in height, and bearing no children. Wearing a tight girdle was another requirement.
Scenes from the WWII travel: