By early 1940 the need for servicemen to be released from office administration work for combat duty resulted in women being recruited for the German Army as, amongst other things, Air Force Female Assistants (Luftwaffenhelferinnen).

By 1943 the increase in the scale of the Allied bombing offensive against the German Reich, and the growing decrease in those areas under German occupation, resulted in many Luftwaffenhelferinnen being transferred from the office duties to assist in the air protection services.  Many women were drafted into the Luftwaffe to fill the depleted ranks of the Reich air defence system.

Volunteers drawn from the Luftwaffenhelferinnenkorps were employed to act as auxiliary crews operating searchlight units, serving on anti-aircraft fixed battery sites and operating sound-locating and radar apparatus.  They were formed into Flakwaffen-Helferinnen units stationed within the borders of Germany, and although they were not members of armed forces, they were governed by military regulations and discipline.  They were distinguished by a special arm badge, which was worn on the right upper arm of their uniform.
Rank structures and late war changes

Ranks up to 1945                     New Ranks                     Military equivalent            

             Helferin                                  Helferin                            Soldat                  

             Oberhelferin                         Oberhelferin                    Gefreiter                  

              --------------                         Haupthelferin                    Obergefreiter          

NCO Ranks (UnderFurührerin)

Haupthelferin                        Truppführein                      Unteroffizier

--------------                        Obertruppführein                   Feldwebel

Leader personnel (Führeinnen)

Führerin                              Dienstführerin                     Leutnant

  Oberführerin                      Oberdienstführerin               berleutnant

    Hauptführerin                    Hauptdienstführerin             Hauptmann    

                   Stabsführerin                        Stabsführerin                      Major                          

Oberstabsführerin                Oberstabsführerin            Oberstleutnant