A strange final sentence.
This book is one of a number which have been published in recent years highlighting the part played by the female pilots who flew with the ATA. Regarding 'weaponry', the ATA was a civilian organisation and remained civilian throughout it's existence. The majority of it's pilots were not even women, but they were all civilians, and as such were classified as non-combatants; i.e. not permitted to be armed, unlike for instance, the members of SOE, who were given military status which permitted them to carry arms, and (supposedly) protected them under the Rules of War.
The ATA aircrews were not alone in flying as non combatant civilians. The British civil airline crews operating during the war also flew unarmed aircraft, often on routes carrying them directly through war zones; during which a number were shot down by enemy aircraft.
A fact that you may consider to be even more 'shocking'.