M.247  First Officer Kenneth Meryl Seeds 

flag usa

b. 14 Oct 1910, Oklahoma City  19 Nov 1940 to Oct-41 


ata kenneth seeds




prev a pilot instructor, CPTP Training Program, Idaho, and for Southern Air Service, Pocatella, Idaho

prev exp. 1550 hrs. Started flying in 1936, and operated his own flying school, firstly in Los Angeles during 1937-8 and then Burley, Idaho in 1939.

Postings: 1FPP, 14FPP, 8FPP

In July 1941, he wanted to resign from the ATA, quoting "personal, domestic and family" reasons. However, as he had not served for 12 months, this was refused. He asked again in September, but was again turned down.

Those reasons became clearer later in September 1941, the month before he died:

"Young Taplow Woman's Death - Tragic End to courtship with American Ferry Pilot"

A verdict of 'suicide' was recorded by the Manchester City Coroner on Monday, when he held an inquest on Miss Doris Hume, aged 26, Weymouth Lodge, Ellington Rd, Taplow, who died as the result of septic abortion.

Evidence showed that the deceased, who was employed by a firm of insurance brokers in Maidenhead, associated with an American Ferry Pilot in Maidenhead and Manchester. She spent a week-end with him at a Manchester hotel and shortly before her death she went to see him at Manchester. He booked a room for her at the hotel where he was staying. She seemed so ill that he called a doctor. She later went into a nursing home, where she died some time after an operation had been performed.

Kenneth Meryl Seeds, an officer in the Air Transport Auxiliary, said he was married and his wife and children were in California. He came to England in 1940 and first met Miss Hume in Maidenhead. They commenced to keep company, and Miss Hume knew he was a married man.

The Coroner: "You are quite sure about that?" - Yes

The Coroner said that was not a court of morals. With regard to Mr Seeds' conduct he would only say that his own thoughts would probably be sufficient castigation. Properly used the pills were harmless, but improperly used in large quantities they could, as had been seen in that case, be very harmful"

janes wellington

d. 8 Oct 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Wellington Z8424 hit the summit of Snaefell, Isle of Man, in generally good visibility, although parts of the Isle of Man were in fog.

He had earlier flown a Havoc from Belfast, which developed engine trouble; he landed it at Hawarden and handed it over as unserviceable. Fellow ATA pilot O E Armstrong wrote "The weather from Hawarden via Rhyl was perfect ...I flew at 2, 000 feet all the way leaving the Calf of Man about 5 miles to starboard ... I am at a loss to account for the accident, as I am sure that F/O Seeds must have flown above the fog on his way over, otherwise he would not have decided to return... what I am afraid happened was that he endeavoured to fly below cloud and was off course. Approaching the Isle of Man he found that the fog was right down on the surface, so decided to climb above it."

He was buried at Jurby, IoM with full military honours.

These are photographs of Kenneth's funeral on the 13th October:

kenneth seeds funeral

kenneth seeds funeral 2

The ATA agreed in 1942 an ex-gratia payment of $8,000 to his wife and step-daughter Betty Jo. His wife, who had been left penniless and had taken a job at the Vega Aircraft Co., wrote "I am extremely happy at the fine and generous way the British Government has seen fit to handle this matter."

 Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey


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