Father: Raymond Edward Strodl, mother: Maren Sophie Christine [Holst], both Danish
Moved to Denmark in 1930, but returned to the UK in April 1934
prev: cashier; Flight Mechanic for Taylorcraft, Rearsby
Address in 1937: 46 Kenilworth Rd. St Leonards on Sea, Sussex
Postings: 15FPP, 4FPP
Vera with Mustang, 1943 - Wikipedia
3 accidents, none her fault:
- 1 Dec 1942, a forced landing in Seafire IIc MB259 after a hydraulic failure
- 6 Dec 1942, another hydraulic failure, this time in Spitfire IX EN286, meant that the undercarriage would not retract. After using the emergency system, she made a forced landing
- 25 Aug 1944, a forced landing in Firefly I Z2037 after engine failure; the aircraft over-ran the runway and was damaged.
Post-WWII, Pilot Officer in the short-lived (1 Feb 1949 - 1954) Women's Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (WRAFVR), then an instructor for the Womens Junior Air Corps.
In Jul 1949, the Western Daily Press reported that " ... Other sufferers from the heavy rain on Saturday were the five WRAFVR. pilots, from No. 8 Reserve Flying School at Woodley, Reading, who were scheduled to fly formation over the exhibition 2.30 p.m. During the morning a squall hit their airfield, damaged some of the aircraft and delayed their take-off. Ten minutes after their arrival Filton, however, the five Tiger Moths were airborne again, flying over Southmead towards .the Downs cloudburst, and at 2.30 exactly led by Miss Vera Strodl, they flew over the exhibition site. The other four pilots were Mrs Fay Bragg, Mrs Marigold Rowland, Miss Sheila Van Damm, and Mrs Ann Kendall. All of them were, at one time A.T.A. pilots. "
m. 1963 Standford J Dowling
According to the Wichita Beacon and others, "She joined the Air Transport Auxiliary in WWII" ... "it was mostly girls who were doing the flying", she [apparently] said ...
Her biography, 'Pursuit of a Dream: The Story of Pilot Vera (Strodl) Dowling' was published in 2012:
d. 11 Jan 2015
Edmonton Municipal Cemetery, Alberta, Canada
"Vera Dowling died quietly at Youville Home in St. Albert on January 11, 2015, at 96 years of age."
"In Edmonton, she focused on Christian mission work in the prairies and the north, often flying to her post. Vera continued to fly in her 70's, testing planes at the Camrose airport. In 2000, Vera was named to the Aviation Hall of Fame. Four years later, she parachute jumped on her 85th birthday. Vera was a strong spirit and she looked forward to joining her Lord. Journey well!"
Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame: https://cahf.ca/vera-elsie-strodl-dowling/