W.60  First Officer Vera Elsie 'Toni' Strodl 

 flag england

flag denmark

  b. 16 Jul 1918, Braughing, Herts  2 Dec 1941 to 30 Nov 1945

 vera strodl 1937 RAeC 1937

W060 Strodl Vera  ATA



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 DreamThe 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/

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vera_Strodl_Dowling

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

  • Articles View Hits 555461


DSCI1060 1

Please feel free to send me your comments, requests, extra information or corrections.

Click here: Email Me