W.70  First Officer Helen 'Naomi' Allen 
 flag england   b. 25 Jun 1913, Folkestone 24 Feb 1942 to 31 Oct 1945 

naomi heron maxwell 1934  RAeC 1934

naomi heron maxwell 19342 Also 1934

Allen Naomi 1 

1935, with Cobham's Flying Circus

 Allen Naomi 2  ATA


née Heron-Maxwell

mother: Lady Heron-Maxwell, of 5 Staverton Rd, Oxford

prev: Secretarial / Lecturing on Gliding and Parachuting 


Parachuting with Cobham's Flying Circus in 1935; she made over 100 descents.

1935 parachuting naomi pulloff bw touchedwide 

See http://www.afleetingpeace.org for the story of Cobham's Air Circus


The first woman Silver Badge (Soaring) holder in the UK, and one of the founder members (with Lady Bailey, Joan Price, and Amy Johnson) of the Oxford Gliding Club


m. 2 Mar 1938, Francis Cecil Howard Allen (d. 28 Jan 1939 aged 34 in Austria, after an operation for a duodenal ulcer.)

[According to my mother-in-law, who knew the family, "Apparently it was quite a straightforward operation, he woke up, said 'Hello Darling' and then promptly had a heart attack and died", but Naomi wrote that it was 6 days after the operation.]


"Scar on left side of neck"

Address in 1942: 2 Dalmevey Ave, London SW16

 Postings: 6FPP, 15FPP, 1FPP, 4FPP

 1942 ata naomi jean bird 1 bw5900 with Jean Bird in a taxi Anson, 1942 [all photos with thanks to Nick Thomas]


Reprimanded in August 1944 for "Loss of Ferry Pilot's Notes", and in May 1945 for "taxying with insufficient care"


6 accidents, 4 her fault:

- 15 Oct 1942, "careless taxying" crosswind in Hawker Audax K5599; the aircraft tipped onto its nose

- 9 Jan 1943, she overshot a landing in Spitfire JG953

- 22 Mar 1943, she landed without lowering the undercarriage of her Mustang 1a FD443

- 17 Nov 1943, a forced landing in a Seafire III, after the port cannon fairing blew off in the air

- 18 Dec 1943, she overshot a landing in Spitfire IX BS401, after encountering very bad weather and turning back

- 15 May 1945, she failed to control her Warwick BV343 while taxying, and one wheel fell into "an excavation at the side of the track"


"A really keen pilot of average ability who wants hard work. Her temperament is unusual and her attitude towards criticism is inclined to be resentful"

"Her technical knowledge is below average" [she admitted this was true]

Moved to Los Angeles in 1948

m. 1957 Howard D Thomas (a Real Estate agent) (divorced); one son, b. 1958, Nick - who has written a wonderful biography about her, using her diaries, called "Naomi the Aviatrix"

 d. 1983 - Leisure World, Laguna Hills, CA

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

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