W.74  First Officer Grace Stevenson 
 flag usa  b.  5 Aug 1917, Stratford OK  14 Apr-42 to 13 Apr-45

 

ata grace stevenson 

ATA

     

 

 Ed. University of Oklahoma (B.A. in journalism)

Learnt to fly at the Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa, OK.

prev. Flight Instructor in Casper, Wyoming (1940) and then back at Spartan.

prev. exp. 1,000 hrs

Address in 1943: Holdenville, OK

Postings: 15FPP

Sailed to New York from Greenock in 1943, arriving 28th July, with fellow ATA pilots Virginia Farr, Ann Watson Wood, Mary (Zerbel) Hooper, John Yingst, Lionel Kay and Dorothy (Furey) Bragg. She then returned as supernumerary co-pilot in Mitchell FV958, 11-15 Sep 1943.

Four accidents, only one her fault:

Commended for her forced landing in a Walrus on 21 Jul 1943 when the engine lost power "with violent vibrations" at 600ft, bits flew off the engine and damaged the propeller blades, hull, mainplane, interplane strut and aileron;

- 1 Dec 1943, her Sea Otter lost oil pressure and she force landed safely;

- 24 Mar 1944, she failed to control the takeoff swing of a Mosquito, ground-looped and the undercarriage collapsed, and

- 21 May 1944, forced landing in a Typhoon after a fault in the constant speed unit caused the engine to over-rev.

 "A keen and above average pilot who goes about her work in a quietly efficient manner."

"Very reserved in character, but quietly confident. An excellent pilot."

After hanging around so much waiting for the weather to clear before flying, Grace became "an inveterate coffee drinker"; so much so that her first food parcel from home (limited to 2 lbs) was a pound of coffee and a pound of sugar.

On the 4th of July 1942, a boy who worked in the parachute room gave her two strawberries. "So rare are strawberries in England", she said, "I couldn't bear to eat them both myself, so I split them with another girl and we made them last as long as we could."

 ata grace stevenson 1957 

In 1957, with a copy of 'Golden Wings', Alison King's book about the ATA

Post-WWII, she was employed as a secretary for U.S. Plywood Corp, in Oklahoma City, having decided to give up flying for the quieter life. She said, "I'm trying to kill the flying bug with a fishing rod and a golf club."

d. 29 Dec 2002, at the Northwest Nursing Home in Fayetteville. Arkansas

 

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

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