W.87 * First Officer   Mary Estelle Zerbel
 flag usa

 b. 4 Aug 1920, Marquette MI

 10 Jun-42 to Sep-45


mary zerbel ATA 


 ATA Mary Zerbel 2    


grew up in Iron River, MI

Ed. Menominee High School, MI, Lawrence College, Appleton, Wisconsin, UCLA

prev: Flying Instructor

a.k.a. Mary Forrest (presumably her stage name - she studied acting before deciding against it as a career)

 Address in 1942: 8400 De Longpre Ave, Hollywood, CA

Arrived from Nova Scotia on the 29 June 1942 with fellow ATA women pilots Una Goodwin and Peggy Lennox.

m. 17 Aug 1942 Pilot Officer Roy Wesley Hooper from Los Angeles, serving with RAF Coastal Command (killed in action 17 Oct 1942)

Sailed to New York from Greenock in 1943, arriving 28th July, with fellow ATA pilots Virginia Farr, Ann Watson Wood, Grace Stevenson, John Yingst, Lionel Kay and Dorothy (Furey) Bragg. She then returned as supernumerary co-pilot in Mitchell FV956, 10-13 Sep 1943.

m. 1943 1st-Lt John 'Jack' Hammond Ford (USAAF) (d. 1959)

"After their return to the United States, the Fords started Fleetway, Inc., a long-distance airplane delivery company flying war surplus and other planes all over the world. In 1957, Hollywood produced a movie based loosely on the couples’ interesting life. Titled "The Lady Takes a Flyer,” the comedy-drama starred Lana Turner and Jeff Chandler as Jack and Mary Ford.

In 1959, Jack Ford was killed when the twin-engine Beechcraft he was ferrying from Wake Island to Japan exploded four minutes after takeoff. After the accident, Mary never flew again, but instead earned her Library Science degree and worked a variety of administrative and library jobs in the United States and Europe. After she retired, Mary lived with her daughter, Pam, in Seattle and Sioux Falls, South Dakota."

See http://sandiegoairandspace.org/blog/article/mary-ford-personal-papers

d. 27 Sep 2012 - Pocatello, Idaho 

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