Father: Joseph Pearson Boilstone, a Farmer; mother: Dorothy May [Downing]
m. 1942 in Bromsgrove, Dorothy Margaret [Taylor, b. 1919]
prev. a Motor Tester; RAF from 5 Jul 1941, 10 OTU, Abingdon
prev. exp. 190 hrs on Stearman PT 17, Harvard, Vultee, Oxford, Whitley in UK and USA
Address in 1943: Hillingdon, Highfield Crescent, Blackheath, Birmingham
"A neat and steady pilot of good average ability who takes his work seriously and has the makings of a very good ferry pilot"
"He posseses a quick & keen personailty and his discipline has been exemplary"
One accident, his fault:
d. 9 Dec 1943 in Beaufort II LZ146 which stalled on approach to Kirkbride, dived into the ground 1000ft west of the airfield and was destroyed. Ferry from 44 MU Edzell to 40 APU Melton Mowbray.
Buried St Kenelm's Churchyard, Romsley, Worcs
"Constantly remembered by his wife, parents and all relatives"
Father: Lewis Charles, mother Catherine Isabella [MacDougall) of 11 Paton St., Haugh, Inverness
Served two years apprenticeship (May 1915 to Jul 1917) in the motor garage of the Rose Street Foundry and Engineering Company in Inverness
RFC from 31 Jul 1917 (Farnborough, 39 Sqn from Jan 1918, 45 Sqn from 26 Mar 1918
RAF from 1 Apr 1918 (Camel, then SE5 pilot from 9 Oct 1918) Invalided to England 19 Dec 1918 then ground duties only.
Transferred to unemployed list, 1 May 1919
prev. 17 years at Chapman, Ltd., Motor Engineers, Inverness; Instructor at Inverness Gliding Club
m. Isobel Ann Hood [Menzies]
Address in 1945: Catherine Cottage, 9 Ardross Pl., Inverness
d. 4 Feb 1945 (Died in ATA Service) in Barracuda III PM859, which crashed into two semi-detached houses at Timperley, Cheshire during "unauthorised low flying" on a ferry flight from Ringway to Kirkbride.
Manchester Evening News, with thanks to Michael Warburton
A later resident of the (rebuilt) house, discovered that Roderick had been billeted there whilst stationed at Ringway, and the assumption therefore is that Roderick was circling the house at low altitude and either lost control or suffered an engine failure. The inquest was held in camera. Roderick's ATA Personnel file is missing, so we may never know exactly what happened..
Father: Frank Ludlow Glover (d. 1963)
Ed. University of British Columbia (Mechanical Engineering)
m. (divorced 1944)
Next of kin: (mother) Violet Kathleen Isabelle Glover (d. 1950)
prev. RCAF Sep 1935 to Oct 1939, then RAF Ferry Command (Sgt. Pilot/Navigator)
Address in 1943: (parents) 2392 W.41st Ave, Vancouver. B.C.
Postings: 5TFPP, 4FPP, No. 4 OTU Alness
Instructor's Report Jun 1943: "This pilot has a higher opinion of his capabilities and knowledge than is warranted. However, if he puts himself to it, he can do very well."
Because of a mix-up when he signed his original contract for the ATA, John was being paid American rates, rather than those available to Canadian citizens.
So, in late 1943, towards the end of his first contract, the ATA offered him (and Helen Harrison) an extension on what were called 'Dominion Contracts' rather than those offered to American pilots. However, John said that he "could not afford to accept the terms of a Domininion Agreement owing to commitments at home, including the education of his brother."
By this time, he was one of very few ATA pilots cleared to ferry aircraft from Class VI (flying-boats), and his record since joining ATA being "very satisfactory... he seems to be a very quiet and desirable type of pilot.", they eventually offered him an extension of his existing contract to 31 Mar 1944, with a subsequent Dominion Contract for 11 months, "which he must sign, or go.".
He went. "F/O Glover has decided that he is not prepared to sign a Dominion Contract", and sailed from Scotland on the 10th April in SS Queen Elizabeth, arriving in New York on the 16th..
By the 23 April, however, he had discovered that there were no pilot jobs in N. America for him, and cabled:
HAVE RECONSIDERED DOMINION CONTRACT AM WILLING TO RETURN IF YOU REQUIRE MY SERVICES and then a few days later
I REALIZE MY MISTAKE IN REJECTING YOUR OFFER TO CONTINUE WORKING FOR ATA STOP I HOPE MY REQUEST TO RETURN WILL BE CONSIDERED
He re-started with the ATA on 8 May.
4 accidents, 2 not his fault:
- 10 Sep 1943, the port wing tip float of Sunderland III DD833 collapsed while it was being towed. "probably due to inexperience of pilot and towing crew"
- 24 Dec 1943, he force-landed a Catalina IV after starboard engine failure
- 28 Feb 1944, the port engine of his Anson caught fire in the air and he managed to extinguish the flames (despite, apparently, using the "incorrect method") and landed without damage.
d. 12 Aug 1944, in Barracuda II MD805 on a ferry flight from Wroughton via Kirkbride to Prestwick. He appears to have lost control in performing steep turns around a Tiger Moth, and crashed in a field one mile SW of Annan, Dumfriesshire.
Address in 1943: Apes Down, Calbourne Rd, Newport, Isle of Wight
prev. Legal Assistant, IoW Council; RAF 3 Apr 1941 - Dec 1942
Postings: 5FPP, 2FPP
d. Apr 1996 - Isle of Wight
Father: Mr Herbert Ernest Milliken (a farmer turned "broadcasting official"), mother Charlotte Jane [Goodbody]
prev. a farmer
prev. exp. 125 hrs in Stearman, Vultee, Harvard, Oxford, Wellington (some of this in Georgia and Alabama, USA - he trained at the Chicago School of Aviation in Albany, GA from August 1941)
RAF Sgt from 4 May 1941, based at RAF Shawbury and Lossiemouth; suspended due to 'inability to see & fly well at night"
Address in 1943: Bicknell Farm, Blagdon, nr Bristol
"Has worked hard throughout [his Class 3 & 4 training] and although he started rather poorly has proved quite steady and should make a good type of ferry pilot. Average ability."
d. 20 August 1943 in Barracuda II BV759, which crashed in a field nr. Rufford Bombing Range, Mansfield, Notts after engine failure following a carburettor fault. Delivery from Blackburn Aircraft, Brough, to 15 MU (RAF Wroughton, Wilts)
"1316791 Flight Sergeant J C Milliken. Pilot, Royal Air Force. Sometime of Bicknell Farm"
Buried St Michael and Angels Churchyard, Butcombe, Somerset
Father: Herman Peter Thygesen Lind (b. Denmark 1890, d. 1956, MD and founder of Peter Lind and Co., a company specialising in reinforced concrete work including the Waterloo Bridge over the Thames in 1945, and Mulberry harbour units in WWII], mother: Alba Christine [Katel, d.1981]
Eleanor had three sisters (Inger Kirstine [Laub], Betty [Jaegar] Helen Alexandra [Hartmann]) and a brother, Peter Michael Lind
Ed. St Hilda's College Oxford
prev. Progress Chaser, Vickers-Armstrong
Address in 1943: Hamstone House, St George's Hill, Weybridge, Surrey
Ab initio trainee
Contract Terminated by ATA, after her 'at fault' accident on 4 Dec 1943 in Magister N5406, when she held off the approach too long, stalled and landed heavily, breaking the port undercarriage leg.
Joined WRNS (Acting 3rd Officer from 25 Feb 1945)
m. 1950 in Surrey, Harald Meltzer
d. 21 Jun 2014 - Oslo
d. Apr 2005
Father: Dr C E Howden, of The Hill, Aukland, Waiuku, NZ
prev. RNZAF, WAAF until 7 Sep 1943, stationed at Woodbourne, Blenheim, NZ
She sailed on the 'Australia Star' from Wellington via New York to Liverpool, arriving 27 Nov 1943
Postings: 5FPP, 12FPP, 15FPP
m. Robert William 'Bob' Gummer. a pilot who served with the RNZAF in the Pacific during WWII, later a topdressing pilot.
d. 9 Jun 2007
"She and Bob farmed in the King Country before retiring to Tutukaka near Whangarei in 1974.
"This pilot came to ATA from the RAF with a little over 200 hours on light types. His Class 1 training was rather slow and although he showed about average ability his judgement and airmanship were not very consistent"
d. 3 Nov 1943 (Died in ATA Service) Beaufighter X NE203 hit the ground in a vertical dive, 6 mi W of Wrexham. The investigation concluded that "the pilot flew into cloud and lost control of his aircraft."
buried Cardiff Central Cemetery
Not really an aviator at all (jumping out of a perfectly good aeroplane in 1944 doesn't count), Ginette failed the training course for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in 1943, but went on to become an S.O.E. secret agent, 'Adele'.
father George, formerly in a shipping firm; mother Yvonne Lozes. Married at age 16 (one son), divorced.
She travelled to England in 1940 'to be with her fiancé', but he (Philippe de Scitivaux - an aviator in the Free French Air Force) was shot down and taken prisoner in April 1942. He was then sent to Oflag XXI-B in Poland, so she must have been at rather a loose end.
She spent the first 3 months of 1943 training with the ATA (although no record of her flying, or of what her instructors thought of it, survives), then immediately applied to SOE to be trained as an 'agent in the field'.
She was initially told she would not be needed, so then went off to the B.C.R.A. (which was the French Intelligence Service set up by de Gaulle while in the UK) for 8 months.
By early 1944 she was back with the S.O.E.; they found that she had good morse (16 wpm, apparently), and was "Keen on silent killing and has a fair working knowledge." [Presumably this was thanks to her BCRA training, as I don't think the ATA syllabus covered 'silent killing'.]
SOE wrote that she was "very keen and enthusiastic about her job. Lived in Algeria where she was married. Often talks about North Africa which she knows well. Her character is mentally stable. She is a quiet type of girl, rather on the shy side but is determined and obstinate".
She parachuted into occupied France on the 7th June, 1944 to be a W/T operator, but soon discovered that all the people she was supposed to contact were nowhere to be found. However, she found some others and they spent 3 months generally harrassing and sabotaging the Germans. After that she didn't want to return to the UK; re-united with Philippe, they married and moved to Tahiti.
She drowned there in 1962 while scuba-diving; Philippe, by then a Vice Admiral, died in Toulon in 1986.
[with thanks to Justin Davis]
Father: Thomas George Thompson, mother: Fanny Edith Rosetta [Galloway] of 54 Patmos Rd, London SW9
Ed. Reay Central Borough Polytechnic (National Certificate of Electrical Engineering)
prev. an electrical engineer; Sgt, RAF Lichfield from 14 Jan 1942
prev. exp. 140 hrs on Tiger Moth, Oxford, Wellington
Address in 1944: 521 Lordship Lane, E Dulwich, SE22
"Turned down night flying - scared" "Rather nervous"
Postings: 6FPP, 5TFPP, 14FPP
Reprimanded for negligence on 18 Nov 1943 when he taxied Hurricane Z4924 into a mooring block at Barton airfield and nosed over, damaging the propeller. His instructor said "I firmly believe that this pilot's trouble is due to a very poor retentive memory and inclined to carelessness and taking chances"
3 other accidents, one his fault
- 27 Oct 1943, forced landing in Anson N9536 after engine failure
- 30 Nov 1943 in Barracuda II LS486 which weather-cocked to starboard when landing, ran off the runway and the undercarriage collapsed.
On 21 Jun 1944 he was absent, having been on leave; when he returned he said this was due to "some trouble with a flying bomb which had damaged his house"
"A quiet and efficient pilot and a well disciplined NCO." "Navigation and map reading very good"
d. 17 Aug 1944 (age 24) in Oxford PH235.
Ferrying from Airspeed's factory in Portsmouth to 44 MU Edzell, Angus, Scotland; for an unknown reason (possibly hitting HT cables), the aircraft dived into the ground at about 17:30 near Holmes Chapel, Cheshire.
The two passengers, Third Officers John Douglas Dale (M.968) and Archibald Campbell Couser (M.967) were also killed.
"HOLMES CHAPEL 'PLANE CRASH
Three pilots of the Air Training Auxiliary (A T.A.) were killed when their 'plane crashed in a field off Knutsford-road. Holmes Chapel, last Thursday. They were Thomas Frank Thompson (23). chief pilot, of 31 Patmos-road. London ; John Douglas Dale (23). of 14. St. Mary's Crescent, Blackhill. Durham, and Archibald Campbell Couser (24), of 73, High Pleasance Falkirk. Their 'plane was seen flying low over the the village before diving suddenly to earth. The bodies were recovered from a wood thirty yards away.
At the inquest conducted by Mr R. A. Daniel on Monday Dr. A. D. Picton said he saw the machine flying level over the village at about 500 feet. Within a second or so it went into a fairly steep dive and crashed behind some trees. His impression was that the engines cut out and that the machine then dived. Before that he thought the engines were working normally.
Norman Forshaw, electrical engineer, Macclesfleld Road. Holmes Chapel. and Walter Caulfield, 30. Middlewich-road, Holmes Chapel. also gave evidence.
A Captain of the A.T.A. said it was a bad crash—too bad to ascertain any technical cause. The Coroner recorded a verdict of " Accidental death" in each case.
First Officer Moore. A.T.A., thanked the local police for their assistance. " - Winsford Chronicle - Saturday 26 August 1944
Buried Streatham Park Cemetery, London
Father; Sam Ambler, mother: Emily Beatrice [Sharp], of Hoyle Court, Baildon, Yorks
One sister, Ruth Beatrice (m. 1923 Emerson Lyman Fisher-Smith, m. 1935 Geoff Morris). His elder brother Lieut. Edward Sharp 'Ted' Ambler (b. 1898) 2nd Bn Scots Guards, d. 8 May 1918 in France
Ed. Shrewsbury School
A bit of a tearaway in his youth:
"SMASH - THEN FINES. Said to have been racing, John Sharp Ambler, spinner, Hoyle Court, Baildon, and Laurence B. King, of Helsley. near Chester, were each fined £5 and costs at Otley yesterday for driving motor cycles to the danger of the public.
It was stated that when near the Junction Hotel, the machine which King was riding met with an obstacle, and it shot from under him. King turned several somersaults and fell on the road. Ambler ran into the kerb about six yards beyond. " - Leeds Mercury - Saturday 22 March 1924
"BAILDON MOTOR CYCLIST'S SPEED John Sharp Ambler, worsted spinner, Hoyle Court, Baildon, was summoned for driving to the danger of the public at Baildon on November 12. It was stated by Police Constable Cooper that he was standing in a garage along Otley Road about 2.05 p.rn. when the defendant dashed past on a motor cycle combination at an exceptionally fast and dangerous speed. The constable ran out on the footpath, about seven yards from where hod been standing, and the machine then was 110 yards away.He saw the defendant later, and after some hesitation, Ambler replied that he did not pass until 2.15 p.m., and was driving very carefully.
Mr. W. T. Scholes for the defendant, submitted that the police hod made mistake in their man. The defendant went to Baildon Station to catch the 1.57 p.m. train to Bradford, but missed it. He returned home, got into his motor clothes, and rode to business. It was 12 minutes past 2 when he passed the public clock at Shipley. Defendant said he had not to be at business until 2.30, and he did not travel at more than 17 miles per hour. He mentioned that he broke the machine on the journey, and it took four days to mend it. After hearing other evidence, the magistrates found the defendant guilty. It was stated that he had been lined £5 for a similar offence at Otley in March last year. He was now fined £5 and his licence suspended for two months." - Shipley Times and Express - Friday 12 December 1924
"CROSS-ROADS CRASH. John Sharp Ambler, worsted spinner. Royal [sic] Court. Baildon was fined £10, with £4 6s. 6d. costs, at Scarborough to-day, for driving dangerously.
Mr G B Parker, prosecuting, said Ambler drove down Holbeck Road at 50 miles hour and at the cross-roads caught a mailvan driven by Herbert King, who was thrown out and injured. Ambler denied that was driving at such a speed, and said he had slowed up to 15 mph at the cross-roads." - Yorkshire Evening Post - Friday 5 May 1933
prev. a 'worsted spinner'; RAF from May 1941
prev. exp. 190 hrs on DH Moth, Oxford, Wellington
Two accidents, both his fault:
- 13 Jul 1943, his Henley L3399 struck a camouflaged hut when taxying - Reprimanded for "taxying without proper care"
- 16 Mar 1944, he stalled his Barracuda on approach, the port wing dropped and the port undercarriage leg collapsed
"An excellent officer and a sound type of pilot who generally has made such good progress as to warrant every confidence in him making a first rate ferry pilot"
"He is not happy in fast aircraft in bad weather and is not ashamed to admit it"
m. 1958 in Kensington, London, Mrs Gwenda Amy Allbrook [nee Oakden] (d. 2000)
Address in 1973: 4 Angel Court, Compton, Surrey;
d. 15 Jun 1974 - Compton, Surrey
A New Zealander attached to the Royal Australian Air Force, he served briefly with the A.T.A. at White Waltham having arrived in the UK from Sydney on 18th November 1942.
d. Jan 1997, Dorset
Father: Lt. Charles Symonds Leaf RM, mother Hon. Catherine Blanche [Kay-Shuttleworth]
"She is a granddaughter of Lord Shuttleworth. Her name is Norwegian and refers to the sister of Lief the Lucky, a Viking warrior ... she is 6 feet tall - almost as tall as her mother - dark and striking-looking"
prev: Mobile VAD Nurse, RAMC
Address in 1939: Freckenham Manor House, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
She was one of two hundred 'debutantes and ex-debutants' in the 'Guard of Honour to attend her Majesty the Queen' in March 1939:
Postings include: 15FPP, 1FPP
- 28 Sep 1945, she 'exhibited bad airmanship' in (of all things) Tiger Moth DF210, when she taxied behind an aircraft with two engines running, and nosed over.
Experience in ATA: 700 hrs in 40 aircraft types.
[Her brother, Lt Edward Derek Leaf DSC, FRGS, RNVR was killed in action, 15 Feb 1944.]
In January 1948, she and Margaret Frost were among the earliest recruits for the newly-formed WAAFVR:
Margaret and Freydis, Nottingham Evening Post, 17 Jan 1948
Others included Roy Mary Sharpe and Ruth Russell.
She and Veronica Volkersz flew RAF-surplus Tempests to Pakistan in 1949, for Mayfair Air Services.
In December 1953 she was awarded her RAF 'Wings', one of 5 women (all ex-ATA pilots) to do so when serving with the short-lived (1 Feb 1949 - 1954) Women's Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (WRAFVR). The others were Jackie Moggtridge, Benedetta Willis, Joan Hughes and Jean Lennox-Bird.
"Miss Leaf is at present training girls for flying at the Women's Junior Air Corps in London and takes the girls up regularly in a Fairchild Argus called 'The Grey Dove'. Last year she took 1,950 students into the air". Also involved in the WJAC were Diana Barnato Walker, and Anna Daab.
In August 1954, she became the first woman to win the title of 'British Air Racing Champion' when she won the Goodyear Trophy in her Miles Hawk Major G-ACYO:
She was presented with the Cup by Mr John Profumo at the Royal Aero Club:
She also came 3rd in the King's Cup Air Race in 1954, and was described as "Britain's top woman pilot":
[She only owned G-ACYO from August 1953 to August 1954, and then sold it to Frederick Howard Stirling; he managed to write it off 28 Nov 1954 when he crashed at Elstree, Herts]
m. 1955 in South Africa, Timothy Herbert Abbott Sharland
In 1956, Veronica Volkersz wrote that Freydis was one of only 7 women flying commercially: - "Freydis Leaf, who until recently was chief aviation advisor to the Women's Junior Air Corps, has left England to marry and settle in South Africa" - and concluded that "The tragedy is that for women, commercial aviation is now - except, possibly, in Russia - a closed field."
[The others were Jackie Moggridge, Monique Rendall, Jean Bird, Suzanne Ashton, Zita Irwin and Diana Barnato-Walker]
d. 24 May 2014 - Benson, Oxfordshire
Father: Henry S Selby, mother Annie F [Sleat]
Ed. Alleyn's School, Dulwich, London
m. 1942 Dorothy [Winter] , one child
prev. Insurance Clerk; RAF Sgt Pilot
prev. exp 260 hrs on Tiger Moth, Oxford, Anson, Bisley (Blenheim Mk V)
Address in 1943: 59 Horniman Dr., Forest Hill, London SE23
6 Jul 1944: "This pilot's house was recently bombed and I granted him two days compassionate leave ... He has found another house"
Address in 1944: 28 Netherby Rd, Honor Oak, SE23 (parents' home)
Postings: 5FTPP, 16FPP
"His Class I flying was very disappointing" but "He was given Class III conversion in view of his previous experience and did quite well"
"He has proved himself a reliable and steady pilot"
d. 18 Sep 1944 in Beaufighter X KW326 which crashed into the sea 1.5 miles from shore after the port engine caught fire on takeoff from Lossiemouth.
His body was recovered on the 21 Sep and buried in Camberwell New Cemetery, Honor Oak.
"His untimely end has been a great blow to his father and myself, as we loved him very dearly. Yours Faithfully, A F Selby"
"OFFERS IN WRITING - Velocette motor cycle, the property of the late S/O D M Selby. Age and mileage unknown, but probably 1932/34 model; at present at No. 16 Ferry Pool, Carlisle"
"Reference sale of motor cycle, I am prepared to offer the sum of £5 - F/O J Huxley, 16FPP"
His wife Dorothy m. 1948 George W H Painter
Ed. Battersea Grammar School
Inter(mediate?) BSc Maths
prev. Aircraft Assistant Buyer
prev. exp 270hrs
m. 1941 in Hmmersmith Marguerite Victoria P [Parker, d. 2006]
Address in 1943: 3 Swindon House, Stanlake, London W12
Postings: 5TP, 2FPP
One accident, not his fault:
- 25 May 1944, when taxying his Spitfie, the airfield control van overtook him and then stopped in front of him. As he couldn't see over the nose, he collided with the van!
"An average pilot who is a keen worker and a likeable personality. Discipline good."
d. 26 Jan 1990 - Hook, Hampshire
m. Jun 1945 Betty K [Abbott]
Sailed back to Montreal with Betty on the "Manchester Trader", 8 Jul 1945.
d. 8 Dec 1985, San Luis Obispo, CA
Father: Joseph John Hawkey (d. 1921)
Next of kin: (mother) Mrs Beatrice Belknap [Hill] Dixon, Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada
prev. exp. 265 hrs on Harvard, Fleet, Master, Spitfire
prev. RCAF, RAF
Enlisted in Toronto in 1941, received his 'wings' 12 Jan 1942 from St Hubert, Quebec and was posted to England.
"Has had a lot of posting and little flying so browned off"
Postings: 5TFPP, 3FPP
5TFPP: "He is regularly ferrying Hurricanes, Masters and similar types. It will not be long before he is flying Spitfires. His general character is good ... a well-disciplined NCO [he was a Flt-Sgt at the time]"
When with 3FPP, he stayed in accommodation at 5 Waltham Place, Cliveden Rd, Chester (Mrs B J Kelly)
30 Nov 1943: "This pilot requires hospital treatment and is unfit for flying. He will be admitted to Preston Military Hospital tomorrow."
He reported back on the 9 Dec 1943, but died a few weeks later in an accident:
d. 24 Jan 1944 in Mostyn Hall Military Hospital nr Chester, following an accident the day before in Beaufighter X NE474, piloted by First Officer (RAF Sgt.) Eric Brunskill, which was hit by Mustang AG597 landing on the wrong runway at Hawarden. Pilot Officer E Vincent, RCAF, was also a passenger and suffered severe burns.
Buried Blacon, Chester, Sec. A. Grave 1073
After his death, his landlady Mrs Kelly went every week to put fresh flowers on the grave, and to keep it tidy.
Also commemorated on his mother's grave at Mars Hill Cemetery, McGillivray, Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada
"Beatrice (Hawkey) Dixon 1886-1975
P/O John W. Hawkey RCAF 1920-1944 Killed on Active Service at Cheshire, Eng."
prev: Telephonist/Receptionist, West Brom & District General Hospital
prev exp: 20min
[Contract Terminated by ATA - 'unsuitable']
m. 1945 in W Bromwich, Frederick E C P Underhill
d. 24 Dec 2007, Worthing, W Sussex
"Suddenly but peacefully in Worthing Hospital on December 24, 2007, aged 86 years.
Adored Mother to Wendy and David, and loving Nannie to Tess and Rory. "
Father: Duncan Alexander McCombie MD, Mother: Helen Millar [Craggs] of Thurso House, Madingley Rd, Cambridge
prev: Typist; MT Driver for the Ministry of Aircraft Production
prev exp: 3hrs 15min *
m. 1941 in Cambridge, Alwyne 'Gerry' S Wilkes (2 children, Sally and Andrew)
* She wrote on hter application form that she had an 'A' Flying Licence (No. 20532) but that belonged to James Davie, and I can find nothing in her name, so her claimed experience of "3¼ hrs on Gypsy Moth" must be regarded as suspect, too.
One accident, her fault:
- 3 Jun 1943: a landing accident in a Hart I, the aircraft cartwheeled & nosed over.
[Contract Terminated by ATA -'inefficiency']
d. Jun 2004 - Hemel Hempstead, Herts
Father: George H., mother Eleanor G. [Raup]
Ed. Lincoln School, Lock Haven, PA; Forest Park High School. MD
She started early...
"Beginning her interest in airplanes at the age of 12, while residing here two years ago, Jane Plant is continuing her study of the ins and outs of aviation at Atlanta, GA" - Lock Haven Express, 1936
"Tearing down motors of giant airships is Jane's idea of having fun." "I like to see what makes 'em perk", she says, "I'm just a grease monkey."
prev: Ground instructor, pilot; Instructor for Curtiss-Wright
Jane's 1940 school photo
prev. exp. 1100 hrs
Address in 1942: 3906 Woodbine Ave, Baltimore, MD
She sailed to join the ATA on 9 May 1943 from New York, with Marion Orr.
"It was farewell day for the Air Transport Auxiliary yesterday. Here, First Officer Jane Plant of Baltimore, USA, explains the controls of a Spitfire to young Michael Tinne, of Eton ATC. One day he hopes to fly, too. Jane has delivered 185 Spitfires as well as other types of machine." Sunday Mirror, 30 Sep 1945
She sailed back to the US in March 1946, with Suzanne Humphreys Ford; she had worked for the ATA for over two years, and was still only 23 years of age.
She met her husband after she had a letter published in the 'Baltimore Sun' in 1963, which made some "facetious comments on the prospects for women astronauts."
"Then the telephone rang. No, it was not NASA asking how much I weighed or whether I get airsick. It was a young man I had met that week at work... A few weeks later we were married."
m. 1963 George D Spencer [d. 2006]
She was also the original inspiration behind the 'ATA History Project', which led eventually to www.airtransportaux.com
d. 17 Jun 2007, Baltimore
Her writings, correspondence, flight logs, lists, printed matter, videotapes of interviews, clippings, and photographs are in the Hoover Institution Library & Archives: https://www.hoover.org/library-archives
Ed. New York City School
m. Natahalee W [Harkness] (divorced 1973, although they are still listed as Associates in the 'Breakwater Yacht Brokerage' in Santa Barbara, CA in 1978))
prev. Bermuda Volunteer Rifles; RAF Jan to July 1942; Commercial & Aerial Photography
In 1940, employed by the Brewster Aeronautical Corp, Newark, NJ
prev. exp. 191 hrs in Tiger Moth, Stinson, Fleet, Luscombe
Address in 1943: 12102½ Hoffman St, N Hollywood, CA
Ab Initio Cadet
Postings: 5FPP, 4FPP, 10FPP
1 accident, not his fault:
- 22 Feb 1944, Commended for a forced landing (although he did damage a wingtip) in a Proctor II after there was an explosion in the engine.
Later worked in real estate in Los Angeles, then settled in Santa Barbara, CA
d. 5 Jul 2001 (age 86), in a Santa Barbara nursing home, 'Beverly La Cumbre' after an infection caused by a feeding tube being improperly inserted. The nursing home later paid out $2 million in damages.
Arrived via the USA in September 1941 on the SS 'City of Exeter' with fellow Ceylon RAF cadet volunteers:
- Ekanayake Edward Amerasekera, aged 25 b. Kegalla
- Frederick H Brohier, age 21 b. Colombo
- Ponniah Balachandran, age 27 b. Jaffna
- Mervin Rex de Silva, age 22 b. Colombo (and Mrs F G de Silva, from Bambalapitiya)
- Leonard Shelton Flamer-Caldera, age 26 b. Ramboda (and Dr. J B Flamer-Caldera, from Mt. Lavinia)
- Kenneth Graydon Joachim, age 31 from Colombo (and Mrs C J Joachim, from Colombo and Havelock Town)
- Emile D P M Jayawardena, age 23 b. Moratuwa
- St Elmo Masefield Muller, age 20 b. Colombo (and Dr. W M Muller, from Colombo))
- Mohamado Maharoof Omerdeen, age 21 b. Matale (and Mr(s?) S Y Omerdeen, from Matale))
- L Osborne
- S A Noel Peiris,
- J Justin A Perera
- Patrick S A Periera
- R O’Brien Van Cuylenburg
- L D H Wanigasekera
(and Mr K C Perera, from Rabama, Mrs E M Mendis, from Moratuwa)
Father: Harold Milstead, mother: Edith (both b. England)
Commercial Licence 1940; Instructor's Licence 1941
prev. Worked in her mother's wool shop, and Flight Instructor at Barker's Field, Toronto
prev. exp. 1,000hrs
Sailed back to Nova Scotia on 18 Aug 1945
m. 1947 Arnold Warren (d. 2000), and they spent 1952-3 in Indonesia, where he was an instructor
Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, 2014
d. 27 Jun 2014
Father: John Thomas Powell (d. 1920), mother: Lillie [Taylor] (Fuller, d. 1940)
prev. Manager and Chief Flight Instructor at St Catherine's Flying Club, Ontario
Commercial Pilot's licence in December 1941
m. 1942 Darwin Kitchener 'Deke' Orr (a fellow flight instructor, also from Toronto; they separated "shortly afterwards")
Made one trans-Atlantic flight as 'supernumerary co-pilot' (i.e. 'passenger') in B-17 HB815, 10-11 Jun 1944
Sailed back to the USA, on the 'Queen Mary', arriving on 8 Oct 1944
Appointed to the Order of Canada, 6 Jul 1993
d. 4 April 1995 in a car accident - Peterborough, Ontario
Father: Artur Jaugsch (dec'd), mother: Stanisława [Dolatowska]
Ed. High School, Torun, Poland
prev Polish Air Force (2nd-Lieut) from 1 Sep 1936. Fled Poland 18 Sep 1939. Interned in Rumania from 18 Sep to 7 Oct 1939, then resident in the UK from 12 July 1940.
RAF (306 Sqn) from 12 Jul 1940 to 27 Mar 1943, based at Northolt.
An article written in 1977 by P/O William R 'Bill' Dunn of 71 (Eagle) Squadron RAF describes an encounter with Leon: "On 6 Jul 1941, I saw a Hurricane from No 306 (Polish) Squadron beating up an Me109E that refused to go down. I gave the Polish pilot a hand with a couple of good bursts from about fifty yards and, with heavy black smoke pouring from it, the Me 109 rolled over, headed for the deck, and went in just west of Mardyck [nr Dunkirk, France]. The Polish pilot, P'O Leon Jaugsch, and I shared this victory. Jaugsch now lives in Los Alamitos, Calif., and we correspond regularly." - via Andrzej Schmidt
prev exp 550 hrs in Poland, France and England.
Postings: 5TFFP, 16FPP, 8FPP, 3FPP
Two accidents, both his fault:
- 14 Jun 1944, in Spitfire IX MK913, he mistook a 'dummy' road for the start of the runway, and damaged a wing whilst landing.
- 30 Mar 1945, he bailed out of a perfectly good Mosquito - a Mk VI, RF847 - when he thought his starboard engine was on fire. Subsequent technical examinations of the wreckage found nothing wrong, so they thought he must have mistaken either static electricity or exhaust flames for an engine fire.
He was demoted to Third Officer in March 1945 for 6 months, when he "deliberately flew above cloud on a ferry flight from Edzell to White Waltham. As a result the pilot became lost and found himself over unknown country ... which proved to be France."
"He has shown exceptional keenness and willingness throughout his training" ... "A good officer but is inclined to be a little excitable. Discipline - excellent"
m. 6 Dec 1944 in Carlisle, Florence E I [Mundy] Daniels
Moved to the USA after WWII. Naturalised 1963:
d. 8 April 1984 - Orange Co., CA, USA
prev: Electrical Showroom Attendant, then a Technical Civil Servant in the Ministry of Aircraft Production (MAP)
Address in 1943: Langham House, 89 Hide Rd, Harrow
Postings include: 7FPP, 15FPP
2 accidents, neither her fault:
- 3 Nov 1943, forced landing after engine failure in Swordfish NE862,
- 12 Dec 1944, another forced landing, in Argus I LV804 after loss of elevator control
Mr Jonathan Ferguson from 1958
The Times, Saturday, Jan 11, 1958:
"FERGUSON - The register containing particulars of the birth of Irene Joy Ferguson, of Holden Rd, London, N.12, has been corrected to read 'male' instead of 'female' and 'Jonathan' instead of 'Irene Joy'. (Signed) Jonathan Ferguson."
and on Jan 13:
"Change of sex by woman pilot
Miss Irene Joy Ferguson, a wartime ferry pilot now employed by the Ministry of Supply, stated at the weekend that she had undergone a change of sex and would in future be known as Jonathan Ferguson. The register containing particulars of birth have been amended.
Mr. Ferguson, of Holden Rd, North Finchley, Middlesex, is aged 40. He joined the Ministry of Supply in 1941 and is a chief experimental officer employed on aircraft research and development. It is understood that the alteration to the birth certificate will not affect his employment in the Ministry.
From May 1943 to October 1945 he - as a woman - was a ferry pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary and held a commission for five years after the war in the W.R.A.F.V.R. (flying list).
Mr Ferguson flew about 1,000 hours as a ferry pilot and after the war became - still as a woman - adviser to the air section of the Girl Guides Association."
d 31 May 1974 - Bracknell, Berks
Father: Col. John 'Jack' Drummond Deane-Drummond DSO, OBE, MC, Mother: Marie Lily Anne [de Cuadra, b. 1883 in Madrid]
Address in 1939: The Old Vicarage, Little Barrington, Oxford
[Her elder brother Anthony also learnt to fly in 1939, and wrote, in his 1992 autobiography 'Arrows of Fortune': "My mother had to divorce my father in 1926... This was not the end of my father's amorous adventures and, at the time I was married in 1944, my wife had the dubious distinction of having no less than three living mothers-in-law"
He escaped from German captivity three times in WWII: - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Deane-Drummond]
m. 15 Apr 1944 in Cirencester, George Rowland MBE, of the Royal Corps of Signals
In Jul 1949, the Western Daily Press reported that "The heavy rain on Saturday played havoc with the final day's programme of the R.A.F. Week on Durdham Down, but it did not prevent Vampires of 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron from carrying out their fly-past. When they returned to Filton. however, the pilots discovered that, due to the high speed at which they had been flying, the rain had washed the crests and identification markings off the aircraft.
Other sufferers from the weather conditions were the five W. R. A. F. V. R. 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. "
[* Sheila van Damm, motor rally driver in the 1950s, and sometime owner of the Windmill Theatre, wasn't an ATA pilot:
She only learnt to fly in 1947]
m. Jan 1955 in Chelsea, John M Saville
d. 1 May 2003 - Warwickshire
Father: Edward George Lee, a Textile Manufacturer; Mother: Elizabeth [Dewer], of "Avonmore", St Annes-on-Sea
Ed. St Leonard's School, St Andrews, Fife
Address in 1939: 158 Stannes Rd E, Lytham St Annes
prev: Driver, Corporal in WAAF at RAF Feltwell, Norfolk from September 1939
m. 5 Dec 1942 in St Annes-on-Sea, Capt. John Lecce Mullineaux, 42 Div RASC, "only child of Mr J. H. Mullineaux , and the late Mrs Mullineaux, of Fulwood, Preston"
Postings: 5FPP, 1FPP
Off sick from 3 Aug 1943 to 16 Jun 1944 after a flying accident: she was afterwards "slightly lame"
Two accidents, one her fault:
- 3 Aug 1943, her Magister stalled and dived into the ground after it was caught in the slipstream of a Wellington
- 31 Aug 1944, she collided with a parked aircraft whilst taxying Tiger Moth EM915
Total hrs: 508 hrs, of which 276 hrs on Argus, plus Magister, Proctor, Hart, Moth, Swordfish, Whitney Straight, Oxford, Anson, Auster, Barracuda and Dominie/Rapide.
"Apart from a tendency to become overconfident, this pilot proved good average ability and her airmanship was sound"... "has done her work efficiently and willingly. A good officer"
Lancashire Evening Post - Friday 28 March 1947: "NORTH-WEST DECREES
as Special Commissioner to hear divorce suits at Preston, to-day, Judge Ormerod granted decrees nisi to the following, on the grounds stated:—
• John Lecce Mullineaux, 123. Victoria-road, Pulwood. Preston; desertion by Joan Edwina Frances Mullineaux"
m. 1948 in Westminster, John B S Smyth
d. Oct 1971 aged 54 - Eton, Bucks
Prev. Exp: 6 hrs solo
Having learnt to fly under the Civil Air Guard scheme in 1939, Lesley first applied for the ATA in March 1941:
Mrs Clayton suggested that I should write to you for information with regard to the possibility of joining the ATA.
I am enclosing my pilot’s log book from which you will see that I have not had very much experience [she had 6 hours solo]. This is due to the fact that I started flying under the CAG Scheme, and had to have my lessons at the weekends whenever possible, or on occasional evenings after work. Civilian flying was stopped very shortly after I got my A Licence. My log book seems to be complete with the exception of one trip, dual, to Le Bourget, France, and an hour’s landing practice, solo, on about the last flying day before the war.
I know that it is impossible to judge future possibilities on such limited experience, but my instructor at Horton Kirby Flying Club seemed quite confident that I would make a good pilot, and suggested that I should take an instructor’s Licence with a view to teaching there.
I would be most obliged if you would keep my log book and licence until such time as you think it possible for me to have a test or an interview.”
It proved to be a long wait. Meanwhile, she joined the Volunteer Ambulance Corps, continued to send letters asking to join the ATA, and continued to get rejection letters back.
Finally, two years later in March 1943, she got an interview with Pauline Gower, and went for her flying test. It’s a wonder she could remember anything at all about flying an aeroplane, but she scraped through somehow:
“A highly educated girl but appeared nervous during the examination [blimey, there's a surprise]. Somewhat under confident but careful.”
On the 22nd May 1943, she finally got her long-awaited call-up to the ATA, and grabbed the chance with both hands. Her final training report in July 1944 says this:
“This pilot promises to become a ferry pilot of high order. She tackles all her work with quiet confidence and it is difficult to believe that she had so little experience prior to joining ATA. Her discipline and appearance are both excellent and she will be an asset to any Pool she joins.”
Sadly, she died within a year; on the 20 April 1945, her Hudson V AM854 got out of control and spun into the ground near Popes Field, Taplow, Berks.
buried in Chislehurst cemetery, Kent
Cadet Geoffrey Bernard Regan also died with her.
Father: Henry Nelmes Forbes, mother: Elsie Kathleen [Smith]
prev: Welfare Supervisor for British Industrial Plastics
prev exp: 3hrs
Address in 1939: 369 Hagley Rd, Edgebaston, Birmingham
- 29 Jun 1943, a forced landing after engine failure in a Magister
[Contract Terminated by ATA]
d. 22 Mar 1967 - Edinburgh
Not in 'Forgotten Pilots'
Father: Major Nugent Winter Humphrys (Manchester Regiment, BEF from 14 Aug 1914, d. 1931),
Mother: Blanche Ada de Vivefay [Wilson] (m. Apr 1926 Sidney A Gaudion)
Ed. Wycombe Abbey
Sailed to Gibraltar with her mother in Oct 1935, was in Colombo in 1936, (Blanche sailed back to the UK in Jun 1937 and Aug 1938), sailed back to UK from Canada in Sep 1938
prev: Civilian Driver, French Diplomatic Corps
prev exp: 4hrs 30min in Magister, Hawk and Tiger Moth, inc. Palestine, Egypt
Address in 1939: Newton Abbott, Devon
Address in 1943: (mother) 4 Lawrence Mansions, Cheyne Walk, London SW3
m. 1940 William A H B Burnside (a wireless operator)
[ab initio trainee]
Postings: 5FPP, 12FPP, 15FPP
Class I pilot
One accident, not her fault:
- 28 Jan 1944, her Tiger Moth nosed over while taxying, due to a Liberator in front suddenly opening up one of its engines
exp in ATA:
Magister: 102hrs 25min;
Hart: 15hrs 20min;
Fairchild: 67hr 50min;
Moth: 7hrs 25min;
Swordfish: 3hrs 15min;
Harvard: 26hrs 20min;
Hurricane: 5hrs 25min;
Spitfire: 13hrs 50min;
Auster: 3hrs 35min;
Barracuda: 4hrs 45min;
Master: 4hrs 10min;
Miles Falcon: 1hr 05min;
Mustang: 1hr 10min;
Proctor: 1hr 25min.
She and William lived in 'Overmead', Lingfield, Surrey [until 1946, when he married Margaret H Grady]
Father: Thomas Geoffrey Leith (Canadian); Mother: Olga Renfrew Schwartz
Next of kin: (Aunt) Mrs Robertson-Eustace
Ed. Luckley College, Wokingham
prev: ATS Subaltern from 1938 (MT Driver)
prev exp: 28hrs
Address in 1942: Merethold, Wrecclesham, Farnham, Surrey
One accident, her fault:
- 6 Aug 1943, she made a rough landing in a Hart, the port wing touched down and the a/c ground-looped.
Contract Terminated by ATA
m. 1946 Capt. Jack Murray Wall, in Hampshire
d. 25 Nov 1989 in South Africa
Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):
Father: Gerrit Veldhuijzen van Zanten (d. 1922), Mother: Lamberta Ida [Muller] (d. 1928)
6 brothers, inc. Edward, Gerrit and Mauritz
Ed. Hillegom Secondary School; School for Social Workers, Amsterdam
Sailed to the USA in 1937 (Her brother Mauritz was resident in Lynden, Washington; he owned Van Zanten's Inc, an azalea nursery. He died in the USA in 1993). On 11 Sep 1937, the Bellingham Herald reported that "Miss Ida van Zanten of Holland, who has spent the last three months at the home of her brother, Maurice van Zanten, has started back home via Japan and Dutch East Indies, and expects to arrive in Holland in April."
Address in 1938: Keizersgrachd, 707, Amsterdam
Address in 1942: Hotel du Lac, Vesenaz-sur-Geneve, Switzerland. (She left Holland on the 8 Jan 1942, and travelled via France, Switzerland (where she was arrested and interned for illegally entering the country) and then via Spain and Portugal to the UK, finally arriving 13 Aug 1942.)
This document, dated June 1942, shows that when she was allowed to leave Switzerland she was given a ticket from Bilbao, Spain to Curaçao, the Dutch Caribbean island:
... but eventually, she appears to have managed to get a flight from Lisbon to the UK.
On her application form dated 28 Aug 1942, she describes her present occupation as "Refugee from Holland - Waiting since 3 monthes for permission from Home Office to come to England" She had been "forced by Gestapo to leave Holland, had to leave log book and 'A' Licence behind".
Prev. Dutch Labour Exchange; Air Hostess for KLM; Dutch Government War Office, London, Oct-Nov 1942; WAAF
Prev. exp. 10 hrs on Moth, Taylor Cub, FK46, BA Swallow
Her "references" included John Kirwan, (who was her instructor at Hanworth when she gained her Royal Aero Club Certificate in 1938), and KLM's famous pilots Koene Dirk Parmentier and Jan Johannes Mollwho had been prize-winning DC-2 pilots in the 1934 MacRobertson Race from England to Australia:
John Dirk Jan
She said she "wanted to help the Allies by ferrying aircraft."
Postings: 15FPP, 5TFPP, 7FPP, 1FPP
Initial reports were not encouraging; "Her general flying ability at the moment is a lowly average and map-reading and use of compass leave much to be desired"... "She is very keen and tries hard but would appear to be a very shy and apprehensive type"; nevertheless, she was cleared to ferry Class I aircraft on 19 Sep 1943.
She gradually improved: "Has now reached a fair standard .... Really does try hard" but seems to have had "off-days"; for example, in Jan 1944 her instructor for Class II reported that "Her airmanship today was definitely dangerous".
She eventually passed for Class III aircraft by mid-1945.
Types flown: Magister, Moth, Hart, Fairchild, Proctor, Gladiator, Mentor, Swordfish, Auster, Wicko, Whitney Straight, Oxford, Anson.
3 accidents, 2 her fault:
- 13 Oct 1943, she damaged the propeller and undercarriage of her Argus I FK335 when she taxied into an unmarked hole on the airfield at Lyneham
- 20 Dec 1943, she overshot the landing in Argus HM165 and ran into the far boundary, due to an error of judgement
- 24 Feb 1945, Reprimanded for "taxying without due care" - her Argus FK337 hit Argus EV803 at a runway intersection.
She was decorated in Holland in 1948 with the 'Vliegerskruis' (DFC) and other medals
d. 16 Oct 2000
Buried Hillegom Cemetery
Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip files):
Father: Sir Ernest Thomas Fisk FRSA. 16 Beaconsfield Terrace, Lindfield, Sydney, Australia [Director General of Economic Development, and a former Secretary to the Economic Cabinet, in Australia] - see https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/fisk-sir-ernest-thomas-6177
Ed. Geelong, Australia
prev. a University Student, then an Engineer Officer on board SS "Queen Mary" [Jan-Jun 1942] then SS "Queen Elizabeth"
prev. exp. 10hrs on Gipsy Moth - failed RAF entrance due to his eyesight
Postings: 5TFPP, 4FPP, 1FPP, 83 GSU (Seconded for 1 week)
In October 1943, he and fellow Australian pilot Ian Llewellyn asked for, and were given, permission to wear 'Australia' on their uniforms. "We have lived in Australia all our lives and arrived in this country early this year."
d. 25 Jun 1944 in Mustang III FB348 which crashed near Petworth, W. Sussex. "...the pilot was executing violent manoevres near the ground, probably resulting in a high speed stall. The aircraft then spun to the left and crashed."
Cremated at Golders Green Crematorium; his ashes were scattered from DH Rapide X7417 over White Waltham Airfield on 8 July 1944. Ian Llewellyn and Flt-Sgt Pollard flew as passengers, with Capt. Herbert Mason as the pilot.
Father: Thomas Wilfred Wheelock (b. 1874 in Lima, Peru); Mother: Maria Benita [Corazo], both of Managua, Nicaragua
Ed. Alabama University (BSA)
prev. exp. 34.5 hrs on single engine light planes
prev. a Coffee Planter
Address in 1943: 9 Taviton St, Euston London WC1
Rejected by RAF as medically unfit - "bilateral nerve deafness"
"Mr Wheelock is the owner of coffee lands here in Managua and has left behind him considerable wealth as much as a very comfortable life with a high social standing and a host of friends and relatives"
His flight test report says "Left S. America to help with the war. A keen and alert type who should be given a chance" and "Rather talkative but keen"
The ATA hurriedly checked, and "Confirmation that Nicaragua is actually at war with the Axis has been received from the Foreign Office"
Postings: 5TFPP, 2FPP, 7FPP, 3FPP
17 Aug 1943: he had a little 'misunderstanding' with the RAF Duty Officer at RAF Ternhill over how much fuel he needed; "although a flight of 35 to 40 miles could easily be accomplished within safety limits, it must be remembered that the pupil is a temperamental foreigner who has been instructed always to ensure that the tanks of the aircraft are full before a cross country flight."
On the 18 August, he was given permission to wear shoulder flashes bearing the word "Nicaragua"
By the 26 Sep 1943, he had reached a "lowly" Class I standard, but he "had to be taken off Hart training as he did not appear able to manage this type"
"His future flying will have to be carefully watched as, although he is keen and willing, his ability is limited."
He sustained a broken collarbone when hit by a taxi Anson in August 1944, and returned to the USA from 11 Sep to 15 Oct 1944.
d. 27 Nov 1944 in Mosquito VI NT147 piloted by First Officer Allen Pollock, which hit a flock of birds on a ferry flight from Hawarden to 44MU Lixell via Kirkbride. They arrived at Kirkbride with the port engine feathered, and crashed when attempting to go-round after the undercarriage indicator showed the wheels unlocked. F/O Pollock only suffered superficial cuts and bruises, but Joseph was fatally injured on the head.
Buried Carlisle Cemetery
His will left the benefits of his life insurance of 3,000 USD "in loving remembrance, divided thus:- Two thousand dollars to my mother and one thousand to Rosita Arguello Solorzano. I beg that my mother forgives me for all the trouble I have caused her". He left his house in the Avenida Hospital to his son, Armando Solis, when he should reach the age of 25.
And his estate amounted to 121,226 Nicaraguan Cordobas!
Father: Alfred Edward Miller, mother: Elizabeth Florence [Nott]
Ed. Clarendon House, Ramsgate
Address in 1943: 6 Bellevue Rd, Ramsgate, Kent
[ab initio pilot]
m. 17 Mar 1945 in Eaton Sq, London, Lt. John Keith Rumball (b. 1922 in Ontario, Canada, wounded in Italy Sep 1944)
"She is expected to follow Lieut. Rumball to Canada some time in the future"
d. 10 May 2014 - Victoria, BC, Canada
m. Iris Madeline [Moyes]
One accident, not his fault:
- 23 Jan 1944, the accident in which John Hawkey was fatally injured and First Officer Eric Brunskill suffered severe burns; the Beaufighter in which he was travelling was hit by a Mustang landing on the wrong runway at Hawarden.
Edward was admitted to the Military Hospital, Chester and then RAF Hospital Cosford with burns to his legs and hands, transferred to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead on 8 Mar 1944 and became a member of 'The Guinea Pig Club' - one of 649 Allied Aircrew treated there for burns injuries.
d. 1976, Ottawa, Canada
prev. an ATA Ground Engineer from 1942; an ab initio pupil who "took to flying easily, particularly in Class 1 and 2."
Postings: 1FPP, 5FPP, 8FPP, 4FPP
Certificate of Commendation "for displaying exceptional airmanship. On 15 Nov 44 he landed his aircraft in a small field after hydraulic failure had filled the cockpit and sprayed him with a large quantity of hydraulic fluid possessing powerful anaesthetic properties."
"A keen pilot who has settled down to doing a very good job."
2 accidents, one his fault.
Father: John Henry Murphy, a Water Works Engineer; mother Margaret Elizabeth [Gosling]
Ed. Manchester Grammar School, Manchester College of Technology
m. 1938 in Stockport, Alice [Webster]
prev. Director and Printing Works Manager, Dean & Co, Stockport; "in control of a staff of approx. 120 employees"
"Not exempt - recently de-reserved"
Ab initio pilot
Address in 1943: 29 Daylesford Rd, Cheadle, Cheshire
"As a regular reader of 'Flight' for some years, I am very keen to fly and regret that circumstances did not enable me to join the RAF as a pilot when still young enough.
Sports: Swimming, cricket, tennis and lacrosse
Hobbies: Gardening, photography, foreign touring, amateur motor engineering"
Postings: 5TFPP, 16FPP, 7FPP, 3FPP
Salary: £285 p.a. from 26 Jul 1943
"This pilot had not flown before he came to ATA. He has proved slow to get started on new things but keen and hardworking." "He is on the nervous side and his flying would improve if he put more dash and decision into it."
3 accidents, one his fault:
- 13 Dec 1943, in Magister N4583; the undercarriage collapsed on landing due to the brakes binding
- 22 Jun 1944, his Harvard IIb FX285 nosed over when he applied the brakes while taxying to take-off. He was blamed for this, as he had previously noticed that the brakes were 'fierce'
d. 25 Nov 1944 in Barracuda II MX709, which flew Into the ground at Annesley North Railway Junction ("near the signal box"), nr Hucknall, Notts in bad visibility during a ferry flight from 15MU Wroughton to RNAS Dunino.
"There is a conflict between eye-witnesses who are positive that the aircraft was on fire before the crash, and the evidence from subsequent technical examination which strongly indicated that fire only occurred after the crash."
"Insufficient evidence to determine the responsibility for this accident."
Buried Cheadle Cemetery, Manchester
Probate of £3124 15s 7d was granted to Alice on 27 January 1945.
Alice married Rowland Pollitt in 1948; he died in 1971.
Father: John Leslie Cunnington, mother Florence Chosa [Downes]
Ed. Loretta Convent, Colmel, Eire and Pitmans College, London
prev: Secretary, ATA from Nov-41
Address in 1943: "Crowland", 84 Broadwalk, Winchmore Hill, London N.21
[Ab Initio trainee]
Postings include: 7FPP
One accident, her fault:
- 7 Nov 1943, she made a heavy landing in a Swordfish II and the undercarriage collapsed
Contract Terminated 13 Sep 1944
Father: George Fish (a Master Butler); mother: Dorothy
Ed. Nottingham High School and RIBA, London
prev: Architect (Eberlin and Derbyshire Architects), then architectural assistant for the ATA from Jan 1942
Address in 1943: 14 Vivian Ave, Nottingham
Ab initio trainee
Postings: 5FPP, 15FPP, 12FPP, 6FPP
2 accidents, 1 her fault:
- 2 Dec 1944, a forced landing in Argus I FK345 after engine failure
- 12 Dec 1944, flying Spitfire IX TA780, she was reprimanded when she "persisted in landing well up the runway, knowing there was another aircraft in front of her. She collided with this other aircraft and was held to blame by the Accidents Committee"
m. Sep 1945 in Nottingham, 3rd Officer (Flt-Eng) Bernard K Wadsworth, also of the ATA
d. 21 Dec 2020, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
Father: Lt. William Ellis Jones, RNVR, Mother: Nan, of 'Isfryn', Eddisbury Rd, W. Kirby, Wirral, Cheshire, and Bombay
Travelled to the UK in 1923
Ed. Howells School, Denbigh. N Wales
m. 14 Feb 1940 in Hoylake, Cheshire, 2nd-Lt Denis Vivian Ellis Wilson RHA (d. 26 Nov 1941 on war service)
prev. Bank Secretary; MT Driver with ATA from 16 Mar 1942
[ab initio pilot]
Father: Atherton Richard Norman Powys, LLB (a solicitor, c/o Pollock & Co, 50 Pall Mall, London W1), Mother: Elsie Dyus [Mattingley]
Ed. Wycombe Abbey School
prev. ATA aircraft electrician from 9 Jun 1942
Address in 1943: 56 Curzon St, London W1
ab initio trainee
Postings: 12FPP, 15FPP
Off sick from 22 Jun to 27 Jul 1943 with a burnt leg
3 Accidents, 1 her fault:
- 20 Aug 1943, a forced landing in Magister P6373 after engine failure on an attempted go-round
- 8 Nov 1944, she overshot the landing in Spitfire Va X4922, partly due to a defective ASI
- 26 Jun 1945, another forced landing, this time in Seafire III NN192, after the port wing gun panel became detached
Gained her Royal Aero Club Certificate No 20516 on 22 Aug 1945, under the ATA's 'Wings' Scheme, having amassed 310 hrs
d. 3 Jan 1995 - Fakenham, Norfolk
Mother: Olive Ellen Beatrice [Farmer], a Hotel Proprietress of 16 Edgecombe Ave, Newquay, Cornwall (d. 1971)
Ed. Sutton High School
m. Dec 1937 in Truro Cornwall, Rodney George May, a ladies hairdresser
[divorced December 1942:
"Mrs. Olive Betty May, now serving in the Air Transport Auxiliary, of the Edgcumbe Hotel, Newquay was granted a decree nisi by Mr Justice Henn Collins in the Divorce Court on Monday on the grounds of the cruelty of her husband, Rodney George May, who did not defend the suit.
Mr. and Mrs. May were married in December, 1937, at Kenwyn Parish Church. They lived at Porth, near Newquay, and at the Edgcumbe Hotel, which was owned by the wife's mother. Mrs. May's case was that her husband had a terrible temper, and would swear at her and throw things about. He had kicked and hit her, pinched her and pulled her hair. Once he spent he whole evening nagging and bullying her in front of the guest in the hotel. " - Western Morning News - Wednesday 02 December 1942 ]
prev: ATA from 3 Jun 1942 (Catering, Clerk, MT Driver)
[ab initio pilot]
m. Jul 1943 First Officer Henry 'Michael' Andrew Armstrong also of the ATA (daughter Mary Anne b. 1944, son John William Andrew b. 1949)
Henry d. 1984 in Newquay
m. 6 Sep 1986 in Truro, Thomas Nelson Gray
"Oh - Get On! is Bettye Gray's book,  recalling 100 years of Cornwall's holiday scene and how one family (her own) helped to shape it"
"Bettye and Michael Armstrong ran the Edgcumbe Hotel during the very successful post war years. Their children each purchased their own hotels - Watergate Bay Hotel and Headland Hotel respectively. The 90 bedroom Edgcumbe Hotel was sold in 1989, and Bettye Gray (as she was then) purchased The Nare Hotel of 40 rooms. She set about substantially refurbishing and making it the most upscale hotel in Cornwall at the time. It has been the highest rated hotel in the county ever since. Bettye Gray, the family matriarch, was the inspiration for The Nare in its current form. She died, aged 94, a couple of days after hosting the weekly Champagne cocktail party." - https://www.narehotel.co.uk/about/a-century-of-inn-keeping
The Edgcumbe Hotel closed its doors in 2015, and has remained derelict since.
Starting Salary: £3.0.0 a week
Father: Frederick 'Noel' Hamilton Wills (a director of WD & HO Wills Ltd, d. 1927, leaving £5.05 million, "subject to large interests given to his wife, for his two sons on attaining the age of 25 and his three daughters on attaining that age or marrying"), mother: Margery Hamilton [Fraser]
The neice of (Noel's brother) Lord Dulverton, Chairman of the Imperial Tobacco Company.
Address in 1936: Miserden Park, Miserden, Gloucestershire
m. 8 Dec 1938 in London, Captain (later Sir) John 'Jacko' MacLeod, "of Skeabost House. the Isle of Skye":
He was later an MP. They had twins, "which run in the Skeabost family" in 1939.
prev: Personal Assistant to Director, Fighter Operations
[ATA Personnel file missing]
Her elder brother, Michael Desmond Hamilton Wills MC, (who gave her away at her wedding) was killed in action 16 Mar 1943. He is commemorated on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial in Tunisia, and in Miserden Church, Stroud
Lived at Culloden House, Inverness and 36 Curzon St, London
Her uncle, Lt.-Col Graham Beaucham Coxeter Rees-Mogg OBE, left her £15,000 in his will in 1949.
d. 4 Sep 1994 - Northleach, Gloucestershire
Father: Edward Montagu Haylock, a Ballroom Manager; mother: Lillian [Jones]
Ed. Alderman Newton's School. Leicester
prev: ATS Convoy Driver 1939-1943 (Sergeant)
m. Oct 1940 in Leicester, Flt-Lt Philip Stanley Lester, RAF
Address in 1943: 315 Uppingham Rd, Leicester
- 18 Nov 1944, she needed to taxy between two aircraft and asked a rigger to help her. Unfortunately, her Anson XI NL238 skidded on mud and hit the tail of a Hurricane. The rigger was blamed!
m. 1950 in Leicester, Dennis M Wilson
d. 2001 - Ringwould, Dover, Kent
"An extraordinary Woman"
Ed. Rosedean, S Africa, and Witwatersrand University
m. Jan 1943 in Chelsea, Sub-Lt Alan James Bowyer, an artist who served with the Royal Navy throughout the war
this is one of his many paintings, "Squally Weather in the Channel"
Address in 1943: 2 Manor Court, Hemus Court, London SW3
Next-of kin changed from her husband to Mrs M Rivett-Carmac, Walnut Tree Cottage, 1 St Johns Rd, Wimbledon, then to (sister-in-law) Mrs Spreadbury, Battersea
Off sick from 7 to 23 Jan 1944 with influenza
2 accidents, neither her fault:
- 31 Jan 1944, a forced landing in a Swordfish after loss of oil pressure
- 20 Jun 1944, the rudder of her Argus was struck in mid-air by an Anson; in the subsequent forced landing the Argus turned over onto its back.
She changed her name to Cripps 27 Jan 1945:
and then when Alan Bowyer married Gladys [Brown] in October 1946, she married Mr Cripps:
m. Dec 1946 in Hendon, Derek Arthur Rivers Cripps, also an ex-ATA pilot
One child, Susan, b. Jul 1947
poss m. Jul 1957 in Middlesex, Robert G Ostler
Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip files):
Educated at Bletchley Grammar.
In 1932, worked for Beacon Brushes Ltd, Bletchley; apparently, brush-making is Bletchley's oldest large-scale industry and Beacon Brushes was formed in 1926 by 'Jack Cook and his sons'. See http://www.discovermiltonkeynes.co.uk
Arthur's father was called Arthur John Dennis Cook, but anyway by 1943 our Arthur was 'Works Manager and Joint Managing Director' of the firm, based at Church Farm, Wavendon, Bucks. Which is near Bletchley (that's enough mentions of Bletchley).
Competed in the King's Cup in 1934 and 1935
Although he had over 400 hrs flying experience before WWII, presumably due to a long lay-off from flying he joined as a Pilot Cadet. However, he progressed well ["a quiet and hard-working pilot ... he has worked keenly and well and his discipline has been excellent]", and was appointed 3rd Officer in September 1943, then 2nd Officer in Jan 1944.
During his ATA career he flew 29 single- and twin-engine types.
Father: Richard Harte Keatinge Willans; mother, Georgina Blow or Blois [Goodman]
Ed. Wellington College, RMA Woolwich
m. 1929 Edith Daphne [Traill], 2 children
prev. From 1921, a rancher, and manager of the Traill's estancia in Argentina, which was adjacent to his. Lieutenant in 15th Field Brigade, Royal Artillery, Aug 1923 to Jun 26
prev. exp. 205 hrs in UK, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, in DH Moth, Fleet, Fairchild 22, Stinson Reliant, Rearwin, Focke-Wulf, Aeronca Super Chief.
Learnt to fly in 1931 at the London Aeroplane Club; for his ATA application, he gave Pauline Gower as one of his references because "she was getting her 'B' Licence in 1931 at Stag Lane at the same time ... I hope she will remember me."
Address in 1943: Estancia la Esterlina, Carlos Pellegrini, Santa Fe, Argentina and c/o Mrs Traill, 13 Lansdowne Rd, Bedford
Travelled from Argentina (passage paid for by the UK) in Feb 1943 to join the RAF, but there was a typo on his application form; it said his date of birth was 1909. Once he arrived and the mistake was discovered, he was rejected by the RAF as 'Too Old', and offered to the ATA (who also thought he was a bit old, even for them).
He then had a flight test in an Avro Tutor with ATA on 19 May; "General Flying Good but take-off Very Bad and handling Very Rough Indeed"
"Wishes his papers expedited as he has very little money"
"A careful reliable pilot"
Two accidents, neither his fault:
- 18 Dec 1944, ferrying Vengeance IV FD132 from Air Dispatch Cardiff to 48MU Hawarden, the port undercarriage leg failed to lock down and on landing he collided with a Lancaster, damaging the port wing and propeller.
d. 12 Jan 1945 in Dumfies and Galloway Hospital, from injuries received in Wellington IV PF896 which was in collision with RAF Anson LV219 at Dumfries Airfield. Both aircraft were attempting to land, the Anson in front. A red verey light was fired from the ground, and the Anson then climbed into the path of the Wellington. The five crew onboard the Anson were killed.
Buried Headington Cemetery, Oxford
"The Willans name remains strong in Argentina. Tom's son Richard Robin, was President of the Media Luna [polo] Club. Robin, a Cambridge man, took the Warwickshire Cup in England with the Buccaneers Team in 1969. Andy Willans took the gold cup Campana del Deserto" Polo in Argentina: A History
Address in 1943: The Haven, Fowey, Cornwall
WWI ace (12 victories) - went to Italy flying Camels with 66 Sqn, and was shot down once in Belgium and twice in Italy.
Competed in the King's Cup in 1930 and 1931.
Despite being over 40 when WWII broke out, Francis joined the RAF as a Flt-Lt in Apr-39 and then in June 1943 joined the ATA.
He was certainly experienced (1,500 hours, although mostly on light types), and keen - in fact, "his keenness to do a job may lead him to ask for more than he can safely cope with". He went on to complete a very large number of successful aircraft deliveries on 24 different aircraft, mostly Spitfires, in "an eminently satisfactory manner".
Although he did have one senior moment, in January 1944, when he landed a Hurricane with the wheels up. He had "failed to carry out his cockpit drill".
By 1945 though, even the ATA noticed that he was perhaps getting on a bit to be a ferry pilot; "This pilot was very nervous and under-confident at the beginning of the course but eventually settled down and reached an average standard. I would suggest however that owing to his age he has reached the limits of his ability and should not be considered for further progress".
He was nevertheless "an extremely enthusiastic and hard working pilot who has been of great value".
[Father John Richard Sydney Petersen was born in 1876 in NSW, Australia; mother Stella C [Dawson]]
Living with her parents in Wokingham, Berks, she gained her RAeC certificate on 16 Aug 1939 at the Romford Flying Club, in a DH Moth.
prev. a nurse at Westminster Hospital
Address in 1943: Park Prewett, Basingstoke, Hants
Two accidents, both her fault:
- 19 Oct 1943, when she undershot her landing approach in Magister R1887, struck a tree, crashed, and the aircraft was written off
- 23 Oct 1944, in Spitfire IX TA855; she made a heavy landing and the undercarriage collapsed.
Travelled to Malaya in May 1946, then from Sydney, Australia, to Vancouver B.C. in Aug-Sep 1948
In 1950, qualified as a teacher.
m. c. 1951 William Austin? 'Bill' Edwards, "an electrician and former lumberjack" (d. 1988?)
Jaye Edwards, as she became known, sitting next to Julie Payette, the Governor General of Canada, at a reception in celebration of her 100th birthday. [Photo courtesy Jaye's neice Ann.]
[Julie Payette (btw) was an astronaut and flew two missions in space; she also served many years as CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) at NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, and was Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.]
d. 15 Aug 2022, aged 103
From her obituary in The Times:
"She was gratified when the British government in 2008 belatedly awarded a commemorative “veteran’s badge” to those who had served in the ATA, but spoke matter-of-factly of her contribution to the war effort.
“Planes are built to fly and I knew the planes I was flying were in good shape. They were being sent to be used,” she said with the ‘keep calm and carry on’ pragmatism of so many of her generation.
She was on a train to Manchester returning from delivering a plane when she heard the news that the war in Europe had ended. She admitted that she had mixed feelings. There was relief that no more lives would be lost, of course; but sadness because she knew it meant that she had flown her last flight and that the ATA would be disbanded. “I was sorry because I knew that was the end of flying,” she said.
She was almost right but more than half a century later, when she was in her eighties, she was invited to take the controls of a small aircraft in mid-air over Canada, the country that she made her home for more than 70 years.
She executed a perfect turn before returning the plane to its straight and level course. Yes, she had missed flying, she said. “But not really, because there was so much new to do. You take the opportunities that you get.”
In 2011, she returned to England to attend the opening of the ATA gallery and its “Grandma Flew Spitfires” display at the Maidenhead Heritage Centre, close to the auxiliary’s wartime headquarters at White Waltham, Berkshire. Her death leaves the 103-year-old American Nancy Stratford as the only surviving female ATA pilot.
The seeds of her love of flying were planted as a child when she was cycling around the Kent countryside and stumbled upon a visiting “air circus” that had been set up in a field. She was entranced by the exploits of the “barnstormer” stunt pilots. The adventures of pioneering prewar aviatrixes such as Amelia Earhart, Jean Batten and Amy Johnson, which she followed on newsreels in the local cinema, cemented her fascination.
She described a tomboy childhood, climbing trees and having adventures on her bike, and she saw flying as a continuation of her youthful desire not to be earthbound, both literally and metaphorically.
“I think I was always a bit wild,” she admitted. “You ride a bike, you climb a tree, you’re off the ground. I would say that’s mostly it. A new outlook; a new life.”
prev. a draughtsman, then Fleet Air Arm, 1942-3
d. 6 Sep 1943 (Died in ATA Service) - Hart K6526, heavy landing at Thame on a training flight, 2 Sep 1943. The aircraft somersaulted onto its back and caught fire; Albert suffered extensive burns and was taken to RAF Halton hospital. He did not wish his wife informed 'as she is expecting a baby some time this week'.
Address in 1939: "Trevoak", Oakley Woods, Benson, Oxon.
Father: Charles Julian Theodore Tharp, "the well-known portrait painter", see https://suffolkartists.co.uk/index.cgi?choice=painter&pid=621
Mother: Ethel Winifred Elizabeth [Simpson]
Had an elder brother, Howard Grahame Tharp, b. 3 Jul 1912, m. Jan 1949 in London, Silvia JA Smith, (3 children Rosamund S b. 1951, Alison L b. 1954, Richard D G b. 1957)
Ed. Bedales, Petersfield
prev. L/Cpl, Parachute Battalion, Army Air Corps 3 Sep 1939 to 24 Jan 1943; "Agriculture", Essex War Agricultural Executive Committee
Address in 1943: 84 Boundary Rd, London NW8
Postings: 5TFPP, 2FPP, 7FPP, 16FPP
Ab initio pilot
Suspended with loss of pay for 1 day in August 1944 for infringment of standing orders.
2 accidents, 1 his fault:
- 12 Jul 1944, he undershot the landing in a Swordfish and hit a barbed wire fence
- 2 Nov 1944, his Seafire III NN333 swung after a normal landing and the undercarriage collapsed. A fault was later found.
"This officer obviously has intelligence but comments were made on his occasional carelessness" ... "Quiet and reliable" ... Keen and conscientious"
m. Sep 1944 Joyce Ann Fenwick, also of the ATA.
There was a wedding in Old Bosham Church on Tuesday, which was the culmination of a war time flying romance, when Third Officer John Tharp, of the A.T.A., married Cadet Joyce Fenwick, also of the A.T.A. They are both pilots and ferry aircraft.
John Tharp is the second son of Mr. Charles Tharp, the well-known portrait painter, who has made his home in Old Bosham since the war, and whose beautiful picutres, portraits and landscapes are hanging in the Anchor Inn. Charles Tharp was at The Slade School of Art with Sir William Orpen and Augustus John, and has had many pictures hung in the Royal Academy.
John Tharp was in the First Parachute Battalion formed in the early days of the war, but injured his back doing a jump, and was invalided out. Later he joined the A.T.A.
The bride was given away by Third Officer John Gilbert, A.T.A. pilot, and her sister Marjorie Fenwick, was bridesmaid. The best man was Hugh Stewart, B.B.C. producer. The Rev. A. L. Chatfield officiated. Mrs. Turvey. the bridegroom’s sister, made the wedding cake, and decorated the church with the help of Third Officer (Mrs.) Bannister, another A.T.A. pilot. A delicious tea for 30 people was provided by Mrs. Leather at The Grange. Mr. Graham Tharp, who is a film producer for M.o.I., did a lot of work as M.C., and Mrs. Diana Britton did “billeting officer,” finding bed and accommodation for numerous guests, not an easy thing to do these days. After spending a night in Bosham, the happy couple left for the Scilly Isles to spend their honeymoon. " - Chichester Observer - Saturday 16 September 1944
Gained his Royal Aero Club Pilot's Certificate (No 20700 ) as part of the ATA's 'Wings' scheme on 30 Oct 1945
Address in 1945: 45a Buckland Crescent, Hampstead London NW3
d. 20 Jul 1951 in Tangayika, in the crash of Anson VP-KHT - see Accident Avro Anson Mk I VP-KHT, 20 Jul 1951 (aviation-safety.net)
father: Arthur James Angus, mother Lilian Clara [McNally]
prev. a cycle mechanic
Address in 1939: 'Hillcrest', 15 Orchard Terrace, Upper Wickham Lane. Welling, Kent
Father Richard Whittow (a Merchant and farmer), mother Eirene Frances Stewart [Tweedie] (m. 1910 in Colombo, Ceylon)
Address in 1939: Muryn, Brockenhurst, Hants
Sailed to the UK from Port Said with her parents in December 1938, then to the USA in June 1939
Civil Air Guard in 1939
prev. exp. 3 hrs on Gypsy Moth
m. 31 Mar 1940 in Brockenhurst, Lt. Peter Charles McConnel Banister RN, DSC (d. 19 Jul 1941 in HM submarine 'Umpire' which collided with a trawler off the Norfolk coast on its maiden voyage) (1 child, Carol b. 1941)
Postings: 5TFPP, 12FPP (Sec), 15FPP
Class III pilot
m. Sep 1947 in Hants, Hugh Digorie Seccombe (2 children: Celia b. 1948, Geoffrey b. 1949)
Moved to Guildford, Surrey and died there 1 Jun 2011
IWM interview (from 1989) here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009672
d. 17 Mar 2010 ?
Address in 1943: Red Arches, Thicket Rd, Maidenhead; her parents Arthur George and Xenia Ivy Vivian (nee Brandon)) lived at 'The Orchard', Putnoe Lane, Bedford.
Janice attended Bedford High School until age 18, and then Gloucester Training College before becoming a teacher of Domestic Science at the Silver Jubilee School in Bedford. She played lacrosse for the 1st XII at school and college.
When she applied to the ATA she included this reference, from her previous headmistress (K. M. Westaway M.A. D.Litt),:
"I have pleasure in stating that Janice Harrington was a pupil at this School from 1928 to 1939. She took her Cambridge School Certificate in 1937 with credits in English, Scripture, History, Mathematics, Chemistry and Art. She then went into the Sixth Form and took a course of Natural Science together with some Domestic Science. Her work was of a good standard throughout her time here, especially that concerned with Science and Art.
In her last year she was a School Prefect and a House Prefect and she became quite a leader in many ways. She was always original, ingenious and enterprising and contributed enormously both in time and energy when School activities required her undoubted artistic gifts.
She has good presence and very nice manners, and she has a great capacity for hard work."
However, it took a while before the ATA was ready to take her on, partly due to her needing a 'green card'. In the meantime, her career as a teacher had stalled due to 'her failure to get on with a rather acid headmistress', and she had become an aircraft fitter.
She applied in April 1943. She was, she said, 5 ft 3½, healthy and had no defects; she had received some dual instruction, and wanted to become a pilot.
However, it was as a Flight Engineer that she was finally taken on, in July 1943; the ATA had a minimum height limit of 5ft 5 for pilots. She was one of only four women Flight Engineers in the ATA.
Her instructors' comments were outstandingly good - "this girl is very keen, intelligent and enthusiastic about her work, and will make a very competent Flt Engineer... She has a thorough knowledge of the Halifax and is quite capable of carrying out the duties of Flight Engineer on this aircraft ... Discipline has been excellent."
Lettice Curtis says "perhaps one remembers her most for being unusually decorative - so much so, in fact, that in 1943 her portrait hung in the Royal Academy Exhibition, painted by Harold Speed who, it was said at the time, considered her one of the most beautiful girls he had ever met."
d. 2 Mar 1944 (Died in ATA Service) with Dora Lang (q.v.), in Mosquito VI HP932, which crashed on approach to Lasham.
"Whilst approaching to land the aircraft appeared to undershoot slightly, the throttles were opened gently and then fully, whereupon the aircraft climbed sharply 100 feet, stalled, crashed and was destroyed.
Insufficient evidence to determine the cause, but it is clear that upon the application of full power the pilot failed to get the stick forward quickly enough to prevent the nose of the aircraft rising.
Insufficient evidence to determine responsibility."
"Dear Mr Harrington,
With the deepest regret I have to inform you the sad news conveyed to you last night regarding the fatal accident to your daughter, which occurred yesterday afternoon, and in which the pilot of the aircraft was also killed.
It is appreciated that this must be a very severe blow to you and your family, and the sincere sympathy of all her friends in the Air Transport Auxiliary goes out to you in your bereavement. Your daughter was very well liked by everyone who knew her and her death is a great loss to this organisation."
"Dear Miss Gower,
It was most kind of you to send a personal note to us about dear little Janice. I can assure you we are proud indeed to be the parents of a girl who gave up her safe profession as a domestic science teacher for the dangerous one, and only regret she was not spared longer to serve the noble cause you represent."
Buried Maidenhead Cemetery, beside Dora Lang:
"In proud and loving memory of 'J'"
Father: Major R Power, of Stoke Hill House, Taunton, Somerset
Ed Westonburt School, Tetbury
In December 1923 she was in "The Enchanted Prince.", a "bright little play beautifully staged by the pupils of Hopedune School in the Station Cafe, Portrush"... "Miss Cecile Power, a tiny tot of three years, was quite captivating."
prev: FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry); Driver in ATS from 8 Nov 1940
prev exp: 4hrs 45min in Hornet Moth
Address in 1943: A.B.S.D., Southmead Hospital, Bristol
Postings: 15FPP, 12 FPP, 5FPP, 2FPP, 3FPP
One accident, not her fault:
- 7 Jul 1945, when making a crosswind landing in Seafire LR788, the aircraft weathercocked, damaging a wheel fairing
"This pilot came to ATA with very little experience but has worked hard and steadily... a sensible and reliable pilot."
"Tremendously keen and hardworking ... Discipline excellent"
In November 1947, she joined ex-ATA pilot Monique Agazarian (q.v.) as a pilot for Island Air Charters / Island Air Services (IAS) which flew Proctors and Rapides between Lands End and the Scilly Isles, pleasure trips to Le Touquet and scheduled services to Deauville from Croydon.
m. Jul 1948 in Taunton, Richard Vernon Derwent Moger
d. 5 Nov 1990 - Petersfield, Hants
prev. an Articled Clerk and Chartered Accountant; his grandfather Sir William Barclay Peat was founder of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG)
Address in 1945: Wycliffe Hall, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham
Later (from 1991) Director of Johnson Wax Ltd, and several other companies.
Sir Gerrard kindly allowed us to look at his ATA Log Book - see here for a transcript, detailing his flying career with the ATA.
d. 10 Oct 2021
Father: Lea Namias, a textile merchant, mother Hilda
m. 1939 in London, Flt-Lt David Harold Edwards (from Vancouver BC, of 144 Sqn, Bomber Command, RAF. d. 21 Jul 1940 when his Hampden was hit by flak and ditched in the North Sea during a minelaying operation against the Tirpitz and Von Scheer)
Address in 1939: 27 Woodfield Ave, Streatham
prev. an ambulance driver for the LCC
ab initio trainee
Address in Oct 1945: 1 Hugo House, Sloane St., London SW1
exp: 185.15 hrs as ferry pilot
Gained her RAeC 'A' Certificate No 20611 as part of the ATA 'Wings' scheme on 3 Oct 1945
m. 1945 in Westminster, Flt-Lt Richard Anson Freshwater, who had been a PoW in Stalag Luft III / Milag-Marlag Nord-Oflag L from 28 Aug 1942 after his Beaufighter was shot down
They moved to 9 Pasture Lane, Hathern, Loughborough, Leics, where Sylvia was the Unit Commander for the Junior Air Corps formed in 1955:
"Air-minded girls rolled up at the YWCA, Loughborough, last night to enrol in the newly-formed Junior Air Corps. The first recruit, Miss Ivy Whelden, signs on the dotted line for unit commander Mrs Sylvia Freshwater"
but they later emigrated to New Zealand, living at 51 Toroa St, Aukland.
prev. RAF Jul-41 to Mar-43
Sometime Middleweight Boxing Champion of South Africa - he "came over to England and gave boxing exhibitions in various parts of the country."
Postings: 5FPP, 6FPP, 8FPP
d. Mar 1990 - Devizes, Wiltshire
Father: Frederick Gyles Kerly (d. 1920), Moher: Ada Martha [Edwards]
prev. a Shorthand Typist
Address in 1939: Thorley, Avondale Ave, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey
Postings include: 15FPP
- 25 Jun 1944, a forced landing after engine failure in a Mustang. For this, she received a Certificate of Commendation:
"For exceptional airmanship. In spite of limited experience, on June 25th 1944, under the most adverse circumstances caused by technical failure, she landed her aicraft (Castle Bromwich) in a small field with minimal damage. In respect of which this certificate is issued by way of recognition and record."
- 4 May 1945, another forced landing, this time in Spitfire XIV TZ104, after a serious oil leak. She had to land on an unserviceable part of the airfield, (only slightly damaging the propeller) as another aircraft was landing on the runway.
m. 1947 in Westminster Charles Walter T Clark (d. 1985)
d. 26 May 1992 - Surrey
Helen's daughter gave her mother's helmet and goggles to ATA pilot Alec Matthews in 1994, and they are now in Birmingham Science Museum's Spitfire Gallery.
Father: Charles Walter Paddon, a Civil Servant (Government Auditor)(d. 1940); Mother Amy Louise [Topham]
Ed. Sheffield High School, Southlands School Exmouth 1924-1930; Bedford College for Women, University of London (B.Sc. General Science) 1931-33
Also studied Engineering Drawing at Bedford Technical Institute, 1939.
prev: Private School Teacher; 1939-1943 WAAF. Cypher Officer working for RAF Ferry Command.
Address in 1939: 14 Pemberley Ave, Bedford (living with parents)
3 accidents, 1 her fault:
- 27-Oct-44, taking off in Spitfire XVI SM182, she allowed the tail to raise too high, the propeller hit the ground and sheared off the tips
- 02-Mar-45, a wheels-up landing in Barracuda II LS687 after the port undercarriage locked up
- 19-Apr-45, another wheels-up landing, this time in Mustang IV KM428 after the undercarriage selector lever stuck.
A member of the British Gliding Association's Delegation to Czechoslovakia in September 1946
Pilot Officer in WRAFVR until 1955
Moved to Harrogate c.1956
m. 4 Aug 1967 in Bedford, John H Fordham
d. 11 Feb 2001 - Tunbridge Wells
Father: W N Goodman
Ed. Bedales School, Petersfield, Hants
prev: Civil Servant, Ordnance Survey from Sep 1942
Address in 1953: 4 Brook Gardens, Kingston Hill, Surrey
ab initio trainee
[Contract Terminated by ATA]
m. Jul 1949 in Surrey, Peter Derrick Newington, a TV film maker (1 son, 1 daughter, marriage dissolved)
d. c. 2010, in Abbey Rd, London
ED. Wellington East Girls College
NZ 'A' Licence 1933
m. 1935 Sqn Ldr Bruce R Furkert, RNZAD
prev: Office Assistant in the Air Dept, Wellington NZ
Address in 1943: 25 Coram St, London WC1
[Contract Terminated by ATA]
later Mrs Rogers
d. 12 Aug 1987
Buried Feilding Cemetery, Manawatu District, Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand
Father: Ronald Vivian Jenner (1894-1970), Mother: Winifred May Louisa Powe (1893-1963)
Ed. St Michael's, Bognor Regis
Address in 1939: Davenport Rd, Bognor Regis
prev: MTC Company Cadet Officer from 28 Oct 1939
"An interesting cricket match was held this club last Saturday, Women v. Men, and attracted a good audience. The men were handicapped by batting left handed and catching with only one hand.
I found it difficult at a distance to distinguish some of these lissome ladies from the men, as both wore white trousers and shirts and had short hair. I don't know much about cricket, but I did learn that in bowling the women at the start gave the men some advantage with " wides," but MISS PALMER and MISS ZOE JENNER soon put a stop to that. I am afraid the men won easily in spite of their handicap but it was an amusing afternoon which was all that mattered. " - Bognor Regis Observer - Saturday 24 August 1940
Address in 1943: Paddy's Land, Beach Estate, Felpham, Sussex
ab initio trainee
- 11 Jul 1945, when taxying her Defiant I DR966, it weathercocked, the starboard wheel "fell into a trench" and the aircraft nosed over. Partial brake failure was suspected.
engaged to a Mr. Thompson in 1944, but does not seem to have married him.
Gained her Royal Aero Club Pilot's Certificate (No 20646) as part of the ATA's 'Wings' scheme on 12 Oct 1945
d. 15 Aug 2013 (age 91) - Bosham, Chichester, West Sussex
née Gough (Joy's sister, q.v.)
Father: Arthur Victor Gough, a professional footballer turned hairdresser, mother Doris Irene Alexandra (Herbert], of Victoria Rd, Cirencester, Glos
Ed. Cirencester Grammar School (School Certificate)
She was "captain of everything: tennis, field hockey, netball, swimming. And Joy and I played to win." - Jacky Hyams
Address in 1943: Grantchester, Willow Grove, Chislehurst, Kent
ab initio pilot
m. Feb 1942 in Cirencester, Flt-Lt Arthur Thomas 'Tom' Wheatley RAF, (d. 2 Mar 1943 age 22 in Halifax DT556 which was shot down near Kasterlee, Belgium)
Memorial erected in 2014
m. 1945 Neil MacDonald RCAF, originally from Scotland but brought up in the USA (d. 2001)
1 Accident, her fault:
- 10 Aug 1944 in Spitfire IX PT720, she approached too high, stalled onto the runway at High Ercall and damaged the starboard wing
She wrote "Some people, both sexes, didn’t make it. They dropped out. There’s a lot to flying. You need “the touch”. I think women were much better when it came to flying the Spitfires. Women have a lighter touch. They’re not as ham-fisted.’ - Jacky Hyams
"They emigrated to Canada in 1946 where they lived for five years while Neil attended McGill University in Montreal. They raised their five children in Simsbury, CT (where she was well known for her tennis ability learned on the grass courts of England) while Neil worked for thirty five years for Cigna. They retired to Cape Cod, MA in 1980."
"After the ATA, I never flew again"
d. 14 Sep 2014 - Dennis, Massachusetts
Father: George B Morgan, a solicitor and Company Director; Mother: Constance A [Garrett]
prev: Shop Assistant, Secretary, draughtswoman
Address in 1939: Arleigh Grove, Cuckfield, Sussex
3 accidents, 1 her fault:
- 21 Nov 1944, a forced landing in Barracuda III MD970 after a serious oil leak into the cockpit
- 18 Dec 1944, she over-ran the end of the runway at Cosford in Spitfire VIII NH630, due to landing too far along it
- 5 Jan 1945, her Spitfire Vb W3834 nosed over after she taxied it off the hard standing. An airman, who she thought had told her to taxy off the concrete, was held to blame.
She gained her Royal Aero Club Certificate No 20546 on 9 July 1945, as part of the 'ATA Wings' programme (although the record has been lost)
Co-pilot to ex-ATA Ferry pilot Geoffrey Wikner (q.v.) on his flight to Australia in 1946 in "Waltzing Matilda", a war-surplus Halifax, with 20 passengers and crew on board:
L to R: Val Wikner (9), Audrey, Capt. Wikner, Chrisabel Wikner (5 1/2) and Mrs Trudy Wikner.
She flew back on TWA from Cairo to New York in September 1946
m. 1952 in Westminster, (Richard?) John Fifield
d. 11 Dec 2005 - High Wycombe, Bucks
Ed. Technical School, Warsaw
Home Address: Warsaw-ul Grojecke, Poland
Address in 1943: Bron Affa, Adaway, Cordpoeth, Nr Wrexham
One of 6 former pilots of (Polish airline) PLL LOT who joined the ATA - see also Leonard Satel, Klemens Dlulagewski (Joined 1940), Mieczyslaw Witkowski, Feliks Pecho (M.1115), and Antoni Switalski.
He escaped from Poland piloting Lockheed Electra SP-BGG, supposedly with 7 million zloty in coins [but apparently that would weigh more than the maximum payload of the Electra].
His brother Zygmunt Tokarczyk, was a Flt-Lt at RAF Halton.
prev. RAF from 28 Jun 1940 (Flt-Sgt, No 3 Delivery Flight, High Ercall, nr Wellington)
prev. exp. 9,000 hrs
Postings: 14FPP, 3FPP
"With thousands of hours flying before joining ATA he was found to be somewhat erratic on Class I, and his flying on Class II was only just average but it is apparent that the language question must have been the main cause of this,"
"An average pilot. He adapted himself quickly to new types but his reactions were rather slow in cases of emergency when flying single engine aircraft."
m. 1944 in Lancashire, Lorraine Verdun [Williams, b. 1916 in Conwy, Wales]
d. 1994 - Warsaw
buried Cmentarz Powazkowski, Warsaw, with Zygmunt and his wife.
Father Capt. Samuel Clare, MBE, Mother Florence R [Boyling]
Travelled to Peru with her parents in 1925, intending to settle in Talara - which is presumably where her father was working (He was an Oil Mining Engineer, working for G W Brake). They then moved back to England, via the USA, in 1929.
Travelled to Paita, Peru and ...
m. 1935 in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Robert Arden Ratliff, a Chemical Engineer from Sisterville, WV. They sailed to the USA to stay with his father Perry in Cromwell, Oklahoma in Nov 1936, and again in Apr 1940.
She flew from Barranca Bermeja, Colombia, to the USA in Oct 1941.
prev. exp: 157 hrs in USA
Address in 1943: 202 NW Palm St, Ponca, OK
Next of Kin: (Father) 'The Beeches', Station Rd, Blaxton, Doncaster, Yorks
She sailed to join the ATA from Canada, arriving 14 Nov 1943 in Bristol.
"Wildcat, Aug 45"
Images kindly sent to me by Jane Custons
m. 29 Sep 1945 Maj. Walker Lee Boone from Miami, Oklahoma. He was a highly-decorated P-47 and P-51 pilot who had completed 140 missions. They married at Sherburn-in-Elmet airfield, her Ferry Pool air base.
Imperial War Museum
"Capt Walker L Boone, 82nd Ftr Sqn, 78th FG in his original 'Margaret', a razorback P-47"
The Miami News-Record, Oklahoma, reported that "Mrs Boone was qualified to fly every type of single-engine aircraft and on every type of twin-engine fighter-bomber aircraft as first pilot. "[OK]
"Serving as co-pilot on multi-engine aircraft, she flew amongst others the B-17 and B-24." [Nope].
"She ferried wounded, flew blood-plasma, and carried important people to their destinations." [I doubt it]
"Among her other duties she flew fighter airplanes from the factory to their operational bases and then flew combat damaged aircraft to their repair depot for repairs." [OK, more or less ...]
They then sailed on the 'Ile de France' to the USA in October 1945, the passage having been paid for by the ATA, and lived at 211 A St, NE Miami, OK
Two daughters; Leeann Malinda, (later Hughes) b. Oct 1946, and Marlee Rose (Anacker)
Walker Boone d. Aug 1962 - Wichita, KS (Age 44)
m. 'Mac' McElroy [d. 1977] and lived in North Carolina
d. 1 Jul 1985 - Carver, Minnesota [Aged 68]
Jane tells me that "My mum Mary Ann Hoole MBE (nee Clare) was half sister to Margaret. She was born in 1938 from Samuel Clare’s second marriage to Rose Alice Mitchell and was only young when she first met Joan - she remembers this very smart lady in her uniform coming to their door at Blaxton asking for their mum, and how much her and her brother were in awe of her."
Father: George Gerard Shiel, Mother: Marjorie [Melladew]
prev: Stenographer with ATA
Postings: 1FPP, 7FPP
3 Accidents, all in the same month, and none her fault:
- 1 Feb 1945, the bracing strut of the starboard undercarriage leg collapsed after a normal landing in Hurricane IIc LF422
- 24 Feb 1945, she was commended for her skill during a forced landing in Mustang I AG362, after engine failure
- 28 Feb 1945, the hood of her Spitfire XIV RN203 blew off after take-off and she had to land back at the airfield.
Gained her Royal Aero Club Certificate No. 20571 on the 20 Sep 1945, as part of the 'ATA Wings' Scheme (RAeC Certificate missing)
[Certificate of Commendation, 1945]
m. Apr 1950 in Maidenhead, Richard William Hilary Elsden
2 daughters, Mandy and Su
d. 2 Oct 1999 - Newbury, Berks
Her diary up to Jul 1944 can be viewed here: https://archive.atamuseum.org/diaries.php
Mother (Emily) and father both German.
After Edith was born in Switzerland, she and her mother Emily moved back to Bavaria, then Emily married, in 1920, RAF Flying Officer (Later Air Commodore) Frank Beaumont (prev. RFC, PoW in WWI, 1935-38 Air Attaché, Prague, 1942-45 Director of Allied Air Co-operation and Foreign Liaison, 1945- Air Attaché, Belgrade)
Ed. Heathfield School, Ascot
British Nationality 1936
prev. private secretary to the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
with June Cole in 1945 (with thanks to Michael Mackenzie)
Gave up flying in about 1947, after a leg problem.
m. 1948 Dr. Charles Petri (divorced)
m. 1953 James Young Mackenzie (2 sons)
d. 1 Dec 1991
Her son Michael kindly tells me that "Our mother told my brother that there was a fellow pilot in whom she was interested and on good terms with. One day, she went into the Mess and, while talking to somebody else, saw this man across the room and said, “Ah there is XXXX. I must go and say hello”, whereupon the person to whom she was talking said words to the effect of “But do you not know? He died in a crash.”
"Our mother was not given to drama, indeed quite the contrary."
David attended Morrison's Academy, Crieff and Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh where latterly his sporting talents were first noticed. The second World War interrupted any athletic plans and after several refusals due to stomach ulcers David was commissioned into the RAF in 1941. A pilot of both fighters and bombers in the European theatre, his interest in flying continued for the rest of his long life.
d. 4 Aug 2005.
Ed. Royal Masonic School
He and his younger brother John were left the "residuary estate of Robert Spencer Vergette in trust" in 1929
m. Jan 1943 in W. Kirby, Cheshire, Ethel Marion [Griffiths]
prev. "Articled Pupil Auctioneer"; RAF Sgt Pilot from 24 Sep 1940 (Good Conduct Badge, w.e.f. 2 Oct 1943)
prev. exp on Master and Hurricane
Flying accident in Dec 1941 - he "was in Ely Hospital for three months"
Address in 1943: 'Clavis', Meols Drive, W. Kirby, Cheshire (parents-in-laws') then 'Derwent', Thame Rd, Haddenham
Postings: 5TFPP, 3FPP
"... quite satisfactory ...provided he does not regard it all as 'all too easy' and tries continually to improve his flying and airmanship, he should make a good ferry pilot and officer"
Two accidents, one not his fault:
- 4 May 1944, forced landing in Hurricane II HV729 when a wrongly-installed petrol cock caused the fuel to be drawn from the reserve tank only
d. 27 Oct 1944 in Defiant T4019 which dived into the ground SW of Hawarden airfield on a ferry flight from Hullavington to Donibristle. Whilst circling the airfield prior to landing, the engine revolutions were observed to be fluctuating; the aircraft then stalled and crashed at Pear Tree Farm. A subsequent investigation of the badly damaged wreckage failed to reveal the cause.
Cremated at Landeican Crematorium, Birkenhead
"My daughter Marion wishes me to thank you for the offer of assistance should she need it immediately, & to tell you that she does not need this help. She much appreciates the expressions of sympathy conveyed in your letter on behalf of the ATA.
Yours Truly, Joan Heron Dodd"
"The death of my elder son ... leaves me so broken. I felt he was not fit, and did my utmost to stop him returning to flight duties. What a spirit! ... His only brother is out in Iraq and my late husband served right through the 1914-1918 war.
Yours Sincerely, Annie May Vergette"
Probate of £1,782 16s 11d was granted 20 Apr 1945 to "Joan Heron Dodd (wife of Henry Ayscough Dodd) and Joan Marjorie Griffiths spinster."
Father: William Russell
Ed. King's Hill, Compton, Quebec; McGill University
prev. exp. 150 hrs
Address in 1943: 'Hillcrest', Matane, Quebec
Arrived in Liverpool from Nova Scotia on 19 Oct 1943
m. 1945 in Hendon, London, Gerald Burnett (q.v.), a fellow ex-ATA pilot
They settled in Matane, Quebec, and formed their own airline: Matane Air Services.
Later, a flight instructor
"In 2002 Elspeth was inducted posthumously into the Quebec Aviation Hall of Fame."
Father: Wilfred Theodore Claude Cochrane, Mother: Yseult Joan
Ed. Eton, Magdalene College Cambridge
prev. RAF Sep-42 to Oct-43
Address in 1943: Edenmore, Stranolar, Co. Donegal, Eire
2 accidents, 1 his fault:
- 1 Nov 1944, he landed his Spitfire VII with the tail wheel retracted, due to a technical fault [The Mk VII was the first Spitfire with a retractable tail wheel, btw] [The accident happened at Aldergrove, so I think this must be him, although the pilot is recorded as 'T.M Cochrane'];
- 2 Mar 1945, he seriously injured a pedestrian, naval rating A M Ducker, while taxying in a Swordfish. His attention was distracted by a motorcyclist coming towards him.
Address in 1947: 15 Alpha Rd, Cambridge
m. 1952 Georgiana Elizabeth Fane de Salis [4 childen]
He was a Development Engineer with Bristol Aeroplane Co. between 1947 and 1961, and was in the Scientific Civil Service at RAF Farnborough.
Father: Dr. Edgar Obermer (b. 1895 in New Jersey), mother Sylvia [Johnson, d. Aug 1924] (both American)
grandfather Seymour, also American
Ab initio trainee
Trained as a nurse. Travelled to the USA in Jun 1956
d. 8 Feb 2019 - Culver City, CA
[Only Lettice Curtis' book 'Forgotten Pilots' has a Ruth Obermer listed, as an American cadet. So this may not even be the right person.]
Father: George Heath Wrightson (d. 28 Jul 1941). Mother: Laura [Tiede]
Ed. Barton on Humber Grammar School; St Johns College Yorks
prev. RAF Jan 1942 - Oct 1943
prev. exp. none [ab initio pilot cadet]
Address in 1943: 78 Blundell Ave, Cleethorpes, Lincs.
Postings: 5TFPP, 1FPP, 6FPP, 4FPP
"He has made very steady and regular progress and has proved to be a thoroughly reliable and likeable officer."
d. 13 Feb 1945 in Spitfire XVI TB329, which crashed in a field at high speed, at Opbrakel, Belgium on a ferry flight from 84 GSU, Lasham to Reception Flight B60, Belgium.
"The pilot appears to be to blame for the accident, having persisted too far in bad weather. The conditions at the time of the acident being 100yds visibility with cloud on the ground"
Buried Ronse [Renaix], Belgium
"Treasured Memories of a dear son and brother. A staunch and loyal friend"
His personal effects contained "a number of wireless parts, technical publications etc, some of which belong to S/O J E Ball, [John Edward Ball, a Canadian pilot, q.v.] with whom he shared a workshop for the purpose of constructing wireless sets."
"Dear Captain Mead,
My daughter and I are stunned by the tragic news regarding my son. He was such a fine lad and a good son & was loved by all who knew him."
"I hope you are right in your conviction that my son did not suffer in any way and I wish I could feel the same... The strain of it all is beginning to tell and I am going to have great difficulty to bear my loss.
Thank you very much for your kindness
The ATA paid Laura £2,000 insurance on 30 Mar 1945.
Father d. 1925 having been gassed in WWI
Stepfather Mr Grapel, d. 1944
One sister; brother James died in WWII
Ed. Montrose College, Cliftonville; RADA
prev: Blind School Hospital, Leatherhead; Mobile VAD (voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse, attached to various RAF Hospitals, from Feb 1941 to Jul 1943 (where she worked with Monique Agazarian, and played tennis with Dan Maskell)
Applied after seeing an advertisement, interviewed at White Waltham.
ab initio pilot cadet [because "I thought it would be glamorous"]
Postings: 5FPP, 15FPP
3rd Officer from 11 Aug 1944 - Class 3 pilot
One accident, not her fault:
- 31 May 1945, the hood blew off her Spitfire XVI TD134 and damaged the fin and rudder
Gained her RAeC 'A' Certificate No 20588 as part of the ATA 'Wings' scheme on 29 Sep 1945, and later a Commercial 'B' Licence
Address in 1945:17 Basil Mansions, Basil St, London SW3
From January 1946, 'Star Girl No. 1', Britain's first post-war air hostess, for British South American Airlines: (see also Rita Baines, who was 'Star Girl No. 2).
Her first BSAA flight was in a Lancastrian from the newly-opened 'Heath Row Airport' with ex-Pathfinder chief Don Bennett, the MD of BSAA, on board.
Flew Spitfires and Hurricanes for Skyways to the Portuguese Air Force, until she crashed a Spitfire
m. Jan 1952 in Kensington, Cyril John Cunningham
daughter Deborah b. 1955?
IWM interview (1987) here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009976
Father: Le Von Berge Agazarian, originally from Armenia who fled to the UK in 1911, owner of an electrical company; mother: Jacqueline Marie-Louise de Chevalier, from France
Ed. Sacred Heart Convent, Roehampton (School Certificate, 5 credits), RADA and Paris
prev. from Apr-41, VAD attached to East Grinstead Hospital then RAF Uxbridge
Address in 1943: (mother) 7 Park Mansions, Knightsbridge, London
[ab initio pilot]
Two of her three brothers died in WWII; one in the RAF, the other in SOE
Completed "500 hours in Spitfires, Mustangs, Typhoons, Barracudas and Hellcats" as a Class III pilot.
After WWII, she gained her commercial licence and in July 1947 became a pilot for Island Air Charters / Island Air Services (IAS) which flew Proctors and Rapides between Lands End and the Scilly Isles, pleasure trips to Le Touquet and scheduled services to Deauville from Croydon.
Ex-ATA pilot Cecile Power also joined IAS, in November 1947.
Monique became Managing Director of IAS, then Chairman and Chief Pilot.
Island Air Services' first Dragon Rapide, (callsign 'Uncle Fox', although allegedly when Monique was pilot it was 'Auntie Fox''), in 1950. (c) Air-Britain
m. 20 Jul 1949 in Brompton, London, Capt Raymond Charles Rendall (also of IAS, divorced 1973), three daughters Annette Francine, Mary and Lou-Lou
She competed in the King's Cup air race in 1950 and 1952.
In 1956, Veronica Volkersz wrote that Monique was one of only 7 women flying commercially: - "Monique Rendall is chief pilot and managing director of Island Air Services" - and concluded that "The tragedy is that for women, commercial aviation is now - except, possibly, in Russia - a closed field."
[The others were Jackie Moggridge, Jean Bird, Suzanne Ashton, Zita Irwin, Diana Barnato-Walker and Freydis Leaf]
IAS ceased trading in 1959. After it closed, she was a pioneer in promoting flight simulation with Air Training Services Ltd, and published a manual on advanced instrument-flying procedures.
Having reverted to her maiden name, she lived at 84 Park Mansions, Knightsbridge, and d. 3 Mar 1993 from cancer, leaving £140,949.
"The sad loss of this splendidly professional airwoman, brilliant tutor, hugely energetic, ebullient, and lovable friend will be felt deeply by all who knew her." - The Independent
Father: Henry Pardoe, a Company Director; Mother: Florence [Comley]
She sailed with her parents to Bombay, and back from Brisbane Australia with just her mother, in October 1932.
Address in 1932: 'Dinard', Rydal Dr., Hale Burns, Cheshire
prev: Shorthand Typist, M.A.P.
[Contract Terminated by ATA]
m. 12 Jun 1945 in Bowdon, Cheshire, Sqn Ldr Michael Joachim Blaicher, of the Polish Air Force (b. 28 Jun 1898 in Hruszatyce, Poland, d. 1992)
They travelled to the USA (Wisconsin) in 1959, and were granted US nationality in 1965
d. 1 Aug 2018
"Blaicher, Joan H. (nee Pardoe)
Reunited with her beloved husband Michael J. Blaicher on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at the age of 95 years. Further survived by other relatives, friends and many colleagues/students she got to know over the years."
Sir Frederick Arthur Bishop, (1915–2005), civil servant and director-general of the National Trust.
Joined the Inland Revenue in 1934.
1 Jan 1940 he married Elizabeth Finlay Stevenson (1915–1999), a fellow civil servant; they had two sons and a daughter.
RAF from Feb 1942.
"An ab initio pilot who immediately made steady progress and made great efforts to fly well ... he can be assessed as a natural pilot of average ability"
Macmillan kept Bishop on when he took over as prime minister in 1957. Over the next four years Bishop played a key role in the policy process, exercising influence out of all proportion to his formal responsibilities. With a weak foreign secretary in Selwyn Lloyd, Macmillan relied heavily for advice on international affairs on his civil service private secretaries, whose primary loyalty was increasingly to him personally, treating them as a virtual ‘kitchen cabinet’ (Aldous, ‘Family affair’, 14), ‘more akin to American national security advisers than mere private secretaries’ (McNamara, 67). Working closely with his colleague Philip de Zulueta, Bishop did not hesitate to disagree with, and brief the prime minister against, the official Foreign Office line. He and de Zulueta have been described as the ‘“change agents” essential to any process of [policy] redefinition, [giving] access to ideas that had not been dulled by slow passage through the bureaucratic machine’ (Aldous, ‘Family affair’, 15). When in 1957 Macmillan wanted to ensure American collaboration in resisting communist infiltration into Syria, it was Bishop whom he sent to Washington for talks with the secretary of state, John Foster Dulles. Dulles was charmed and impressed by Bishop, declaring that there was ‘genuine, intimate and effective co-operation, stemming directly from Macmillan’ (McNamara, 100). Bishop often travelled with Macmillan, for instance to the Bermuda conference in March 1957 and to Moscow in 1959, the scene of a celebrated row between Macmillan and Nikita Khrushchov. His role and his influence were openly resented by the Foreign Office and the foreign secretary.
Bishop became deputy secretary to the cabinet in 1959. Although in principle he should now have been impartially serving the cabinet as a whole, he remained very close to the prime minister; he has been described as acting at this time in some respects as though he were still Macmillan's principal private secretary, advising him on European matters. During the protracted debates about Britain's relations with the European Economic Community (EEC), pro-Europeans used Bishop as their direct link to the prime minister. He was appointed CB in 1960, having been made CVO in 1957.
Bishop returned to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food in 1961. Even there he continued to be influential in international affairs, especially in relation to the EEC. One historian, Jacqueline Tratt, has described him as a leading member of the small group—including Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath, and Sir Frank Lee, permanent secretary to the Treasury—that connived to bring about a major change of policy orientation, almost surreptitiously planning and putting into action the ultimately unsuccessful first approach to the EEC in 1961. He also played a significant part in creating the National Economic Development Council. He intended this in part to rival a department he disliked, the Treasury, arguing that there was a need for ‘a more planned approach to the national economic problem … a partnership with employers and unions’ (Ringe and Rollings, 342–3). His draft terms of reference were reproduced largely verbatim when the creation of the council was announced by the chancellor of the exchequer, Selwyn Lloyd.
After three years in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Bishop's government career seemed to be moving towards a climax when, in 1964, he was appointed permanent secretary of the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, newly created by Harold Wilson. Wilson's aim was to speed up the planning process by removing it from what some saw as the dead hand of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Others felt that the new department, with a remit to bring forward more land for development by taxing landowners and developers, never had a chance. It was doubly unfortunate for Bishop both that his new minister, Fred Willey, was out of his depth and that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government was led by one of the most formidable civil servants of the post-war period, Dame Evelyn Sharp. She was determined that her department should lose no important responsibilities. Exploiting the access of her own minister, Richard Crossman, to Wilson, she fought ruthlessly to ensure, first, that the new ministry was given no real powers and, second, that it was wound up as soon as possible. Willey's complaints and Wilson's resentment were unavailing. Bishop, who had no illusions about either his ministry or his minister, found himself in a non-job. By June 1965 he had let it be known that he wished to resign from the civil service and Crossman was exulting in his diary, ‘He should be sent off as soon as possible. Let's get rid of him this summer’ (Crossman, 261).
Bishop was an able and well-liked public servant who, in his most senior Whitehall post, was unlucky to be frustrated by such fierce bureaucratic and political in-fighting. He left the civil service in 1965 and took a number of part-time posts, most notably on the board of S. Pearson & Son. In 1968–9 he was a member of a group of former senior officials set up to advise Edward Heath, then leader of the opposition, on reforms to the machinery of government. The Pearson board brought him into regular contact with Patrick Gibson, a committee member (and later chairman) of the National Trust. One result was that in January 1971 Bishop took up his final full-time position, as director-general of the National Trust. He succeeded another former senior official, Sir John Winnifrith, whose name he had suggested himself.
The National Trust, whose ethos Bishop was to describe as ‘amateurism, in the real and best sense of the word’ (Jenkins and James, 258), was trying to bring its style more into line with modern needs; it had opened its first shop in 1970, and during Bishop's tenure enlarged its professional staff and saw its membership double (to 500,000). Described by a former colleague as ‘by nature a manipulator and negotiator’ (Gaze, 235), Bishop used his Whitehall experience and contacts assiduously on behalf of the trust, in particular helping to secure valuable changes in the rules governing the tax treatment of bequests and gifts. Not all was smooth sailing, however: the 1975 annual report noted that ‘a high level of inflation will make it impossible to maintain the high standard of conservation which both members and the general public have come to expect’. When Bishop that year outlined to staff the executive committee's proposals for a 20 per cent cut in real expenditure, the need for this was hotly questioned and tempers ran high. But in general Bishop was popular, both with members of the trust's committee and with staff, for whom he obtained better salary levels and pension arrangements. His management style was described as ‘unobtrusive’, without undue intervention in matters of detail (Gaze, 244).
Bishop (Fred to his family, but Freddie more widely) took early retirement for health reasons from the National Trust in May 1975, having been knighted in January that year, and he and his wife moved to Cornwall. He had already been a member of the BBC's general advisory council (1971–75), a director of Pearson Longman (1970–77), and chairman of the Home Grown Timber Advisory Committee (1966–73); in Cornwall he took up directorships with English China Clays Ltd (1975–86) and Lloyd's Bank (1976–86). He continued to practise his skills as an amateur painter and his gift for friendship, not only with the Gibsons and others but also with Harold Macmillan, who visited the Bishops several times and remained in close touch until his own death. In 1987 Bishop and his wife moved to Hampshire to be closer to their grandchildren. He died at his home, Manor Barn, 65 Church Road, Bramshott, Hampshire, on 2 March 2005, of an acute transformation of chronic lymphatic leukaemia. He was survived by his three children, his wife having predeceased him."
Father: William Johanns (Dutch)
Ed. Surrey House Prep. School, Maidenhead College
Address in 1943: Grandleigh Hotel, Inverness Terrace Bayswater London W2
Next of kin: (Mother): Mrs Amy de Greeuw, 68 Welldon Crescent, Harrow Middx
prev. LAC in RCAF 16 Oct 1940 - 26 Aug 1941; Canadian Firefighters Aug-42 to Sep-43
prev. a Parachutist
m. Helen Grace [Lackey] (divorced 1944) wife resident in Toronto
Sailed to Liverpool from Canada on 17 Nov 1943
m. 1949 Eileen H [Jarvis] in London (divorced 1960)
Moved to Boca Raton FL in May 1949
m. 1969 Joan [Kennewick] in Bay Head Ocean, NJ
m. 1988 Joan Beverley [Hutton] in Okeecobee, FL (divorced 1997)
d. 12 Jan 2000 - New York
d. 29 Mar 2013
Father: Leonard Sharpe, a builders' merchant; Mother: Amy M [Rowe], a kindergarten mistress, of 38 Ombersley Rd, Worcester
Had an elder sister Jean, also a teacher
Ed. Alice Ottley School, Worcester
prev: "undergraduate, St Anne's Society"; Junior Clerk in 1939
Ab initio Trainee
Address in 1946: Ronkswood Hospital, Worcester:
Ronkswood Hospital "was opened in 1941 and during the war treated service and civilian casualties from the Birmingham air raids and other cases... its intended use largely disappeared after the war, but it still had a full medical, surgical and nursing staff, although bed numbers were reduced to 450 by 1951."
m. 1946 in Droitwich, Worcestershire, John H Page and they lived in St John's Avenue, Kidderminster
d. 20 Dec 2018 - Cornwall
"ETHEL ELIZABETH PAGE (Deceased)
Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925 any persons having a claim against or an interest in the Estate of the aforementioned deceased, late of Redannick House Redannick Lane Truro Cornwall TR1 2JP also of 15 St Bernard Drive Malvern WR14 3PY, who died on 20/12/2018, are required to send particulars thereof in writing to the undersigned Solicitors on or before 23/08/2019, after which date the Estate will be distributed having regard only to claims and interests of which they have had notice.
HARRISON CLARK RICKERBYS LIMITED, 5 Deansway Worcester WR1 2JG"
Father: Percy Michael Elijah Impey, mother: Kathleen
Ed. Malvern Girls College; Ville la Belle Neuchateau, Switzerland
prev: FANY, volunteer ambulance driver attached to Polish Forces in Scotland, from 10 May 1941
prev exp: 6hrs in Gypsy Moth
Address in 1943: Wray House, Spur Hill, Parkstone, Dorset
m. Oct 1945 in Dorset, Jan M I Wroblewski (who appears to have emigrated to the USA in 1950)
"Dogs stop help for sick woman
A DOZEN ferocious and hungry dogs kept a doctor from reaching their desperately-ill mistress. Two of the dogs guarded her bed. The others — which included Alsatians and a large Labrador — were in the hallway and other rooms. The doctor was called to elderly Mrs. Maisie Wroblewska's cottage in Higher Shaftesbury lane, Blandford, Dorset, after she had not been seen for several days. He called the police and RSPCA.
A policeman forced a bedroom window and one of the two dogs was caught in a special loop on a pole. A vet leaned through the window and gave it a knock-out injection. Then a policeman climbed into the bedroom and caught the other dog. It was also drugged. Mrs. Wroblewska was carried out through the bedroom window and taken to hospital. Later the other dogs were caught and drugged. Last night, Mrs. Wroblewska was transferred to Dorset County Hospital's intensive care unit. She has pneumonia." - Daily Mirror, 24 Dec 1970
d. Apr 2003 - Dorset
Father: Clement Gordon Hope McPherson, Mother: Lila May [McDonald]
Ed. Poles Convent, Ware, Herts
prev: Driver for US Army
Address in 1945-6: 26 St Mary Abbotts Court, London W14
ab initio pilot
m. 18 May 1945 in London, Sub-Lieut Christopher Edwin 'Kit' Lovell-Pank RNVR
Entry Visa for Brazil, 8 Apr 1946. At the time her son, Dorian Christopher, was 10 weeks old.
m. Oct 1957 in Chelsea, London, Argentine Ambassador, Alfredo de Oliva-Day
3 more children: Martin, Laila and Dianna
d. 7 Aug 1979 - Cape Town, SA
Father: Gustav Mara Hennings (b. Dec 1868 in Lakeba Island, Fij, d. 17 Apr 1955 at his plantation home on Naitauba Island)
1955 - Pacific Island Weekly
[Naitauba Island is the red dot, Lakeba Island is where 'Tubou' is, to the SSE]
[Fiji became a British colony in 1874, so had a Governor from then on; Sophie was related to the last King of Fiji, Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau, because her great-grandfather (Ratu Kamisese Mara Tuimacilai Kapaiwa) was his cousin (and was executed by him in 1859 :-))
Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau in 1883
Mother: Elizabeth [Vogel], (m. 1912),
[Sophie had two sisters, plus a half-brother born to Gustav's 'partner', Palu Miller]
"[Sophie's grandfather] William Hennings and his brothers established the cotton industry in Fiji ... scarcely an island exists in northern Lau which has not belonged to or has been connected with the Hennings family at one time." - Pacific Island Weekly
Sophie and sister Elizabeth travelled on the SS 'Mariposa' in 1936, described as 'Half Caste Fijian German'.
[The Hennings brothers were from Germany, so Sophie presumably qualified as British due to Fiji being a British Colony.]
prev: M.T. Driver for ATA
Postings include: 5TFPP, 15FPP
Ab initio Trainee
- 5 Oct 1944, she made a heavy landing in Spitfire V R7205, the starboard undercarriage leg collapsed and the aircraft ground-looped
- 24 Mar 1945, a tyre burst on her Argus II HB632 on landing, and the aircraft veered off the runway
m. Oct 1951 in London, Cyril Montague 'Penny' Pennington-Richards, a film director
d. Jun 1991 - Chichester, W Sussex
Father: Arthur B Hofheimer from Kentucky, Mother Helen Wolf [Milius, d. 1960] from Savannah Georgia (5 daughters)
Her grandfather Nathan Hofheimer (d. 1927) was one of the founders of General Motors Corporation; they had a 3-400 acre estate in Warrenville, NJ. Her father Arthur was a wealthy stockbroker.
née Aline Rhonie Hofheimer
Ed. Dalton School, NYC. She was a keen horsewoman.
The Hofheimers (Albert, Helen and 4 of their children Doris, (b. 1907 NYC), Aline, Helene (b. 1914 Warrenville NJ), and Natalie (b. 1917 Warrenville, NJ)) sailed from France to the USA in Sep 1926.
m. 1928 in Manhattan, L Richard Bamberger (divorced 1930)
She bought her first aeroplane in 1931, learnt to fly in Reno, NV and earned her transport license in December 1931.
m. 1933 in Brookyn, "society aviator and nephew of Lady Astor", Richard Langhorne Brooks. "Using separate planes, they went on a 17,000 mile aerial honeymoon."
In 1934, the first woman to fly solo from NYC to Mexico and back.
Royal Aero Club Certificate 28 Sep 1939, on 'USA Commercial Licence'.
She joined the Women's Voluntary Service and "helped evacuate London", then went to France in 1940 with the Red Cross before returning to the USA where she was the official representative for the Ambulance Corps of France, raising money for the Allied cause.
prev exp: 2,713 hrs in England, France, USA and Mexico
prev: portrait and landscape painter; fresco mural artist;
part of Aline's 38m 'Aviation History' mural painted in 1938 in Hangar F of Roosevelt Field, now at the Smithsonian.
Part of the Hofheimer family estate, owned by Aline, was sold in Jun 1943; "50 acres of artistically landscaped grounds, colonial residence completely furnished, garage, stables, swimming pool and two lakes."
prev. WAFS (Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, set up in Sep 1942 by Nancy Harkness Love with 27 highly-experienced women pilots)
Address in 1943: 930 Fifth Ave, NYC
Postings: 5FPP, 12FPP
"With some 2,000 hrs experience before joining ATA this pilot's flying gave very little indication at the commencement of her training of this considerable past experience and she had difficulty in changing her ideas to that required by ATA. Her navigation was below standard and she needed additional hours to bring her up to the required standard."
"Her flying was slow and not dependable"
Renewed her Royal Aero Club Certificate (20367) on 28 Oct 1944
Contract Terminated by ATA - Disciplinary ("Failure to report to Senior Medical Officer Thame for admission to Station Sick Quarters where a bed was being reserved for her")
ATA Total: 162 hrs on Magister, Proctor, Fairchild, Harvard, Spitfire, Oxford, Hurricane, Lysander, Master, Reliant, Swordfish and Moth.
Later, President and Chairman of the Board of Allison Radar Corp.
d. 7 Jan 1963 (age 54) - Long Island
Her ashes were scattered in the sea from an aeroplane, and she is commemorated on the memorial at Warren Township, NJ.
In 2010 she was awarded the US Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
"Aline was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she never allowed it to choke her initiative. Her grandfather told her, 'You may not have money all your life, you know; you must learn to stand on your own two feet'."
Father: William Sowerby Milson, mother Frances [Evans]
Ed. "Public School"
He emigrated to Canada in May 1928, describing himself as a "Pony Driver" looking for "Farm Work"
m. 1935 in Swansea, Canada, Myrtle Davina [Geldart]. She was 18, also from Durham, England but had moved to Canada as a one-year-old. They had one son, James William, b. 1935
prev. cleaner; cutter grinder for John Inglis Co.
Address in 1943: 5 Emmett Ave., Mt. Dennis, Ontario, Canada
"He came to Canada some fifteen years ago and, under local regulations, is now considered to be a Canadian citizen. In view of this and the fact that he has a home and family over here, it was felt that he should be offered a Dominion Contract."
He was the last American or Canadian pilot taken on by the ATA : "We felt morally obligated [to him] at the time overseas recruitment ceased."
Postings: 5TFPP, 16FPP
d. 15 Nov 1944 when ferrying Seafire III NN494 from Kirkbride to RNAS Donibristle, which crashed at Pettinain near Carstairs in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The crash happened as he broke out of cloud in a snowstorm and hit the ground near Grange Hall Farm.
He was judged to be 'at fault', having persisted too far in bad weather.
Buried Tudhoe, Co. Durham:
"Beloved husband of Myrtle
A Silent Thought
A Secret Tear
Will Hold his Memory Dear"
"Those connected with [the ATA] who had cause to know T/O Milson thought very highly of him and deeply regret his untimely end."
Ed. Felixstowe College
prev: Rootes Securities Ltd, (a 'shadow' aircraft factory at Blythe Bridge, near Stoke-on-Trent); MAP from Nov 1942
Ab initio pilot cadet
Later 'Star Girl No. 2', air hostess for British South American Airlines: (see also Mary Guthrie , who was 'Star Girl No. 1)
m. 1946 Captain David Colby, an ex-Pathfinder Squadron Leader
"SEQUEL TO AIR ROMANCE
There was a sequel to an air romance at Trentham Parish Church on Saturday when a former transocean passenger air-liner hostess was married to a pilot in the employ of the British and South American Airways. The bride was Miss Rita P. Baines, the 25-years-old daughter of Mr. C J. Baines, head of Messrs C. J. Baines and Co. Ltd . colour manufacturers, of Stoke, and of Mrs, Baines. The Woodlands. Trentham. and the bridegroom. Mr. David Colby, the 26-years-old son of Mrs Colby. Oulton Broads. Norfolk, a former R.A F. squadron-leader and the holder oi the D.F.C.
The couple met last January when Miss Baines travelled as air-hostess and made a call at the Gambia (British West Africa) station of the airways company. of which Mr. Colby was station manager." Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 30 November 1946
[David d. 30 January 1948 (age 27) in the crash of British and South American Airlines' Avro Tudor IV G-AHNP 'Star Tiger', lost on a flight between the Azores and Bermuda. 6 crew and 25 passengers died.]
m. 1949 Christopher Johnson, MD of Johnson Bros Ceramics
"The marriage took place at the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great. West Smithfield. London, on Monday, of Mr. Christopher Johnson. younger son of Mr and Mrs Frank Johnson. Kniveden Hall. Leek, and Mrs Rita Colby, daughter of and Mrs. C. J Baines. Woodlands. Trentham. and widow of Squadron-Leader David Colby. D.F.C. After the reception at the Dorchester Hotel. Mr and Mrs. Johnson left for their honeymoon, which is being spent in Italy." Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 20 August 1949
d. 2007 - Newcastle Staffs
[see also Yvonne Wheatley, her elder sister, also an ATA pilot]
Father: Arthur Victor Gough, a professional footballer turned hairdresser, mother Doris Irene Alexandra (Herbert]
Ed. Stratton School, Cirencester Grammar School
prev: Cashier, Lloyds Bank, Cirencester
Address in 1943: Galba Villas, Prospect Place, Cirencester
Postings: 5TFPP, 15FPP, 12FPP, 7FPP
Ab initio Trainee
- 3 Feb 1945, forced landing after she discovered that the hood of her Spitfire Vb EP661 had "been blown away", reason unknown
Class III pilot
Gained her Royal Aero Club Pilot's Certificate (No 20586) as part of the ATA's 'Wings' scheme on 29 Sep 1945
m. 1945 in London, F/O Jiri Hartman DFC, formerly Cmdr, 'A' Flight, 310 (Czech) Sqn, RAF
Joy and Jiri moved to Prague, but had to flee back to the UK in 1948 after the coup d'etat.
m. Jun 1971 in Warwickshire, Charles James Lofthouse, who had been an RAF Lancaster pilot and PoW in WWII (d. 2002)
She became a Special Needs Teacher
Joy (2nd from right) at the unveiling of the ATA Memorial in Hamble-le-Rice, 2010
d. 15 Nov 2017
interviewed here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009633
Ed. Roundhay, Leeds
m. 1944 Helen [Whitehead]
prev. Architectural Draughtsman for A Kershaw & Sons;
RAF Sgt, Jun-41 to May-43
Address in 1943: 41 Clifton Terrace, Leeds 9
later Back Bower Farm, Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire
d. Jan 2010 - Leeds
Father: Horace Edward Willis Rye [d. 1969] Mother: Martha Jane [Callow] [d. 1966]
Address in 1939: 125 Union St, Maidstone, Kent
prev. a Library Assistant
d. 7 Sep 1996 - Maidstone, Kent
Father: Archibald Couser
prev. Post Office Telephone Engineer; RAF (LAC)
Address in 1944: 75 High Pleasance, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
One accident, not his fault
- 9 Feb 1944, his Magister was in a "slight collision in mid-air" with another Magister, denting the ends of his propeller.
"A very keen and alert type who has, on the whole, shown average progress and ability although he is a little inclined to rush himself at times in his enthusiasm."
d. 17 Aug 1944 (age 24) as a passenger in Oxford PH235, piloted by First Officer Thomas Frank Thompson (M.841).
Ferrying from Airspeed's factory in Portsmouth to 44 MU Edzell, Angus, Scotland; for an unknown reason (possibly hitting HT cables), the aircraft dived into the ground at about 17:30 near Holmes Chapel, Cheshire.
The other passenger, Third Officer John Douglas Dale (M.968) was also killed.
Buried 22 Aug 1944 in Camelon Cemetery, Falkirk: Sec 12 Grave 662.
"Killed on Active Service in Cheshire, Eng."
Dearly Beloved Son of
ARCHIBALD & LILY COUSER
Died 28th Oct. 1947,
Aged 58 Years.
Also the above
Died 5th Jan. 1980
Aged 85 Years
"Mr and Mrs Archibald Couser, 75 High Pleasance, Falkirk, received official intimation last week that their only son, Third Officer Archibald Campbell Couser, Air Transport Auxiliary, had been killed on active service.
Third Officer Couser, who was 24 years of age, a native of Falkirk and a former pupil of Falkirk High School. On leaving school, he obtained employment in the telephone engineering department of Falkirk Post Office, and continued in that until he proceeded to service with the Royal Air Force in May of last year. In September last he was transferred to the Air Transport Auxiliary. Since his lamented death, his parents have received many letters offering condolences in their bereavement, including one from Sir Stafford Cripps, Minister of Aircraft Production, who wrote: “His work for the Air Transport Auxiliary was, as you know, extremely important to our war effort, and we can ill afford to lose such a valuable pilot and officer as your son had proved himself to be. His loss will be greatly felt by all his colleagues."
Mr A. H. Brown, telephone manager of the South- West Telephone Area, also wrote expressing regret, adding that Third Officer Couser had held the respect and esteem ‘of all his colleagues in the department and that he was of an extremely zealous and industrious nature, and would undoubtedly have had a successful career in the Post Office. Sympathy from the High School was expressed in a letter from the rector, Mr A. C. Mackenzie. In civil life, Third Officer Couser’s chief interest outside of his work was music. He was an accomplished pianist, and was associated as such for some time with the Imperial Dance Band. He was also fond of swimming and skating." - Falkirk Herald - Saturday 26 August 1944
Father: Anthony Shubra Hordern (b. 1879, d. 1934 in Jersey), mother: Edith [Campbell].
His grandfather, Anthony Horden III, "left Sydney for Western Australia, where he made his mark as an entrepreneur, founding the Albany–Beverley "Great Southern" railway and developing much of the surrounding land. He died aboard the steamer R.M.S. Carthage on the Red Sea while returning to Australia after several years conducting his business affairs from London. A memorial to him was erected at the top of York Street, Albany. He was nominated by A. J. H. Saw, the Chancellor of the University of Western Australia, as one of the fifteen greats in the development of the State."
His elder brother was Anthony Arthur Shubra Hordern.
His younger brother, Basil Colin Shubra (1910–1969) was a "prominent bank shareholder"
"Shubra Hall, Croydon, is the oldest building on the campus of the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney, and was the home of Anthony Hordern III." - Wikipedia
6ft 2in tall; "scar centre of forehead"
Ed. Malvern College 1920-23
m. 2 Jun 1928 in Kensington, London, Vera Elizabeth Bryer (Divorced)
In 1928, he filed a patent in France, with his brother Anthony and Bernard John Lynes, for an "Improved device controlled by means of a coin and by hand for the recording and delivery of phonograph records of various types, or for the reproduction of such records"
He became engaged to Miss Marian 'Betty' Seton (or Secombe) in 1936, but I can find no record of the marriage taking place.
- The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 Jun 1936
prev. a Stock Jobber; RAFVR 31 Jan 1940 - 27 Jun 1942 (Flt-Lt, 214 Sqn)
prev. exp. 740 hrs on "Henley, Hart, Demon, Phoenix, Wellington, Harrow, Percival Q.6"
Address in 1943: 8 Wimbledon Close, London SW19
d. 12 Dec 1944 - Stockbury, Kent, in a car accident
He left £895 2s 3d, which went to his mother.