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):