Flight Engineer 3rd Officer Janice Margaret Harrington 
 flag UK   b. 28 Nov 1920, Singapore  22 Jul 1943 to Mar-44

 ata janice harrington 2



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.

220px-613 Squadron Mosquito FB.VI at RAF Lasham June 1944

"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'"


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

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