W.165  3rd Officer Ruth Mary Hornsby Russell 
 flag england  b. 20 Nov 1920, Gravesend Kent 21 Feb 1944 to 30 Sep 1945 

 ruth russell ATA  ATA


The Final 7 Women Pilots - Betty Keith-Jopp (W.167), Sue Alexander (W.163), Joan Arthur (W.166), Ruth Russell (W.165), Annette Mahon (W.164), Aimee de Neve (W.168), Katharine Stanley Smith (W.162



Father: George Ireland Russell, Mother: Irene, of 'Highfield', Linden Gardens, Leatherhead

3 sisters, 2 brothers

Ed. Parsons Mead School, Ashtead; King's College, University of London (B.Sc Hons in Geography)

prev: WAAF Meterorologist, based at Cranage and Kidlington

Ab initio pilot

Postings include: 7FPP

 Off sick from 19 Apr to 22 May 1944, with concussion after a flying accident in Magister T9813. She wrote about it later: "I was just sitting there as passenger, not touching the controls. Low flying always frightened me a bit and suddenly he [her instructor, seconded from the RAF, Sgt. Ronald Codlin] flew into some wires. The next thing I knew, we were on the ground. I realised I was not badly hurt and climbed out, then came the awful part. My instructor was trapped in the front cockpit and his leg was trapped and horribly twisted. I could do nothing to get him out ... it seemed ages before the ambulance came".

  Sgt. Codlin's ATA contract was terminated the same day.


 One other accident, not her fault:

- 30 Aug 1945, a forced landing in Sea Otter JN252, after the engine cut out twice and then picked up again.


[Her brother-in-law was killed in action in 1944]

Address in 1947: 54 Cranley Gardens, Kensington

Sailed to Bermuda 16 Dec 1948 and m. there, on 29 May 1949, Major Keith Wilkinson Adams MBE, RASC, originally from Cheshire:



 Their son Michael was b. 31 Mar 1950 in the King Edward VII Hospital, Bermuda.

They then spent 1953-56 in the Middle East, followed by a period back in the UK:


Lieut.-Colonel Keith Wilkinson Adams, of Greendene, Sea Lane, Bracklesham. who caused a car to stop on an approach to a pedestrian crossing at South Street, Chichester, was stated to have told P.C. D. Bond that he had been abroad and did not know the regulations. The Clerk (Mr. W. J. Booker) told the Magistrates that Lieut.- Col. Adams had written that he had been in the Middle East for the past three years and was staying at Bracklesham. Only the front part of the car was In a prohibited area. Defendant was fined £1. " Bognor Regis Observer - Friday 26 October 1956


Then they all (Keith, Mary, children Michael, Susan, Simon and Victoria) moved to Australia in May 1958

 Keith d. 2004 in Adelaide, Australia


Ruth is featured here in 2013: 



d. 9 May 2014 - Darwin, Australia

"Adored wife of the late Keith Wilkinson Adams; Much loved mother of Michael, Susan, Simon and Victoria; Loved mother-in-law of Angela, Jim, Jackie and Laurie; Treasured grandmother of Erica, Timothy, James,Felicity, Olivia and Nicola and their partners Nicholas, Jessica and Anouck; and cherished great grandmother of Archer and Neve. Loved sister of Diana. A long and inspirational life, loved and admired by many and never to be forgotten" - https://www.heraldsun.com.au/tributes/notice/death-notices/adams-ruth-mary-hornsby-nee/4959447/


 Her son (who supplied many of the photos) tells me: "Aged 94, she ran a company, did public speaking engagements, co-hosted a local Adelaide radio program, and set up and monitored her own Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. She didn't appreciate glass ceilings."

Buried Centennial Park CemeteryPasadenaMitcham CitySouth AustraliaAustralia 


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

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