M.57 Junior Captain John Lloyd Bebb b. 23 July 1901, Aberystwyth 29 Apr 1940 to Jan-42
prev. Farming, Engineering and Aircraft Operator
prev exp. 700hrs
G-AAHE, a 1929 Avro 594 Avian IV (which competed in the King's Cup, 1931);
G-ACFH, a 1933 Avro 640 Cadet, and G-ACPB, a 1934 Avro Cadet, which he offered to the ATA.
Commended by his C.O. in June 1941 - "outstanding... always willing to start at any time of the day for any destination. One of our best."
d. 30 Jan 1942 (Died in ATA Service) - Curtiss Mohawk AR671 stalled attempting forced landing at Pershore Aerodrome following engine failure.
buried Capel Madog.
W.154 3rd Officer Suzanne Palmer Chapman b. 8 Dec 1918, Swansea 21 Feb 1944 to 30 Sep 1945
(r) with Flt-Capt Coltman
One accident, not her fault:
- 1 Oct 1944, she ground-looped in Argus I EV809, due to a faulty port wheel casting
Gained her Royal Aero Club Pilot's Certificate (No 20592) as part of the ATA's 'Wings' scheme on 29 Sep 1945
Address in 1945: Fernbank, Murton, Bishopstown, Swansea, S Wales
In 1949, she was a staff pilot at Hereford airfield.
m. 1951 in Hereford, John H Ashton
In 1956, Veronica Volkersz wrote that Suzanne was one of only 7 women flying commercially: - "Suzanne Ashton flies an Auster 'talking aeroplane' on advertising work" - 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, Zita Irwin, Diana Barnato-Walker and Freydis Leaf]
m. 1961 in Swansea, Richard John Hart
d. 5 Feb 2011 - Swansea
M.271 First Officer Kenneth Howard Vivian Day b. 27 May 1917, Newport 13 Mar 1941 to Jun-45
Address in 1941: 71 Albany Rd, Cardiff
Educated at Cardiff University
RAF Flying Officer 1936-40
Postings include: 8FPP
m. Sheila E M Draper 1945, Betty M Davies 1957
d. May 2001 - Chester
W.50 First Officer
Pamela Mary Dauvergne Duncan
b. 10 Jan 1917, Radyr, Wales 15 Aug 1941 to Aug 1945
Father: Norman Duncan
2 sisters, Betty and Angela
Address in 1942: Wardes, Otham, nr Maidstone, Kent
Postings include: 5FPP, 12FPP
2 accidents, neither her fault:
- 15 Mar 1942, during the crash of Fairchild HM178 in which Graham Lever, Bridget Hilland Betty Sayer (qqv) were killed, Pamela was thrown from the aircraft and suffered burns
- 20 Dec 1942, a forced landing in Lysander L4755 following engine failure
m. 1942 in Maidstone, Kent, Captain Spencer Alexander Gollan ("the second son of the late Mr Spencer H Gollan, the famous all-round New Zealand sportsman", d. 1986)
later worked for Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) in North West Europe, 1945
IWM interview in 1987 - see https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009817
d. 6 Jan 2000 - Chichester
M.763 First Officer Cecil Hay b. 7 Apr 1905, Pontypool 24 Jun 1942 to 30 Sep 1945
M.570 First Officer James Emrys Gwynne Johns b. 2 Dec 1909, Llandovery, Wales
1 Nov 1940 [15 Apr 1941 as pilot] to 30 Nov 1945
Father: James (a Stud Groom); mother Elizabeth
prev. a Builders Merchant's Representative, then
RAF Sergeant, Link Trainer Instructor 7 Sep 1939 - 28 May 1940, and
Air Ministry, Parachute Instructor 1 Jul - Nov 1940.
prev exp. 56 hrs on Gypsy Moth, Tiger Moth, BA Swallow, Magister
Known as 'Gwynne Johns', a famous parachutist before and after WWII.The Age (Melbourn) 1938: "An English scout named Gwynne Johns, who risked his life thirteen years ago to save a child from being run over by a motor car and was awarded the Silver Cross for gallantry by the Chief Scout, Lord Baden-Powell, now thinks nothing of risking his life as a hobby by making record-breaking parachute jumps. Gwynne Johns at the age of 12 was a patrol leader in the 1st Llandovery troop, and became famous In the county as being the first scout in Carmarthenshire to earn a gallantry award. Now, at the age of 25, he Is known as the young Aberyswyth parachutist, who has recently created a world record by making a delayed drop from 18,000 feet in the dark over Salisbury Plain.Parachute jumping is Johns's risky hobby. Actually he Is a salesman intho Bournemouth district. He has fulfilled his ambition by creating a newworld record jump. He already holds a world record for a daylight delayed drop by falling 18,000 feet before releasing his parachute. It was on this occasion, twelve months ago, he jumped 22,400 feet.He Is the first parachutist to attempt a delayed drop by night, and scouts everywhere congratulate him on his achievement."
Address in 1940: Landsdowne, Bournemouth, Hants.
Postings: 2FPP, 1FPP, 16 FPP 8FPP, 3FPP
"A good officer and a keen and willing worker. Of a somewhat nervous disposition and appears to be easily influenced by unhappy conditions - given some supervision, however, is a perfectly safe pilot."
"Is inclined to be untidy in his dress."
"Right oh, fair comment"
1942 [with thanks to Nicholas Thomas]
Flight, 21 Aug 1947: "Mr. Gwynne Johns, who holds the record for a delayed parachute drop at night, took off in a Tiger Moth to make his 53rd jump, and his first since 1939. During the war Mr. Gwynne Johns flew 1,500 solo hours in the A.T.A. on 67 different types including six four engined aircraft. He made a very well-timed jump into the centre of the airfield having delayed the opening of his parachute until after he had turned two somersaults."
d. 17 Aug 1963, Bournemouth
M.32* Captain George Stanley Pine MBE b. 20 Mar 1896, Porthcawl, S Wales 23 Sep 1939 to Nov-45
Manx Aviation & Military Museum
A garage proprietor in Newton, Porthcawl in 1935
d. Apr 1957, Blackpool
M.168 * Flight Captain Rodric / Roderic(k) Owen Roch b. 28/30 Dec 1909, Mexico City 11 Nov 1940 to 11 Aug 1943
Father: Cyril Roderic Roch, mother: Clytha Kathleen [Richards] (Married in Australia, 1907)
Baptised in Brawdy, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 26 Jun 1910
5ft 11in, brown hair, hazel eyes
Royal Aero Club Certificate No. 9791, 1 Apr 1931 on an Avro 504 at Hanworth (NFS)
Address in 1931: 52 Cambridge St, London W2
m. 1932 in London, Hilda Mary [Munday] (1 daughter Clytha Jane Mary b 1933)
Address in 1937: 19 Warkworth Gardens, Isleworth, Middx
Resident in Montreal, Canada 1940
Postings: 12FPP *
2 * accidents, neither his fault:
- 2 Jul 1942, a main wheel tyre collapsed on landing at High Ercall, in Mitchell I FL164
- 22 Jan 1943, he taxied his Blenheim IV T1869 into an unmarked soft patch and the starboard undercarriage leg partially collapsed
Sailed to New York en route to Canada, on the Queen Elizabeth, arriving 8 Dec 1943
Pilot for Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) on the Stockholm/Copenhagen - New York route 1946-48
d. 23 May 1984 - Newquay, Cornwall
* ATA Personnel File Missing
M.169 First Officer Thomas William Rogers b. 7 Jan 1917, Blaencwm, Camarthenshire 19 Nov 1940 to Dec-41
prev. an amateur steeplechase jockey
RAF Sep-39 to Sep-40
prev exp. 168hrs on Airspeed Oxfords
On applying to the ATA, he got this splendid endorsement from his local vicar; "He comes from very fine stock and he has entered into his heritage with a sense of real responsibility... As his vicar, I can speak of a good and reliable parishioner; as a personal friend, I know his honesty and sincerity will commend him to others as his fine qualities have commended him to me. "
d. 10 Dec 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Botha W5103 crashed at Blacklow Meadow, 2 miles NE of Glossop. His body wasn't discovered until 3 days later, buried in the mud beneath the burnt-out aircraft.
(Flt Sgt, Seconded from RAF)
John Shepherd b. 13 Apr 1921, Cardiff 18 Jan 1943 to Nov-43
"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
M.79 Flight Captain William Raymond Cary Wilkins b. 4 Apr 1905, Penarth 22 May 1940 to Apr-43
RAF Flying Officer 1927-32
"An efficient pilot and excellent officer"
[Resigned 15 Apr 1943, after sixth 'at fault' accident]
d. Jun 1994, South Glamorgan
W.57 First Officer Katie Doreen Williams b. 29 Mar 1910, Cardiff 1 Sep 1941 to 30 Nov 1945
Father: John Osborne Williams, President of the Labrador Development Company, Mother: Ethel Kate [Cobb] of Ogmore-by-Sea, Glamorgan
In 1916 at age 6, Katie and her 3-year old brother Arthur Eric sailed with their parents to St Johns, Newfoundland, the first of many transatlantic trips that she and her father made between the wars, due to their father's involvement with the Labrador Development Company (LDC).
[John Osborne Williams set up the Labrador Development Company in 1934 with a capital of $1 Million to provide pit props for Welsh coal mines; the directors included John and his son Arthur. It started badly when police had to be sent to deal with a strike of 350 lumbermen in July 1934, who complained about poor accommodation and little food; by 1936, however, 100,000 tons were being exported each year to the UK, as well as fur (fox, mink, lynx, ermine and musquash).
In 1938, the timber leases of the LDC covered over 6,000 sq miles, ("roughly the size of Wales"), and were estimated to contain at least 4 million tons of wood. They had 70 miles of coastline with 6 shipping ports, the biggest being Port Hope Simpson.
The operations were brought to a standstill in 1941 due to the "interference" of the Newfoundland Commission, who insisted upon the company being invested in St. John's. Mr. Williams demanded a public inquiry, which resulted in the property being handed back to his control. The Government director resigned and the LDC was granted a new agreement which awarded them a 10-year royalty-free, tax-free export contract at "25 cents per cord, which equals about 6d per ton"
In 1945 they supplied 70,000 cords of pitprops.]
With her friend Bunty James at Port Hope Simpson, Newfoundland in 1935 - Wikimedia
"In a shooting competition after the dog-team race Miss Doreen Williams beat all the ' crack shots." Western Mail - 24 Mar 1936
Her brother Arthur d. Feb 1940 trying to save his baby daughter in a fire at his home at Hope Simpson: "Mr. Williams saved his wife by handing her through a window to the maid. She had slight superficial injuries, was practically unconscious, and was suffering from severe shock. He then returned to the bedroom, and was trapped and burnt to death in an effort to rescue the little girl, who also perished."
Address in 1938: 36 Southcourt Rd, Cardiff
prev. Secretary (for J O Williams & Co)
Off sick from 13 Oct to 10 Nov 1942 with "bronchial catarrh"
- 17 Aug 1942, when trying to land near the edge of Wroughton airfield in Albacore BF731, "to avoid haymakers in the middle of the aerodrome (!)", she approached too slowly and stalled
- 30 Dec 1942, the undercarriage of her Fairchild Argus I FK344 collapsed on landing, as a result of a failed oleo strut
- 30 Sep 1944, a forced landing in Argus II HB604 after partial engine failure
- 16 Nov 1944, she landed Spitfire XIV RM841 in bad visibility and found herself heading towards some aircraft; she braked, but skidded into a ditch
- 14 May 1945, her Spitfire XIX PS929 nosed over after she braked to avoid an obstruction marker flag
m. Aug 1944 in Bridgend, Glamorganshire, P/O Geoffrey Rimmington Illsley RAF, BEM(M) stationed at Boscombe Down
Geoffrey and Katie lived at "The Cottage", Ogmore-by-Sea, Glamorgan, and were co-directors of Pencoed Trading Co. Ltd.
d. 20 May 1996 - Haywards Heath, Sussex