W.142  3rd Officer Sylvia 'Mary' Guthrie 
 flag england  b. 9 Jun 1921, Thornton Heath Surrey 18 Oct 1943 to 30 Sep 1945 

sylvia guthrie ATA  ATA





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:

sylvia guthrie 1945  RAeC 1945

Address in 1945:17 Basil Mansions, Basil St, London SW3

 ata mary guthrie 1946

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?



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

IWM interview (1987) here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009976

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