ata WAAFs May 44

"About 30 WAAFs have been temporarily released for training as pilots in the Air Transport Auxiliary. Half of them began their training a month ago. The rest begin next week.

A short time ago the ATA personnel was not sufficient to cope with the demands made on it, so it was decided to recruit from the W.A.A.F.

The girls have to reach a high standard of medical fitness. Here are some of the qualifications:-

Over 5ft 5ins tall, over 20 and under 28 years of age, of matriculation standard of education, fully mobile and single."

Liverpool Echo, 5 May 1944


 Eventually, 28 women transferred from the Womens Auxiliary Air Force to the ATA in 1944:

12 starting on  the 21st February:

  • W.155  3rd Officer  Rosemary Bonnett
  • W.154  3rd Officer Suzanne Palmer Chapman
  • W.156  3rd Officer  Yvonne Margaret 'Peggy' Eveleigh
  • W.159  3rd Officer  Marjorie 'June' Farquhar
  • W.157  3rd Officer  Diana Faunthorpe
  • W.152  3rd Officer Joyce Fenwick
  • Cadet  Mary Emily King  (Contract Terminated 1 Jul 1944)
  • W.160  3rd Officer  Barbara Lankshear
  • W.158  3rd Officer  Patricia Mary Provis 
  • W.161  3rd Officer Frances Mary Rudge
  • W.165  3rd Officer  Ruth Mary Hornsby Russell
  • W.153  3rd Officer Winifred 'Pooh' Stokes


and 16 more starting on the 8 May (although only 6 of them were taken on as full-time pilots):

  • Cadet Jean Mary Akerman (Contract Terminated 3 Jun 1944)
  • W.163  3rd Officer  Susan Mary Aurea Alexander
  • W.166  3rd Officer Joan Henrietta Arthur
  • Cadet Dorothy Ritson Bell (25 May)
  • W.168  3rd Officer  Aimee de Neve
  • Cadet  Joan Mary Grinling (10 Jun)
  • W.167  3rd Officer  Eleanor 'Betty' Keith-Jopp
  • Cadet  Heather Marion Lott (10 Jun)
  • W.164  3rd Officer Annette Mahon
  • Cadet Rita Mary 'Ray' Neve  (17 Jun)
  • Cadet  Sheila Reddicliffe  (21 Jun)
  • W.162  3rd Officer Katharine Stanley-Smith
  • Cadet Dorothy Margaret Stewart (1 Jul)
  • Cadet  Dora Joyce Tildesley (9 Jun)
  • Cadet  Sheila Marion Tointon (17 Jun)
  • Cadet Sheila Willson (3 Jun)


However, they were not the only ex-WAAFs who found their way to the ATA; there were another 11 women pilots before then, as follows:

  • W.9  8 Jul 1940  First Officer  Mabel Glass 
  • W.23  31 Jul 1940  First Officer  Dolores Theresa 'Jackie' Sorour
  • W.38  1 Apr 1941  Flight Captain  Lucy Agnes Vera Falkiner 
  • W.46  1 Aug 1941  First Officer  Jean Lennox Bird
  • W.53  3 Sep 1941  First Officer Roy Mary Sharpe
  • W.52  8 Sep 1941  First Officer  Dora Lang
  • W.---  29 Apr 1942  Cadet  Lucie Margaret James  (Contract Terminated 22 May 1942)
  • W.92  17 Jul 1942 First Officer  Anne Walker
  • W.124  1 May 1943  3rd Officer  Joan Edwina Francis Mullineaux
  • W.115 18 May 1943  3rd Officer Ida Laura Veldhuyzen Van Zanten
  • W.132  27 Aug 1943  2nd Officer  Zita Paddon

  ATA Organisation


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  • EFTS / IFTS - Elementary / Initial Flying Training School
  • AMF / Air Movements Flight (1942–45)
  • AFTS - Advanced Flying Training School (1942–45)


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