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WWII: War In The Air

A ferry pilot of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) in the cockpit of a Supermarine Spitfire fighter, September 1944. ATA pilots deliver newly manufactured aircraft from the factory to military airfields. Original publication: Picture Post - 1805 - The Work Of The Ferry Pilots - pub. 16th September 1944. (Photo by Leonard McCombe/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

ATA (Womens Auxilary Sevice) - During wartime women of the ATA provided an invaluable service to the RAF, Looks like an Avro Anson, these women used to deliver new Lancs by themselves from the factories to the squadrons. Performing duties such as fuel changeovers & navigation at the same time as flying a large aircraft normally crewed by seven men.

3rd Officer Ida Laura Veldhuyzen van Zanten was the only woman pilot to receive the Kruis van Verdienste on 1 October 1942 and the Vliegerskruis on 7 February 1948. After two failed attempts to reach Britain, the Flying Brevet A pilot and former KLM stewardess finally succeeded reaching London in August 1942. Working for British Intelligence, she met Prince Bernhard, consort of Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, who made her join the WAAF. Transferring to the ATA, she ferried several types…

Mary Wilkins Ellis flew planes during WWII for the Air Transport Auxiliary for women pilots. During the war she single-handedly delivered 76 types of aircraft, including about 400 Spitfires. She found her way using a map and a compass. The ATA delivered 308,567 aircraft during the war; Mary’s own total was in the region of 1,000 planes ~

Due to the noncombat nature of their work, Air Transport Auxiliary used women pilots to deliver aeroplanes to the various units. Here a brand new Supermarine Spitfire on its way.