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Mary Ellis

Last ATA Girl

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Peter Miller26/07/2018 08:29:47
10170 forum posts
1192 photos
10 articles

THey announced that Mary Ellis has died. Last Spitfire girl.

One quote they played.

"I loved going up in a Spitfire and just playing with the clouds!"

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator26/07/2018 09:58:29
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

Brave women who did a vital job very well!

Brave? you might say? Well think about this: I'm not sure I would want to fly an unarmed Spitfire in the South of England in the 1940's, that had only had one test flight and I had to do it more or less whatever the weather - when ops were cancelled due to bad weather these women often still flew! So yes, I think its fair to say "brave".


Denis Watkins26/07/2018 10:00:27
3877 forum posts
59 photos

How fantastic to ferry 400 Spitfires and to fly over 70 aircraft types

These numbers could never be achieved again

Alan Gorham_26/07/2018 10:46:27
957 forum posts
102 photos

Not only were the aircraft unarmed, they also had no radio, so yes brave is a very fitting description.

Stuphedd26/07/2018 11:10:25
654 forum posts
351 photos

The girls stories are electrifying , I think it was the one called Joy who said she just diverted her delivery flight , in a Spit , to go and see her boyfriend down in Cornwall ! True "Devil make care" attitude that prevailed in those traumatic times .

True heros the lot of them that flew .

Colin Carpenter26/07/2018 11:34:29
555 forum posts
35 photos

Very sad news ! Really enjoyed her TV appearances. She and all her fellow pilots had real guts and we will never see their like again ! I had the pleasure to meet an ATA pilot once during work as a customer . Complety understated and a gentleman !

RIP. And thank you ! Colin

Tom Sharp 226/07/2018 12:22:48
3515 forum posts
18 photos

Just a thought, I wonder if they used the same delivery system in Germany.

Bill Wood26/07/2018 12:53:48
49 forum posts

When I'm struggling to land my foam-e in breeze I shall think of Mary Ellis. I bet she could do it.

The Wright Stuff26/07/2018 12:55:08
1381 forum posts
226 photos

Now she can play with the clouds all over again. Rest in peace!

onetenor26/07/2018 13:43:01
1900 forum posts

God bless'em ! All of them

ken anderson.26/07/2018 15:07:04
8436 forum posts
772 photos

RIP that lass, watched a TV programme a couple of months ago which included her in it talking about her war time job....thanks from me...she had girl power before it had been invented..

ken dept.

Robert Cracknell26/07/2018 15:19:33
126 forum posts
3 photos


Germany may have had female ferry pilots but they most certainly had female test pilots - Hannah Reitsch and Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg. Both of these flew the early rocket powered fighters and later ME262's.

Hannah has featured in TV documentaries and is believed to have committed suicide in 1979 with a cyanide pill given to her by Hitler towards the end of the war.


Edited By Robert Cracknell on 26/07/2018 15:20:10

Tom Sharp 226/07/2018 21:35:57
3515 forum posts
18 photos

It's a small world.

For a while after the war, Hanna Reitsch worked as personal pilot to Walter Claas boss of the Claas corporation, manufacturers of agricultural tractors and combine harvesters etc. The Claas company also produced Simprop Radio Control sets along with other electrical and electronic equipment.

Edited By Tom Sharp 2 on 26/07/2018 21:38:17

Geoff Sleath26/07/2018 21:45:30
3356 forum posts
272 photos

A remarkable woman to say the least. I particularly liked the story where she delivered a Wellington and the local RAF personnel didn't believe she's flown it single handed and searched the aircraft for the 'real' pilot! She seemed to alert right to the end. Peter Snow was on the radio at lunchtime and had taken his children to see her just a couple of weeks before she died.

It's always sad when someone dies but I think most of us would opt for 102 years still with our mental faculties intact.


Tom Sharp 226/07/2018 22:17:47
3515 forum posts
18 photos

Yes, wonderful lady.

Wilco Wingco26/07/2018 22:29:23
146 forum posts
3 photos

One of the bravest of the brave.

Timo Starkloff27/07/2018 22:24:46
346 forum posts
771 photos

Just got that link about Mary Ellis and found here is already a topic.


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 27/07/2018 22:31:05

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