W.94 *   First Officer Mrs Margaret Helen 'Mardi' Gething 
 flag australia b. 20 Dec 1920, Melbourne, Australia  12 Aug 1942 to Sep 1944 

 margaret gepp 1939  RAeC 1939

 ata mardi gething 1945 1945    

 

 née Gepp

Father: Sir Herbert William Gepp, "mining metallurgist and manager, public servant, industrialist and publicist"; mother Jessie Powell [Hilliard]

m.  May 1940 in Toronto, Flt-Lt Richard Gething


Postings: 15FPP

3 accidents, none her fault:

- 12 Dec 1942, forced landing in Avro Tutor K3276 following engine failure

- 30 May 1943, her Argus EV785, was hit by Spitfire VII R7211 being taxied by Mary Wilkins, damaging the Argus' propeller and the Spitfire's wingtip. "The pilot's [Wilkins] judgement was probably impaired by the effects of an accident two days earlier. She should have been medically examined before flying again and O.C. 15FPP is therefore held responsible"

- 15 Aug 1944, a forced landing in Swordfish III HS553 after a petrol leak into the cockpit.

 

She sailed back to Australia in November 1944 on SS 'Nestor'


 "She returned to Australia, and in early 1945 joined the crew of Lancaster bomber "G for George" as public relations officer for its tour of Australia to raise money for the Third Victory Loan Appeal.

In the 1940s, Mardi also worked briefly for The Age as a society reporter.

When Richard returned to the Air Ministry in late 1945, Mardi joined him to resume life together in a small village south of London. Their two children were born in 1947 and 1949. Mardi continued her flying career as a member of the RAF Volunteer Reserve until Richard was posted for two years to Singapore.

Later the family was stationed in Northern Ireland, then in Scotland, before Richard (now an Air Commodore) worked a final stint at the Air Ministry in London.

In 1959, the family returned to Australia, settling at Red Cliffs, near Mildura. Here Mardi's and Richard's interests turned from powered aircraft to gliders. They became enthusiastic members of the Sunraysia Gliding Club, joined during school holidays by their children, who became solo pilots soon after their 15th birthdays.

Mardi, a keen member of the Australian Women Pilots Association (AWPA), became the first female licensed gliding instructor in Australia, and for a time held the women's altitude record for a glider flight (13,000 feet). Mardi and Richard both became nationally accredited gliding instructors and taught new club level instructors around Australia.

In 1966 they moved to the Gepp family property at Kangaroo Ground near Melbourne, from where they continued their Australia-wide gliding activities. In retirement, they travelled widely around Australia and overseas, visiting wartime and service friends and colleagues. They also took the opportunity to drop into any gliding centres on their route.

When Richard died in 2004, their wonderful partnership in aviation had lasted more than 64 years.."

Mardi Gething's obituary written by her daughter Mary-Jane Gething and published in The Age newspaper on Aug 11, 2005

https://www.spitfireassociation.com/

 


d. 16 Jul 2005 - Templestowe, Victoria, Australia

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