M.932  First Officer  Francis Stanley Symondson
 flag england  b. 27 Mar 1897 Sutton, Surrey 21 Jun 1943 to Oct-45 

 ATA Francis Symondson 1930

 ata francis symondson 1945 ATA




Address in 1943:  The Haven, Fowey, Cornwall

WWI ace (12 victories) - went to Italy flying Camels with 66 Sqn, and was shot down once in Belgium and twice in Italy.

Competed in the King's Cup in 1930 and 1931.

Despite being over 40 when WWII broke out, Francis joined the RAF as a Flt-Lt in Apr-39 and then in June 1943 joined the ATA.

He was certainly experienced (1,500 hours, although mostly on light types), and keen - in fact, "his keenness to do a job may lead him to ask for more than he can safely cope with". He went on to complete a very large number of successful aircraft deliveries on 24 different aircraft, mostly Spitfires, in "an eminently satisfactory manner".

Although he did have one senior moment, in January 1944, when he landed a Hurricane with the wheels up. He had "failed to carry out his cockpit drill".

By 1945 though, even the ATA noticed that he was perhaps getting on a bit to be a ferry pilot; "This pilot was very nervous and under-confident at the beginning of the course but eventually settled down and reached an average standard. I would suggest however that owing to his age he has reached the limits of his ability and should not be considered for further progress".

He was nevertheless "an extremely enthusiastic and hard working pilot who has been of great value".

d. 1975


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

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