New Zealander Pilots
W.80 First Officer Betty Ellice Black b. 1 Sep 1913, Dunedin NZ 15 Apr-42 to 30 Aug-45
NZ Herald 1943
Father: George Black (NZ Superintendent of Dalgety & Co, d. 1937)
Ed. St Hilda's Collegiate School, Dunedin
prev. exp: 129 hrs 50min, on DH 60, DH82, DH94, Miles Hawk, Magister, Whitney Straight, BA Swallow, Percival Vega Gull, Avro Avian in New Zealand and Australia
Next of Kin: (Aunt) Mrs Owen Gould, Hampton, Otago NZ
prev. Equipment Assistant, RNZAF, 21 Apr to 24 Nov 1941
Address in 1942: c/o New Zealand House, 415 The Strand, London
She arrived in the UK from Aukland on the 19 Feb 1942, quoting her address as c/o Dalgety & Co., Leadenhalll St, London
Postings: 1FPP, 15FPP, 12FPP, 6FPP
7 accidents, only 1 her fault:
- 19 Jun 1942, in a Hart; her approach was too slow and she made a heavy landing, damaging the engine mountings;
- 2 Mar 1943, she landed her Hurricane and hit an unmarked dip, causing the undercarriage leg to collapse;
- 18 Sep 1943, the cockpit cover of her Spitfire broke away during flight;
- 11 Mar 1944, another landing accident, this time in a Typhoon when the tail wheel retracted due to a hydraulic fault;
- 27 Sep 1944, when the starboard undercarriage collapsed in an Argus; this time a sunken drainage gulley was to blame, and
- 12 Feb 1945, her fourth undercarrriage landing-run collapse, this time the port wheel of a Beaufighter, and
- 11 Apr 1945, a precautionary frced landing in a Beaufighter when the port engine lost revs.
"A cheerful, hardworking pilot" "A good ferry pilot; always ready for any job allotted to her".
m. Feb 1946 Christopher Dalton Beaumont in Thornbury, Gloucestershire
d. 9 Jul 1977 - Nelson, NZ
Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip files):
M.157 First Officer James Evelyn Brian Duigan b. 5 May 1918, Auckland NZ 27 Sep 1940 to Feb-42
One of 3 sons of Sir John Evelyn Duigan, Chief of the General Staff of the New Zealand Military Forces from 1937 to 1941
Ed. NZ University (B.A. NZ), R.N. College
prev. Dept of Internal Affairs, NZ Gov't
Pilot Officer RNZAF then RAF Sep-38 to Sep-40
He was blamed for a wheels-up forced landing in a Hurricane in Dec-40; "Pilot should not have taken off when he knew weather conditions were bad and is entirely responsible."
However, by 1942 his discipline had "improved beyond all knowledge, and he is a first class asset to the Pool."
[Contract Terminated by Mutual Consent]
d. 17 Jun 1945 on a delivery flight in Canada
buried Metis Beach (United Church) Cemetery, Quebec, Canada
W.--- Cadet Mrs Edith Elizabeth 'Marie' Furkert b. 20 Dec 1913, Wellington, NZ 30 Aug-43 to 26 Jan-44
ED. Wellington East Girls College
NZ 'A' Licence 1933
m. 1935 Sqn Ldr Bruce R Furkert, RNZAD
prev: Office Assistant in the Air Dept, Wellington NZ
Address in 1943: 25 Coram St, London WC1
[Contract Terminated by ATA]
later Mrs Rogers
d. 12 Aug 1987
Buried Feilding Cemetery, Manawatu District, Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand
W.147 3rd Officer June Constance 'Judy' Howden b. 2 Jul 1918, Pukekohe NZ 6 Dec 1943 to 12 Aug 1945
Father: Dr C E Howden, of The Hill, Aukland, Waiuku, NZ
prev. RNZAF, WAAF until 7 Sep 1943, stationed at Woodbourne, Blenheim, NZ
She sailed on the 'Australia Star' from Wellington via New York to Liverpool, arriving 27 Nov 1943
Postings: 5FPP, 12FPP, 15FPP
m. Robert William 'Bob' Gummer. a pilot who served with the RNZAF in the Pacific during WWII, later a topdressing pilot.
d. 9 Jun 2007
"She and Bob farmed in the King Country before retiring to Tutukaka near Whangarei in 1974.
Of her time at war, Mrs Gummer later wrote: "I felt I was doing something worthwhile with what skills I had and I did something I could never do in peacetime.
"I once dreamed of flying around England in a Tiger Moth but never dreamed I'd get to do it in a Spitfire."
June Gummer is survived by her husband Bob, a son and twin daughters." - New Zealand Herald
W. 62 * First Officer Trevor Balfour Hunter b. 25 Jan 1915, Whanganui, NZ 20 Nov-41 to Jul-45
NZ Evening Post 1945
Father: Douglas Horatio Dale Hunter, mother Alice Elsie
"She was named Trevor as her mother was sure that the baby would be a boy" (Oh... OK...)
Began flying lessons at the Whanganui Aero Club when she was 16, and gained her pilot's 'A' licence the following year. In December 1933, she was a passenger when E F 'Teddie' Harvie made a record flight from one end of New Zealand to the other in a day.
Teddy Harvie and family (Alexander Turnbull Library, WA-06347-F)
6 accidents, only 1 her fault:
- 26 Nov 1942, the starboard wing of her Hurricane II KW721 hit a marker beacon when she misjudged the landing approach
- 13 Jan 1943, a forced landing in Defiant TT1 DR978 following a burst brake pipe
- 21 Jan 1943, her Spitfire IIa P7889 veered off the perimeter track and nosed over, due to loss of brake pressure
- 9 Apr 1943, the hood of her Lysander II N1213 blew off after take-off, due to a technical defect
- 16 Jun 1943, another forced landing, this time in Argus EV806, due to petrol starvation caused by a blocked filler cap vent
- 12 Oct 1944, a third forced landing, after the undercarriage of Mosquito XIII HK380 failed to lock 'up'
m. 1950 James Colway, a journalist, and also a pilot
Later, a teacher of ballet, tap and ballroom dancing - "I fly if I have enough money left over, but my dance teaching definitely comes first"
"On 3 December 1983 a re-enactment of the 1933 flight was staged by Harvie’s nephew, Don Haggitt. Harvie and Trevor Colway (née Hunter) were in Invercargill to greet him. Both had enjoyed careers in aviation: Hunter was one of five New Zealand women to serve in the Air Transport Auxiliary in Britain during the Second World War, while Harvie was chief air accident investigator from 1968 to 1977." - https://nzhistory.govt.nz/first-flight-from-kaitaia-to-bluff
d. 8 May 2002 - Whanganui
Interview here: https://natlib.govt.nz/records/35828591
M.--- [Seconded from RAF] Philip Basil Plumridge b. 29 Jan 1917, Invercargall, NZ 5 Feb 1943 to 1 Mar 1943
A New Zealander attached to the Royal Australian Air Force, he served briefly with the A.T.A. at White Waltham having arrived in the UK from Sydney on 18th November 1942.
He joined 1 FPP on 5th February 1943 before being posted as a Pilot Under Training to 5 (P)AFU on 2nd March 1943. Later he served with 231 and 19 Squadrons and survived the war.
No records have been found to confirm under what capacity he joined the A.T.A. given his inexperience, but it is possible that he was attached to the Training Pool for a refresher before being moved on.
d. Jan 1997, Dorset
M. --- Cadet William Arundell Stewart b. 7 Aug 1915, Pateo, North Island NZ 29 Oct 1941 to Dec-41
d. 9 Dec 1941 - natural causes (peritonitis)
W.104 2nd Officer Jane Winstone b. 24 Sep 1912, Wanganui, NZ 19 Aug-42 to Feb-44
Mother Lena Storme Clapham, father Arthur, a chemist.
Jane had New Zealand Pilot's "A" (Private) Licence (No. 291) issued 14th August, 1931 and had completed 113 hours 40 minutes solo flying on D.H.60, D.H. 82, Miles Hawk, and Taylor Cub, but the license had expired in May 1939. She was working as her father's assistant at 10 Plunket Street, Wanganui in late 1941 when she contacted the ATA to see if they could offer her anything. The reply was somewhat guarded:
"It would appear from your previous experience that you would make a suitable ferry pilot, but we must advise you that any steps you may take to join this organisation are your own responsibility entirely and any expenses incurred in connection therewith must be borne by yourself."
It was then March 1942 when she wrote to Pauline Gower at 'Hadfield, England':
I am writing to enquire whether there are any vacancies for a qualified pilot in your organisation. I am twenty seven years of age and very interested in flying, having my pilots' license with approximately 120 hours flying time.
If you consider that there are any opportunities for me, please advise me and also what steps it will be necessary for me to take."
She sent a note from her old instructor at the Western Federated Flying Club, Flt-Lt Ian Keith:
"I have known Miss Jane Winstone from approx. 1930 when she first commenced flying under my tuition. She proved a very apt pupil and went solo very quickly. From then on she practised continually and represented our Club (one of the largest in New Zealand) in open non handicap competitions for landings, against senior men pilots and was successful in attaining first place each time she competed thus winning the Pageant Cup for the Club.
Her flying has always been consistent and she has never caused the slightest trouble through breaches of regulations etc. She also displays a keen sense of responsibility and I have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone regarding her services in a flying capacity."
In July, the ATA also checked up with her friend Miss Trevor Hunter, another New Zealander who had joined them the previous November. She said that she'd be fine:"Jane is used to responsibility, and is a very stable character"
Jane travelled to the UK in July, clutching letters of introduction from none other than the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Honourable W.J. Rogers, Mayor of Wanganui. Both letters "testify to her qualifications as a flyer and state that Miss Winstone was the third lady in New Zealand to qualify as a pilot."
She attended a flying test (and had her medical) on the 28th July. The report was encouraging; she "flew better than expected after a break of 2 years. Good hands; confident; capable of being trained for ferry duties."
You might think that, in the face of this overwhelming chorus of praise, the ATA would snap her up straight away. Not quite; they left her to cool her heels for a few weeks, until W.H. Sutcliffe from Rolls Royce tried to move things along:
"10th August 1942
Dear Mr McMillan,
I am writing to you on behalf of one of our test pilots Flt-Lt McKenzie, who has asked me if I could persuade you to hurry along the appointment of a Miss Jane Winstone whom you have already tested. Apparently she was engaged to his brother who unfortunately is missing on one of the recent raids. She has travelled all the way from NZ to join him, and it has come as a bitter blow to find him missing.
Apparently you cannot employ her as a pilot for another month, but could you find her a ground job in the meantime? She is brooding away the time in London with just nothing to do. Your help would be very much appreciated."
It worked. Jane started her training on the 19th August 1942.
Things did not go smoothly at first; "her flying was only moderate and she had considerable difficulty with navigation probably because of the big change in flying in England." She also had several breaks owing to illness - in fact, she was mostly off sick from the 23rd November 1942 to the 4th February 1943.
Things improved after that; she did 30 hours ferrying of Class 1 types, "working hard and showing common sense in the way she tackled her work" and then a further 56 hours ferrying of Class 1 and 2 types - Fairchild, Master II, Martinet, Hurricane, Swordfish, Auster, Proctor, Harvard, Lysander and Spitfire - where "all her work was steady and capable." She was promoted to 2nd Officer on the 25th August 1943.
Sadly, she was killed on the 10th February 1944 as she took off in Spitfire IX MK616 from Cosford. The engine partially failed, picked up twice, then failed completely, and the aircraft stalled and spun into the ground 2 miles north of the airfield, in Tong, Shropshire.
She was buried on the 15th February at Maidenhead. In April, Trevor Hunter asked for some flowers to be placed on her grave but a year later Sqn-Ldr V. S. Howarth wrote to Cmdr Barbour at the ATA: "While on a recent visit to Maidenhead, I visited the grave of the late Jane Winstone, who was a very close friend of mine. I intended to photograph the grave so as to send prints to her parents in New Zealand, but was most grieved to find that the grave did not show any signs of the care and attention one would expect... I might add that the graves of other ATA pilots in this particular cemetery were in a similar condition."
They agreed: "Unfortunately, the Cemetery which is owned by a Company, is not very well kept. The only staff is one aged gardener to help the Superintendent, and they cannot keep pace with the work. It is hoped that the Cemetery will be taken over by the Maidenhead Borough Council, and that would probably help matters."
[At the time, the cemetery was owned by The Maidenhead Cemetery Company; it was eventually taken over by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in the 1950s.]
The graves are now well tended by CWGC:
Jane's fiancé, Angus Carr MacKenzie, was later officially assumed ‘lost at sea’.
After the war, Trevor Hunter took Winstone’s logbooks to Wanganui and gave them to Jane’s mother.