South African Pilots

  • Back, Charles Lionel Griffiths

     M.341  First Officer Charles Lionel Griffiths Back 
    za-1928flag  b. 23 Dec 1913, S Africa 6 April 1941 to 10 Apr 1943 

     ata charles back 1933 1933



    Educated at St Andrews, Grahamstown, SA

    Arrived in the UK in 1928

    prev. RAF (Pilot Offficer) 1935-37

    Address in 1941: Newton House, Barn St, Marlborough, Wilts

    Postings: 2FPP, 8FPP, 9FPP, 14FPP, 15FPP

    He was described as 'a very capable and experienced pilot, and in every way satisfactory', but had a couple of problems during his ATA career, being placed on a weekly salary basis after writing cheques with insufficient funds to cover them in May-42, and suspended without pay for 3 days in Jan-43 for 'failing to surrender clothing coupons'.

    kenneth mackenzie and patricia 7 jun 1941 Kenneth and Patricia [Pruett], 7 Jun 1941

    He then 'committed misconduct' in Luton with Patricia, the wife of Flt Lt. (later Wing Cmdr) Kenneth Mackenzie DFC, while the latter was away as a wartime guest of the Germans. The divorce judge said that it was "a most lamentable feature of the case that a man who was an officer in the RAF should commit misconduct with the wife of a brother officer who was a prisoner in German hands."


    Later a de Havilland test pilot

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

  • Bowyer, Barbara Petronella (W.120)

     W.120  3rd Officer  Mrs Barbara Petronella Bowyer
     za-1928flag  b. 19 Sep 1917, Johannesburg SA  14 Jun 1943 to 31 Oct 1945



    nee Reid 

    Ed. Rosedean, S Africa, and Witwatersrand University

    m. Jan 1943 in Chelsea, Sub-Lt Alan James Bowyer, an artist who served with the Royal Navy throughout the war

       this is one of his many paintings, "Squally Weather in the Channel" 


    Address in 1943: 2 Manor Court, Hemus Court, London SW3

     Next-of kin changed from her husband to Mrs M Rivett-Carmac, Walnut Tree Cottage, 1 St Johns Rd, Wimbledon, then to (sister-in-law) Mrs Spreadbury, Battersea

    Off sick from 7 to 23 Jan 1944 with influenza

    2 accidents, neither her fault:

    - 31 Jan 1944, a forced landing in a Swordfish after loss of oil pressure

    - 20 Jun 1944, the rudder of her Argus was struck in mid-air by an Anson; in the subsequent forced landing the Argus turned over onto its back.

    She changed her name to Cripps 27 Jan 1945:


    and then when Alan Bowyer married Gladys [Brown] in October 1946, she married Mr Cripps:

    ata derek cripps 1946

    m. Dec 1946 in Hendon, Derek Arthur Rivers Cripps, also an ex-ATA pilot

    One child, Susan, b. Jul 1947


    poss m.  Jul 1957 in Middlesex, Robert G Ostler


     Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip files):

    download grey

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  • Broad, Jennie (W.18)


    Second Officer

    [Training Pool Adjutant 5 Aug 42 to 27 Nov 42]

    Jennie Broad 

    flag UK


     b. 28 Jun 1912, Cape Town, South Africa

    30 Jul 1940 to 11 Jun 43 


    Lettice, Jennie, Audrey, Gaby, Pauline, near Oxford

     jennie broad 1935 RAeC 1935  W018 Broad Jennie ATA   jennie broad 1948 RAeC 1948


    Father: Charles Cecil Broad (a farmer and inventor, m. 1939 Daisy [Bigglestone], d. Nov 1941), mother Dorothy

    The family moved to Sussex in Jan 1922, when Jennie was 9

    Ed. Bournemouth High School

    Flight, April 1937:   "The chief attraction of the weekend was a demonstration of the Hillson Praga monoplane by Miss Jennie Broad. After she had put the machine through its paces, numerous members took the opportunity offered of going up with her in the machine."

    According to the Blue Mountains Advertiser (Katoomba, NSW), Fri 18 Nov 1949: “Miss Jennie Broad first graduated as a pilot in 1934, and to add to her experience qualified as a ground engineer. By this she helped to meet her flying instruction expenses in overhauling engines for airline companies and working as a club engineer. She had many jobs in aviation, including flying passengers to air rallies in Holland and Belgium and demonstrating and selling light aircraft. Through the experience she gained in this field, she became England's first woman test pilot."

    prev. Ground Engineer, W.A.A.F, (transport driver, then Assistant Section Officer, code and cypher).

    prev. exp. 250hrs on Whitney Straight, Miles Hawk & Falcon, DH Moth & Puss Moth, Hillson Praga, Avian in Hololand, France and Belgium as well as UK.

    Address in 1940: Hillside, Tongdean Rd, Hove, Sussex

    Postings: 5FPP, 15FPP

    Class 3 pilot

    Off sick from 19 Mar to 1 Apr 1941 with 'Pyrexial Debility'; 25 Jul to 9 Aug 1941 with 'Neuralgia & septic throat'; 25 Sep to 19 Oct 1941 with 'Pharyngitis' and 9 Feb to 6 Mar 1942 with 'Psychasthenis'

    Contract terminated by ATA

    (twice, actually - firstly on 5 Mar 1942, reinstated 23 Nov 1942, then 11 Jun 1943, on Medical Grounds)

    4 accidents, 3 her fault:

    - 8 Dec 1941, her Dominie X7449 nosed over, for reasons unknown

    - 15 Dec 1942, a heavy landing in Spitfire Vc JG716 caused the port undercarriage leg to collapse

    - 27 Mar 1943, she collided with a distributor trolley being towed by a tractor [Reprimanded]

    - 21 May 1943, taking off in long grass, for some reason she thought the undercarriage of her Barracuda P9787 was "collapsing", so she selected 'Undercarriage Up'. "No fault found"

     "A keen and intelligent pilot of good average ability"

    "She then joined a welfare organisation for the Royal Air Force and after a few weeks' training in Germany went to the Middle East, where she operated clubs on R.A.F. desert stations in Egypt and Iraq.”

    After WWII, Jennie moved to Australia 'as a refugee from British bureaucracy' (reportedly saying "Australia is the only country in which to live these days"), and in 1951 joined the WRAAF as a 'Flight Officer, Administrative'.

    Jennie Broad 1951

    By then, she had made her political views perfectly clear; she didn't like that there Socialism:

    "In August 1948, I returned to England." she said. "When I had left, the country had had five years of the toughest time. They had had all the horrors of the blitz bombs, the doodlebugs and so on. But I had returned expecting to find my country free of some of the rules and directions of war. When I left the people had a tremendous hope for the future and were proud of the part their country had played. I spent two of the unhappiest months of my life there. Gone was the spring in the step of the people. They were tired and content to accept the rules that had been laid down for them. The queues were longer than ever. The people were living mainly on whale meat and fish. We got one egg every six weeks.

    I could not understand it at all. But slowly it came to me. It was in 1945 that the Socialists took over. They came with the old Labour Party understanding on the part of the people. But it was not long before Mr. Attlee had nationalised everything he could lay hands on. Taxes were on such a scale that the worker found it paid him better to stay away from work at regular intervals. A large number of girls in the Post Office admitted that they had deliberately lost a day a fortnight because it paid them better to do so.

    In 1947, we introduced the 'Engagement Order.’ In 1735 compulsory labour was abolished in England but it rested with a Labour Party to re-introduce it.

    To-day there are at least three men who are serving terms of imprisonment because they refused to accept the work that was offered to them. Refusal to take the job offered means imprisonment. You see the people are gradually again being enslaved. In England, owing to the nearness of war, we had gone further along the road to compulsion in everything and Labour was presented with an already working scheme for the carrying out of their policy. In that regard the Labour Party in Britain was in a better position than was the case in Australia. We have our identity cards. If I move from town in town I have to register and re-register. When I return to England if I go abroad I have to register again. I decided to We had won the war but lost our freedom. Nobody is allowed to follow his own will. If he works overtime, he is summoned and fined. In Australia they had been in danger of going along the same path but they had recovered in time and realised what it meant”

    The Biz (Fairfield, NSW), Thu 15 Jun 1950:  "MEET JENNIE BROAD Fairfield residents have noticed an attractive young woman chatting with women in the shopping centre. It was Miss Jennie Broad, one of those courageous women who was a test pilot in Britain during the war. Charming and feminine, Jennie Broad has proved herself courageous during the war; and no less now is she displaying courage of a high degree.

    Knowing the pitfalls of socialism in Great Britain, and the hardships it has brought upon the people who should now be enjoying a measure of relief from wartime restrictions, Jennie Broad came to Fairfield, when she heard 'a woman was standing for Parliament to oppose Socialism'. Although Miss Broad belongs to no political party, she says that she has seen the ill-effects of Socialism on family life, and she felt it her duty to come to Fairfield, meet the family people, and warn them to shake Socialism from their backs before it is too late.' Miss Broad speaks from personal experience, and she says she will address any gathering of women who, want to know the facts about Socialism and how it affects working people."


    Mary Elllis wote: "I did hear that Jennie had married a Frank Roche of Bush Pilot Airways in Cairns, Australia and that in 1954 they both flew a Dragon Rapide from England to Australia. The aircraft was to be fitted out as a special flying ambulance to help those in need in the rural parts of South Australia. Frank Roche was killed the following year in a crop-spraying accident and Jennie, then a widow, moved away."


    d. 30 Jun 2005 on Norfolk Island, Australia

    "Jennie Broad 28 Jun 1912 to 30 Jun 2005. Pilot, Air Transport Auxiliary"


    Di Ennew kindly tells me that "I spent 2 years on Norfolk Island, a small Australian territory (pop.approx.1600) about 1800km east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. We bought a house there and by strange coincidence Jennie Broad, one of your ATA pilots, was my direct neighbour.

    She was quite reclusive and in the 6 years she was my neighbour prior to her death, we did not meet nor talk, as when offered the opportunity to meet by the seller of our house, she very promptly refused the invitation. She was well known on the island for her directness and it was wonderful to read about her. I knew she had had an amazing life in the ATA and I only wish she had been able to meet my father to share their experiences of England."

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


  • Brown, Grace (W.2*)


     W.2 * First Officer  Mrs Grace Brown 

     flag UK   za-1928flag

      b. 2 Feb 1897, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, SA  27 May 1940 to 28 Dec 1940 


    grace brown 1934  RAeC 1934



    nee Holmes

    Address in 1940: Woodland Rise, Seal, Sevenoaks, Kent

    Next of kin: husband, Anthony Brown MC. [d. Dec 1954. He was English, 16 years older than her, described as a 'Managing Director of a Printing Company' [Brown, Knight and Truscott], and they met in South Africa in the 1920s. He was there on business, she ran a driving school, they married and travelled together from South Africa to England in March 1926.

    They lived at 'Broomhill', Southend Rd, Beckenham, Kent, and had one son, Philip, b. 1930; he later became a commercial pilot, encouraged by Grace.]

    Grace Brown c1937

     "Mrs. Grace Brown flew for Air Dispatch (Mrs Victor Bruce's airline)".

    "Air Dispatch Ltd was founded on 9 July 1934, and in 1935 started operating weekend freight (later also passenger) services from its base at Croydon Airport to Le Touquet and Le Bourget, Paris. In April 1935, Commercial Air Hire started passenger shuttle services between Croydon and Heston airports, under the name Inner Circle Air Lines, using GAL Monospar ST-4s. In 1935, Commercial Air Hire purchased an Avro 642 Eighteen16-seat airliner (G-ACFV) for newspaper delivery contracts, and Air Dispatch shared its use for bullion-carrying, excursions, joy-riding flights and scheduled passenger services, until mid-1936. [Mildred] Bruce was co-managing director, with Eric E. Noddings, of both closely linked companies, that were merged in 1936 as Air Dispatch Ltd.  Wikipedia

     In 1935, she flew Redhill Aero Club's Puss Moth to Brussels.

    gabrielle patterson and grace brown fp r, with Gabrielle Patterson, in 1940  (Forgotten Pilots)

    She was an early recruit for the ATA in May 1940 (actually, she joined just as the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk was taking place) but soon had to discontinue ferrying due to "getting into a poor state of health and being unfit for flying duties" - a confidential note some two years later says that "between ourselves, a little elbow-lifting was attached to it"

    She asked for 3 months unpaid leave, on the understanding that ATA could offer to continue with her services at the end of it.

    In the event, when she started back in December, she wrecked the port undercarriage leg of an Airspeed Oxford by selecting 'Undercarriage Up' instead of 'Flaps Up' after landing, and was dismissed shortly afterwards.

    [Contract Terminated by ATA 28 Dec 1940]

    During WWII, "Mrs (Grace) Brown astonished RAF pilots when she landed at an advanced airfield in France during the German attack, carrying consignments of blood for the wounded." An Illustrated History of the RAF (BoB 50th anniversary edition) by Roy Conyers Nesbit.

    Her grand-daughter kindly tells me that "She was actually the first woman to fly to the Front, flying blood to the British Expeditionary Force as it retreated to Dunkirk.  She was one of the first six female pilots to hold the 'B' Licence (Commercial) in the U.K.  She was also a huge character:-) 

    After the war, I don't think she flew again.  She seemed to enjoy buzzing around the country lanes in the sidecar of  a motor bike, driven my by father.  When Anthony died they had huge death duties to pay so had to sell up and move to a small house, still in Sevenoaks. She died in 1956, I believe. "

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


  • Everard-Steenkamp, Rosamund King (W.141)

     W.141  First Officer Mrs Rosamund King Everard-Steenkamp 
     za-1928flag  b. 20 or 22 Jul 1907, Carolina, SA 7 Feb-44 to 31 Oct 1945 



       ATAM   ATAM  


    née Everard

    father: Charles Joseph Everard, mother Amy Bertha [King] of Bonnefoi, E Transvaal, S Africa

    Ed. Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris; St George's co-Ed School; Witwatersrand Technical College School of Aeronautics

    S.A.W.A.A.F. Aug 1940 - Jan 1942

    prev. exp: 2,000 hrs

    "She was elected a 'beauty queen' in a South African competition just before the war"

    prev. Instructor for WTC School of Aeronautics, Johannesburg

    m. 1940 Nicolaas Fourie Steenkamp  (d. 1 Dec 1942 of fever, in Durban)

     Postings: 6FPP

    2 accidents, neither her fault:

    - 30 Mar 1944, when the engine of her Magister backfired and the propeller kicked back, injuring the engineer's hand

    - 31 Dec 1944, she had to leave the perimiter track to avoid an oncoming aircraft in her Spitfire IX, and the aircraft tipped onto its nose.


    "She has worked hard and been most willing to accept instruction... This lady is an asset to the Unit"

    The first woman in Britain to fly a jet aircraft (3 Aug 1945 at Molesworth, in Meteor III EE313)

    d. Mar 1946 in Spitfire XIV NH695 which crashed at Button Oak, Pound Green, near Upper Arley, Worcs, after engine failure.

    She had continued ferrying after leaving the ATA, for 1FPP RAF.


     Her Logbook is in the South African Air Force Museum, Swartkop.


     Buried Maidenhead Cemetery:

     "Great-hearted Greatly loved. Death hath no more dominion over her"


    "Rosamund painted landscapes and still life in oils. Her style of painting was unconventional, spontaneous and exuberant and her work reflects her attraction to decorative patterns and design. Her use of colour was strong, defined and controlled by definite rhythmic outlines. She was not as prolific as the other painters in her family. Her work formed part of the Everard Group exhibitions of 1931 and 1935 and featured in the retrospective exhibitions held at the Tatham Art Gallery in 1982 and the Standard Bank sponsored exhibition of 2000 entitled 'The Everard Phenomenon'.

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

  • Knight-Bruce, Enid Frances Lilian (W.---)

     W.---  2nd Officer  Enid Frances Lilian Knight-Bruce
    flag england + za-1928flag b. 19 Feb 1889, Bloemfontein, South Africa 


    1 Apr to 27 Nov 1941 

    enid bruce 1935  RAeC 1935



    Father: Bishop George Wyndham Hamilton Knight-Bruce DD; mother Louisa [Torr], from Carlett Park in Cheshire.

    Her father was Bishop of Bloemfontein between 1886 and 1891, Bishop of Mashonaland between 1891 and 1895, and Vicar at Bovey Tracey, Devon, between 1895 and 1896. He died on 18 Dec 1896



    Next-of-kin: Col. J C L Knight-Bruce, of The Sea House, nr Brighton

    Enid had an elder sister, (Caroline) Ethelfloed Knight-Bruce, and two brothers

     She was awarded £7 by the Royal College of Music in 1911, and £8 in 1912, for violin.


    2 Apr 1915: "A DANGEROUS DOG. At Newton Abbot, on Tuesday, Miss Enid Knight-Bruce, Highweek, was summoned for being the owner of a dangerous bulldog, which was not kept under proper control.

    Supt. Crooke said he would not ask for the animal to be destroyed, but simply for an order to be made to keep it under control.

    Several witnesses spoke to having been attacked by the dog. Defendant said she did not consider the dog very dangerous. It had very high spirits, and turned to people half in fun. 

    Miss Knight-Bruce was ordered to pay the costs, £1 16s. 6d. " - Teignmouth Post and Gazette

    "Enid Knight-Bruce, of Western House, Newton Abbot, was fined £2 on Tuesday, for failing to comply with an order on March 26th to keep a dangerous bulldog under control. " - Teignmouth Post and Gazette - Friday 10 Sep 1915


    She was engaged to "Mr. Piers Gilchrist Thompson, second son of Canon and Mrs. Thompson of Hayes Rectory, Kent, and Liberal ex-MP for Torquay" in 1925:

      Looking forward to it!


    ... but eventually she m. 23 Apr 1938 in Babbacombe Church, nr Torquay, Devon, Capt. Ralph T Edge:

    "The bride is an experienced pilot, and holds the position of hon. flying instructor to the Women's Reserve. She flew from Brackley to Oxford, and motored from there to Torquay.

    A keen student of industrial problems, she has also engaged in a good deal of philanthropic work. In pre-war days she opened a rest-home for men engaged in the dock strike in London, and another of her activites was assisting in the distressed areas of Wales and the Midlands under the auspices of the Industrial Christian Fellowship. She later went to America and gave a series of lectures on 'Industry', 'Mediaeval Economics', and 'England'" - Western Times - Friday 29 April 1938

     She does not seem to have used her married surname after 1940.

    prev: HQ, Postal and Telegraph Censorship (Air Force Section)

    prev exp: 400hrs

    Address  in 1941: 384 Kensington Close, London W8

    "A careful pilot and is shaping well" on 29 May, but went on indefinite sick leave (collitis) from 6 Aug and did not return to duty

    exp in ATA:

    Moth: 38hrs 40min;

    Magister: 2hrs 35min.


    Moved to 2a Kensington Court Gardens, London W8, and lived with her sister Ethelfloed (who d. 1956)

    d. 25 Apr 1969 - Kensington, London

    [I'm not entirely sure when or where Enid was born; her ATA record has "19 Feb 1900, Eastham, Cheshire" but her Royal Aero Club Cert. has "19 Feb, 1903, Bloemfontine (sic) South Africa". My guess is 1889 in Bloemfontein, as her 1969 death certificate says she was 80 at the time, and anyway her father died in 1896.]


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

  • MacCallum, James Arthur

     M.478 First Officer   James Arthur MacCallum


      b. 24 Apr 1912, Johannesburg SA 5 Jun 1941 to 30 Nov 1945 



    Father: Col. William Henry MacCallum DSM

    Ed. at Malvern High School, and Witwatersrand Technical College

    m. 1940 Lily Dora [Stones], 1 child

    A Foreman aero engine fitter for the Ford Motor Co., Manchester

    prev. exp. 130hrs

    Address in 1941: 4 Granville Rd, Wilmslow, Cheshire

    Mother's address: 94 Highland Rd, Kensington, Johannesburg, SA

    Postings: 6FPP, 1FPP, 8FPP, 3FPP

    "An average pilot whose only fault is over-confidence"; he was demoted to 2nd Officer from Mar-44 to Jun-44 to for flying in conditions below ATA limits, and flying after ATA landing time.

    He filed a patent for a machine to produce egg-cartons in 1956 - "James Arthur MacCallum, Johannesburg, Union of South Africa, assignor to Gummed Tapes (Proprietary) Limited, Johannesburg"


    Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):

    download grey

  • Maguire, Edward George

     M.998  Third Officer  Edward George 'Eddie' Maguire
     za 1928flag  b. 3 Jan 1911, Johannesburg SA  9 Aug 1943 to Sep-45

     ata edward maguire RAFM



    prev. RAF Jul-41 to Mar-43

    Sometime Middleweight Boxing Champion of South Africa - he "came over to England and gave boxing exhibitions in various parts of the country."

    Postings: 5FPP, 6FPP, 8FPP


    d. Mar 1990 - Devizes, Wiltshire


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

  • Marshall, Joan Esther (W.55)

     W.55 3rd Officer  Joan Esther Marshall 
     za-1928flag b. 20 Aug 1913, Port Elizabeth, SA   1 Oct-41 to Jun-42


    joan marshall

    RAeC 1937



    Prev. Exp: 30 hrs solo

    Joan was educated 'privately' in South Africa, and moved from there to Northumberland in 1926, aged 13, with her family - father Walter (a farmer), mother Eda, 2 elder sisters Brenda and Eda, and brother John.

    She then went to the College of Domestic Science, Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, and from there she became Catering Manager for Airwork at Heston, working for Susan Slade (q.v.); she earned her RAeC Certificate in 1937, in Gloucester.

    She originally applied to the ATA in December 1940 (Susan had started with the ATA the month before), citing as her next of kin her sister Brenda Anderson, of Dyce, Aberdeenshire. By then she had 60 hours flying experience, of which half were solo, on "Moth I, II, Avro Cadet, Cirrus Moth, Leopard Moth, and Whitney Straight".

    Things then moved quite quickly (Susan must have put in a good word), and the following February (1941) she went for a test; Margaret Cunnison reported that she was "worth training and has the makings of a good pilot. Needs about 5 to 8 hours dual".

    As was often the case, she was then told to stand by, as there was no vacancy.

    ATA Joan Marshall

    And then a vacancy came up in July; they wrote to her and said "Can you report September 1st"; she wrote back and said "Sorry, no - Airwork need me until October. I am very disappointed indeed."

    "Never mind", they said, "we can wait", and she duly started on the 15th October 1941. She was billeted in North Mimms (you may know it, lovely place) at 2 guineas a week.

    She trained on the Miles Magister: "Her general flying is fair and shows average ability, but as her navigation was not yet up to OC standard, I have recommended further training. She misjudged a forced landing, but appears to understand the necessary procedure... average ability, keen, sensible; enthusaism apt to outweigh caution in selecting weather".

    She was appointed Cadet on the 15th Feb 1942, then Third Officer 6 days later. She was off sick for a few weeks in March, with a chest infection then tonsillitis.

    ATA Joan Marshall2 ATA

    miles master

    Sadly, she was then killed on the 20 Jun 1942, in Master I N7806 which spun into the ground when approaching to land at White Waltham. The official report said it was due to "a spin caused by stalling on a turn during a landing approach, for which it has been impossible to find a reason."

    She was buried in Maidenhead Cemetery (Sec. D. Row K.K. Grave 24.); her pall bearers were Pauline Gower, and her fellow Third Officers Winnie Pierce,  Louise Schuurmann, Katie Williams, Mary Wilkins, Irene Arckless, and Benedetta Willis.

    Pauline wrote that "her general character and behaviour were excellent in every respect", and her sister Brenda added that "we know that she was very happy in her work at White Waltham and that, if it had to happen, she would most certainly have wished to die as she did, flying."


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

  • Richmond, Percy Henry

     M.70 * First Officer   Percy Henry Richmond
     za-1928flag b.  c1913, South Africa  26 Jul 1940 to 27 Mar 1941




     RAF from 1935

    Sailed to the UK from Lourenco Marques, Mozambique in Jan 1938; stationed at RAF Mount Batten, Plymouth

    m. Jan 1940 in Birmingham, Thelma Ellen Palmyra [O'Connor]





     Address in 1959: Church Cottage, Church Walk, Maldon, Essex

    d. 9 Aug 1959 in the crash of Percival Prentice G-AOPW belonging to Aviation Traders Ltd, during an exhibition flight at Barton Aerodrome, Manchester.

    "The plane was giving a low-level flying display across the landing ground... it appeared when doing a roll to nose-dive into the ground. There was a loud crump and the plane burst into a mass of flames." - Nottingham Evening News

    * Personnel File Missing

  • Sorour, Dolores Theresa (W.23)

     W. 23  First Officer

    Dolores Theresa 'Jackie' Sorour


     b. 1 Mar 1920, Pretoria, South Africa 31 Jul 1940 to 30 Nov 1945 

     dolores surour 1938  RAeC 1938      


    Father: Emil Sorour (originally French, poss. Arthur Emilien Sureur, naturalised British, d. before Jackie's birth)

    5 ft 2½ in tall, dark brown hair

    Mother: V [remarried a Mr Helling when Jackie was 6 months old], of 136 Schoeman St, Pretoria, SA

    Brought up mostly by her grandmother; first flight at age 15 (and first parachute jump at age 16) in South Africa. Moved to the UK in 1938 and learnt to fly at the Aeronautical College, Witney, Oxon..

    She has talked about the shock of meeting a "cultured, educated negro" at Oxford, "I'd never met one before".

    prev: WAAF ACW/1 from Sep 1939, stationed at Rye as a radar operator

    Postings: 5TFPP, 15FPP, 4FPP, 6FPP

    Reprimanded for "inattention to airfield control signals at Cosford", 30 Mar 1945

    5 accidents, 1 her fault:

    - 30 Jun 1942, she over-ran the runway in a Seafire and hit a fence, after one flap failed to lower

    - 27 Jan 1943, she had to land her Spitfire VIII with the tail wheel retracted, after it failed to lower

    - 19 Feb 1943, in an Anson; she overshot the landing due to an error of judgement

    - 18 Oct 1943, another Spitfire's tail wheel failed to lower and lock

    - 10 Jan 1944, her Spitfire was struck by a vehicle following behind her when she turned


    "Has shown exceptional keenness all the time she has been with this Ferry Pool"... "A keen, hardworking pilot.; should endeavour to use more common-sense in flying. Discipline, excellent"

    King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, "for having ferried more aircraft during the war than any other man or woman."

    m. 12 Jan 1945, in Taunton, Somerset Capt. Reginald Moggridge RE "the elder son of the well-known Taunton builder" (2 daughters, Veronica (Jill) b. 1946 and Candida b. 1961)



    "A housewife with a hobby that keeps her in the air" - With daughter Jill in 1949 (Coventry Evening Telegraph)


    Jean Lennox Bird Trophy in 1951

    Awarded her RAF 'Wings' in 1954, one of 5 women (all ex-ATA pilots) to do so when serving with the short-lived (1 Feb 1949 - 1954) Women's Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (WRAFVR). The others were Jean Bird, Benedetta Willis, Freydis Leaf and Joan Hughes 

    "When she is at home she takes part in local amateur acting"


    In 1956, Veronica Volkersz wrote that Jackie was one of only 7 women flying commercially:  "Jackie Moggridge lives in Taunton with her husband and a ten-year-old daughter. For the past year she has been ferrying Spitfires from the Middle East to Burma"and concluded that "The tragedy is that for women, commercial aviation is now - except, possibly, in Russia - a closed field."

    Published her autobiography, "Woman Pilot" in 1957: "This autobography of a pretty and distinguished woman is romantic and in places extraordinarily moving, perhaps because Jackie Moggridge shines through her writing as a courageous, honest and really nice, if very determined, personality" - Truth

     Pilot for Channel Airways from 1957-1960, then Meridian Air Maps in Scotand.


    On 29 April 1994, she flew in Spitfire IX ML407 to Duxford (with Caroline Grace at the controls, it was converted to a two-seater post-war) to deliver it to Johnnie Houlton DFC - exactly 50 years after she had originally delivered it to... Johnnie Houlton at Duxford.

     Reg d. 1997

    d. 7 Jan 2004 - Taunton, Somerset: her ashes were scattered over Dunkeswell Aerodrome by Caroline Grace, flying Spitfire ML407


    Wikipedia story here:

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

    Listen to a 1984 interview with Jackie here:


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