A Spitfire Girl: One of the World's Greatest Female ATA Ferry Pilots Tells Her Story

Front Cover
Frontline Books, Nov 30, 2016 - History - 240 pages
We visualize dashing and daring young men as the epitome of the pilots of the Second World War, yet amongst that elite corps was one person who flew no less than 400 Spitfires and seventy-six different types of aircraft and that person was Mary Wilkins. Her story is one of the most remarkable and endearing of the war, as this young woman, serving as a ferry pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary, transported aircraft for the RAF, including fast fighter planes and huge four-engine bombers. On one occasion Mary delivered a Wellington bomber to an airfield, and as she climbed out of the aircraft the RAF ground crew ran over to her and demanded to know where the pilot was! Mary said simply: I am the pilot! Unconvinced the men searched the aircraft before they realized a young woman had indeed flown the bomber all by herself. After the war she accepted a secondment to the RAF, being chosen as one of the first pilots, and one of only three women, to take the controls of the new Meteor fast jet. By 1950 the farmer's daughter from Oxfordshire with a natural instinct to fly became Europe's first female air commandant. In this authorized biography the woman who says she kept in the background during her ATA years and left all the glamour of publicity to her colleagues, finally reveals all about her action-packed career which spans almost a century of aviation, and her love for the skies which, even in her nineties, never falters. She says: I am passionate for anything fast and furious. I always have been since the age of three and I always knew I would fly. The day I stepped into a Spitfire was a complete joy and it was the most natural thing in the world for me.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Chapter 1 My First Spitfires
1
Chapter 2 Early Inspirations
9
Chapter 3 To the Skies Aged Eight
17
Chapter 4 Those Were the Days
22
Chapter 5 Going Solo
29
Chapter 6 The ATA Womens Section
35
Chapter 7 New Eves of the Air
45
Chapter 8 Fighter Girls
54
Chapter 20 Last Days of the ATA
154
Chapter 21 Rally Driver
165
Chapter 22 Miss Wilkins Runs an Airport
170
Chapter 23 Spitfire Mary
184
Appendix I Spitfire Deliveries 19421946
195
Appendix II Hurricane Deliveries 19421945
206
Appendix III Swordfish Deliveries 19421944
207
Appendix IV Wellington Deliveries 19431945
208

Chapter 9 Reporting for Duty
58
Chapter 10 Ferry Girl
69
Chapter 11 No15 Ferry Pool Hamble
76
Chapter 12 Forced Landing
82
Chapter 13 My Spitfire
89
Chapter 14 Life and Death
97
Chapter 15 All in a Days Work
106
Chapter 16 Close Calls
113
Chapter 17 I AM the Pilot
122
Chapter 18 DDay Spitfires
130
Chapter 19 Shared Memories
139
Appendix V Typhoon Deliveries 1945
210
Appendix VI Tempest Deliveries 1945
211
Appendix VII Mosquito Deliveries 19451946
212
Appendix VIII Eleven Types In Ten Days March 1944
213
Appendix IX Twelve Types In Ten Days August 1945
214
Appendix X Twelve Types In Twenty Days May 1945
215
Appendix XI Aircraft Types Flown
216
Appendix XII Airfields Flown To and From During ATA Service
218
Bibliography
220
Index
221
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

Melody Foreman is a qualified journalist and graduate with experience in newspapers and television documentaries. She is the author of the best-selling 'Bomber Girls' and has also written two books about the history of Kent. Melody is a contributor to Britain at War magazine and is editor of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum magazine. She maintains an avid interest in the Air Transport Auxiliary, the social history and reportage of both world wars, vintage aviation, film studies, literature and Dutch art.

Bibliographic information