The Spitfire Women of WWII

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The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) was a British WWII civilian organisation that ferried new repaired and damaged military aircraft between UK factories, Maintenance Units, scrap yards, and active service squadrons and airfields (but not to aircraft carriers). They also flew service personnel on urgent duty from one place to another and performed air ambulance work. The organisation recruited pilots who were considered to be unsuitable for reasons of age or fitness for either the Royal Air Force or the Fleet Air Arm (therefore humorously referred to as 'Ancient and Tattered Airmen'), pilots from neutral countries and, notably, women pilots. In late 1939 Commander Pauline Gower MBE was given the task of organising the women's section of the ATA. There were 166 women pilots (one in eight of the entire service) who volunteered from Britain, the Commonwealth (Canada, New Zealand and South Africa), United States, the Netherlands, Poland and one from Chile. Fifteen lost their lives in the air including the British pioneer aviatrix Amy Johnson.

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  1. 23508192
    23508192 Apr 27, 2011

    Way to go ladies

  2. Ocker3
    Ocker3 Jul 15, 2011

    Wait, description says 166, but video says 168. Description says Commonwealth, but leaves out Australia, when one lady is proudly showing her Australia badge very early in the piece.

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