Stories of the Air Transport Auxiliary

On the 82nd anniversary of their inauguration, Tara Leggett celebrates the invaluable work of the Air Transport Auxiliary’s 168 women pilots

Not many organisations embraced the involvement of women in warfare in World War Two, but the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) was one that did. A civilian organisation set up during the conflict, its role was to ferry new, repaired, and damaged military aircraft between various locations. These locations were primarily factories, maintenance units, airfields and active service squadrons.

Kathryn J Atwood, author of Women Heroes of World War II, wrote in 2011: “Most of the women [of the ATA] had one thing in common: they did not think of themselves as heroes. They followed their consciences, saw something that needed to be done, and they did it. And all of them helped win a war, even though many of them paid the ultimate price for their contribution.”

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