Our speaker at our March 2022 meeting was Richard Poad, from Maidenhead Heritage Centre. He gave a very informative talk on the women and men involved with the Air Transport Auxiliary in WW2 entitled ‘Grandma Flew Spitfires’. We were surprised to find out the there were 2 air pool stations totally run by women (at Hamble and Cosford). Out of approximately 1255 flying staff there were only 168 women (ratio of 1:6). By September 1939 there were over 1000 men signed up for the ATA, but the first women were only signed up in January 1940.
It was not until 2008 that the ATA personnel were given a commemorative badge. They couldn’t be given a medal as they were civilians and not in the air force.
For more information, visit the Maidenhead Heritage Centre website or go straight to the Air Transport Auxiliary website.