At the start of World War II civilian pilots were recruited and the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) was formed. Initially only male pilots were recruited but within a few months this was expanded to include women who were qualified civilian pilots.
Molly Rose joined the the ATA in 1942 and Joy Lofthouse joined in 1943, and in this interview they talk about how women ATA pilots achieved a notable first when they were awarded equal pay with men (to lose it after the war was over).
Molly and Joy also talk about how lucky they feel they were to have the chance to fly and seem almost embarrassed to been singled out for media attention in the last few years when everyone did what they could during WWII. They share their experiences of having no radio contact with the ground and relying on a compass and map reading to find the airfields they were delivering the aircraft to. They also talk affectionately about Hamble Airfield, nr Southampton, where they were based.
The interview was recorded on location at the Fly To The Past Airshow held at Oxford Airport in 2011. Post-production and editing was done at our audio-video studios in Southampton.
For more information visit the ATA Museum at White Waltham in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
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