Chapter One - The First Forty Two

The core of the male ATA in the early days of WWII came from those private fliers who had gained their Royal Aero Club Certificates during the 20s and 30s, although they were supplemented later by others including airline pilots and seconded RAF personnel. As Anthony Phelps describes it, in the early days, "Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and either had something very definite to do or very firmly did nothing."

It was all very informal. Later, it became an enormous organisation with strictly-enforced rules, but the first recruits were aviation pioneers, used to looking after themselves.

In February 1940, they introduced a numbering system (which would eventually reach 1,152) to identify each pilot, and assigned numbers retrospectively to those already there. As 'Brief Glory - the story of the ATA' records, on the 15 Feb 1940 they had 42 male pilots.

Here are those first 42 pilots, in the order they joined.

The First 23 joined on the 11th of September 1939:


11 Sep 1939 to Aug-41



Francis Delaforce 'Brad' Bradbrooke

 ata f d bradbrooke 1935 1935 (Flight)

ata francis bradbrooke2 

Brief Glory

 flag scotlandflag canada b. 14 Mar 1895, Worcestershire

Ed: Bletchley Grammar School, then Manitoba University

1914-16 3rd Canadian Mounted Rifles;

1916-1930 1st Lieut., Canadian Machine Gun Corps;

 prev. an aviation journalist, on the staff of 'The Aeroplane'; had flown about 110 types of aerplane

Seconded to RAF Ferry Command 20 Mar 1941


 B 24 Liberator RAF Bomber

d. 10 Aug 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Liberator AM261 crashed into Goat Fell mountain on Isle of Arran after t/o from Heathfield Ayr (22 killed - 5 crew and 17 travelling as passengers) 

8 of the victims were Canadian, 13 British, and one was an Australian. 3 of the victims were pilots: Capts. Ernest R. B. White (BOAC, ex-Imperial Airways), F. D. Bradbrooke, and G. E. Price, the latter being an Australian. Four radio operators - H. S. Green (BOAC), H. D. Rees, G. H. Powell, and A. A. Oliver from ATA - lost their lives.

Flight said: "Canada shares with Great Britain the loss of Capt. F. D. Bradbrooke, who, although born in Worcestershire, has spent many years in Canada, where he learned to fly in 1928. Several years ago he came to this country to join the staff of The Aeroplane, of which he became assistant editor. He left that post to become editor of a little journal called The Aero Pilot. On its formation he joined the Air Transport Auxiliary and ferried aircraft from factories to service units, and finally he joined Atfero. He was a very experienced pilot"

"To say only that aeronautical journalism had lost one of its most important figures in the Atfero accident would be very much understating the case. Capt. F. D. Bradbrooke was much more than an aeronautical journalist. He was one of those amateur pilots who had helped to make private flying in this country, and was, at the same time, an "amateur technician " of no mean importance. He had a finger in every pie remotely connected with his primary interest and hobby, and was by way of being a humorist in his own inimitable way.

"Brad" was one of the most enthusiastic persons anyone could possibly meet, and his enthusiasm was catching. As a member of the staff of The Aeroplane he was an unstinting supporter of everything which he felt to be a "good thing," and a somewhat vitriolic opponent of anything which he felt to be useless or silly. When, for instance, the tricycle undercarriage was considered merely as a peculiar kind of throwback, " Brad " was vigorous in his praise, and I was with him when he flew the first tricycle type to appear in this country. The machine in question was a " safety-first " type, and until "Brad" started to expatiate (with his usual lack of professional "tightness"), I had been interested only in the slots and things with which the machine was fitted. It was Bradbrooke, in fact, who helped to make this country "tricycle conscious."

And that was only one of the many ideas which he had sponsored. What was more important is that he was prepared to put his enthusiasm into vigorous practice. In the course of his investigations he would fly almost anything anywhere. And I must say that in his search for truth (of the aeronautical kind) he risked his neck in one or two very queer contraptions so that he could at least give the designer an absolutely fair opinion—in print or otherwise.

At the beginning of this war he was one of the founders of Air Transport Auxiliary, and here again his enthusiasm was terrific. Later, when the Atlantic ferrying business started, he was one of the first to volunteer for the work, and was thereafter - until he started on the work itself - to be seen, so to speak, with a sextant in one hand and a textbook on astronomical navigation in the other. At odd moments he would hoist the sextant to his eye and compute his position—though he knew perfectly well where he was.

When there is peace and civil flying returns we shall miss "Brad", a very great deal. All this war-flying was only for him an interlude preparatory to returning to his greatest interest - civil flying. The only kind of flying which is really worth anything in the long run. Yes, we shall certainly miss him."

A memorial service was held each year on the anniversary of the crash at Lamlash Cemetery, Island of Arran.

ATA's insurance policy paid out £5,000 to his widow Joan, and £2,000 each to the families of the 3 radio operators.


11 Sep 1939 - Nov-41



Francis Joseph Bush

 ata francis bush 


flag england b. 26 Apr 1904, Banbury Oxfordshire

A 'Manufacturer' in 1935, living in Watford

prev exp 507 hrs. Owned a 1928 DH Moth G-AAAA, then a 1931 DH Puss Moth G-ABLG (which he bought from Margaret Fairweather)

ATA Certificate of Commendation, 19 Dec 1940; "a competent pilot and a very good officer"


B 24 Liberator RAF Bomber

d. 23 Nov 41 (Killed in ATA Service) - Liberator AL562 engine caught fire and crashed into the sea south of Burrow Head, Wigtownshire, en route Prestwick to Hawarden.

2nd pilot, F/O EE Uhlich (USA) also killed.


11 Sep 1939 to Jun-41

First Officer


Ralph Douglas Cotton

 flag england b. 15 Feb 1908, Hendon

A Bank Clerk in 1927; RAF Flying Officer 1928-30

m. Emily Mary Rawstron in May 1938: "The many Bedford sportsmen who remember R. D. Cotton, the Old Modernian, will wish him well in his married life. Last week Mr. Cotton married Miss E. M. Rawstron, of St. Anne’s, Lancashire, at the Parish Church, Lytham St. Anne’s.

Ralph Douglas Cotton, who is a flying and physical training instructor, played Rugby football and cricket for the Bedford Modern School about twelve years ago, and was also prominent as an athlete. In the Public Schools Championships in 1926 he won the pole-vault challenge cup at nine feet, and four years later he polevaulted for England.

On leaving school Cotton’s prowess as a centre-threequarter was soon recognized by the Town Club. He played many fine games for the Blues and also for the East Midlands. On moving north he won a place in the Lancashire fifteen. He has also played for the Royal Air Force, and is at present a member of the Fylde R.U.F.C. He is a member of the Blackpool and Fylde Aero Club.

Mr. Cotton is the only son of the late Mr. J. B. Cotton, and of Mrs Cotton, 16 St. Leonard’s Road, Marton. His wife comes of a well-known St. Anne’s family, being the third daughter of Mr. Arthur Rawstron. Alpha House, St. Andrew’s South. Mr. and Mrs. Cotton will live at Old Farm House, Little Poulton, Poulton-le-Fylde."

[Contract Terminated by ATA 7 Jun 1941 - Disciplinary Reasons]

Flying Instructor in Egypt post-WWII 

Licensee of the Golden Cross Hotel, Marlbrook, near Bromsgrove in 1956

d. Jan 1986, Bedford


11 Sep 1939 to Jan-42



George Henry Lawrence Curtis

 ata george curtis 1932 


 flag england b. 13 Apr 1903, London

A 'Wiper Merchant' in 1932

prev exp 440 hrs

Ferry Records Officer from Feb-41

Resigned 7 Jan 1942

d. Sep 1982, Southend


11 Sep 1939 to Nov-41



Frederick 'Joe' Ellam Jnr

 ata frederick ellam 1917 


 flag england b. 15 Aug 1895, Bexley

RFC (17th London Regiment) and RAF Reserve 1914 to 1933

prev Director of Ellams Duplicator Co.

Transferred to MAP, November 1941

d. Sep 1973, Eastbourne


Douglas Keith Fairweather

11 Sep 1939 [* 11 Jun 1940 as pilot]

to Apr-44

Flight Captain

 ata douglas fairweather 1928 


 flag scotland b. 25 Oct 1890, Glasgow (Mother Margaret, née Eureka)

Educated in Glasgow and Berlin; FCIPA, MIESS.

Chief Petty Officer in the RNVR, 1915-19

prev. Assistant Air Attache in the Hague

A Chartered Patent Agent - Cruikshank and Fairweather, 86, St Vincent St, Glasgow, with offices in London and Manchester.

prev exp. 1456 hrs. Owned Leopard Moth G-ACXH


* When Douglas took his test at CFS Upavon on 25 September 1939, he was graded 'D' [Douglas was rather overweight ...] and therefore 'unsuitable for ferry work'. His contract with ATA was therefore cancelled on the 1st November, and it took them until the following June to set up their Air Movements Flight and re-start his ATA career as its first C.O..

Douglas wrote to the ATA on 3 Jun 1940: "I think I am due you a line to thank you for keeping the Chester job open until Thursday on my account. The job which you offered is not only tempting but would prove to be more pleasurable than any other now in sight, particularly in view of the possibility that I might not be grounded completely.

If the worst happens, I propose to train down to about 15 stone, so as to fit the RAF harness and go back to try my luck with Squadron Ldr. Cox at Upavaon. I have only to drop a pound a day to be ready for Cox in August, or for the Derby in 1945."


He was off sick for 4 months in 1941 and had to have an orchidectomy; when he was recovering, Gerard d'Erlanger (Head of ATA) wrote to him: "It ws nice to hear from you and I am glad that the surgeon is satisfied with your progress. Perhaps he has made a new man of you which will be cause for rejoicing all round".

Took command of 4b Ferry Pool, Prestwick, from November 1941 to August 1942.

"An excellent pilot and a most hard working officer who has never spared himself in the slightest. He has served me with absolute loyalty. He hs a strong, somewhat excitable, character and a good heart. He has great influence, particularly with the American pilots whom he handles well. He is quite unorthodox and generally seems to get his results in a somewhat disorderly manner."

Not everyone appreciated Douglas' sense of humour; his C.O. MWS Boucher reported on 19 May 1942: "I have today reprimanded Capt Fairweather for 'conduct prejudicial to the interests of the ATA' despite his good qualities... I have been influenced by numerous instances of petty indiscipline which although small in themselves cannot be permitted to accumulate unchecked by official censure. I have handed to Capt Fairweather a list of his typical shortcomings and discussed the matter with him in detail."

janes anson

d. 3 Apr 1944 (Killed in ATA Service) - Anson N4895 lost in Irish Sea on ambulance flight White Waltham to Prestwick to pick up patient (with Nurse Kershaw). His body was washed up on the west coast of Scotland on the 22nd April.

"I was most distressed to learn that Douglas Fairweather was missing... He was such a great personality that his loss will seem a personal tragedy to many - as it does to me. I will of course write to his wife [Margie Fairweather who herself died a few weeks later]. How sad that he never saw the long awaited baby. My sincerest sympathy in the loss of such an old associate, such a fine pilot, and such a lovable character." Jack Keeling.

11 Sep 1939 to Aug-40

First Officer


Herbert Roy Fields

 ata herbert fields 


ata herbert fields 2 1936

 flag england b. 26 Jul 1901, Hull

a Garage Proprietor in Hull in 1929;

a Company Director in Dunswell E Yorks in 1936


miles master bw

d. 4 Aug 1940 (Killed in ATA Service) - Miles Master flew into hill in fog and crashed at Burnhead Tweedsmuir Peebles


11 Sep 1939 to Nov-41

Junior Captain


Walter Leslie 'Wal' Handley

 ata walter handley


ata walter handley 2 


 flag england b. 5 Apr 1902, Birmingham

 Well-known motorcycle racer pre-WWII


d. 15 Nov 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Airacobra AH598 caught fire in the air shortly after take-off from 12 M.U. and crashed nr Fingland, Cumbria.

"Major fire occurred in engine. A/C stalled and crashed. Cause of fire cannot be established but two possibilities:

1. Engine was over-boosted and over-revved on takeoff

2. A/C may have been run up with mixture control in full rich."


'Gen' Genovese was of the opinion that Wal's accident in the Airacobra was due to the fact that American aircraft would allow the pilot to over-rev and over-boost the engine, unlike British-built aircraft which restricted the power to what the engine could take. 


11 Sep 1939 to Oct-45

Flight Captain


Guy Wilfrid 'Bill' Harben MBE

 ata guy harben 


 ata bill harben

 flag england b. 17 Jul 1906, Richmond, Yorks

Attended Charterhouse; FRGS

prev. Director of a greyhound track in Brighton;

Director of Marlow aerodrome;

Director of a tourist bureau.

A "most efficient and hard working pilot, with a keen sense of duty"

ata francis white whitehurst dlugazewski mollison harben feb 1942

Far right, with Frankie Francis, Frank White, Doc Whitehurst, Klemens Dlugaszewski, Jim Mollison in Feb-42.

On sick leave for 5 weeks in Mar-Apr 1941 after crashing a Hurricane in bad weather.

d. Sep 1982, Wycombe Bucks


11 Sep 1939 to Nov-45



Anthony 'Graham' Head

 ata graham head 1930


 susan slade ATA

with Susan Slade

 flag england b. 14 Sep 1909, Hove Sussex

prev pilot for Brooklands Aviation Ltd, and Flying Instructor in Civil Air Guard

In Jan-41 he was demoted to Second Officer for 6 months, for "Seriously unbecoming conduct at the Grosvenor Hotel, Chelsea, London", but by May they reported that "his discipline was poor but has improved greatly of late", and by 1944 he was "an excellent pilot with a most cheerful manner. His long term as a civilian instructor is of great value to Training Pool and he has proved himself fully capable of taking entire charge of the Pool."

Post-WWII, Marcus Hale's son tells me that "I knew him as a child, one of my father’s good flying mates. I often accompanied my father and Graham Head down to the local flying club at Sandown, Isle of Wight, and waited while they got plastered on G&T’s before going flying or flying through a fence, from laughing too much. The good old days.

Graham was somewhat of a genius with aeronautics and made tiny paper planes with paper and paper clips, which, in a windless room he could get to do all sorts of aeronautical manoeuvres before landing back in his hand. I remember him doing this at the Air Club, back at Seaview and later in Bognor Regis."

d. Sep 1980, Hove

11 Sep 1939 to Nov-45

Flight Captain


William Lovett 'Stewart' Keith-Jopp

 ata stewart keith jopp 

Brief Glory

 b. 29 Jul 1891

WWI pilot; he lost an arm and an eye.


d. Dec 1956, Cambridge


11 Sep 1939 to Sep-42

Flight Captain


Donald Ian Menzies Kennard

ata don kennard 1931 2

ata don kennard 1931 

1931 (Flight)

 flag scotland  b. 3 Apr 1895, Prestwick

prev. Scots Greys, Highland Light Infantry;

RFC then RAF 1914-1919, 1921-22 (retired due to ill health)

pre-WWII racing and professional pilot - about 7,000 hrs exp on light types


B 24 Liberator RAF Bomber

d. 15 Sep 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Liberator III FK217 swung on take off at Boscombe Down, hit a hangar and caught fire. Flt-Eng FH Moseley also killed; 2 other aircraft damaged.

Tony Phelps (q.v.), who was due to fly in the Liberator, wrote about it later: "Not Ken. It just couldn't be Ken. One of the Grand Old Men of flying. A founder member of the ATA and one of the best pilots who ever lived."

His ashes were scattered off the coast of Scotland on 22 Sep 1942.


11 Sep 1939 to Nov-45



Leonard Marshall Leaver OBE

 ata leonard leaver 1929 


 flag england b. 5 Feb 1903, Weston-super-mare

An 'Automobile Engineer' in 1929

"A very steady pilot and a great asset to any ferry pool"

Officer Commanding No 2 FPP from November 1941, and ran it in "an extremely satisfactory manner".

d. Dec 1974, London


11 Sep 1939 to Nov-42

Flight Captain


Walter Mason

 ata walter mason 1934


ata walter mason 


 flag england  b. 18 May 1892, Bury St Edmunds

1918-25 Military Accounts Dept, Puna, India

Director of Mason & Co, Military Bootmakers, Catterick Army Camp Yorks

w mason and co bootmakers

(click to enlarge)

A "careful and conscientious, but rather nervous pilot"


typhoon 1b

d. 21 Nov 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Typhoon Ib DN251 crashed at Banbury Farm,  1.5 miles SW of Burwarton, Shropshire in bad visibility

This was his first accident, having safely delivered 482 aircraft.


11 Sep 1939 to Apr-41

First Officer


Carill Stanley Napier

ata carill napier 1929 


ata carill napier


 flag england b. 29 Apr 1907, London

6ft 1½in. Educated at Radley, 1921-29

Learnt to fly at Stag Lane, 1928

Apprenticed to Petters Ltd, Yeovil 1928-29, then Ricardo, Shoreham 1929-30

Son of the famous engine-maker Montague.

Competed in the King's Cup in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1937

"His one recreation apart from flying is the commendable indoor sport of darts. Believes that air-racing is good fun only when taken not too seriously.''

Technical Director and engine test pilot to Cirrus Hermes Engineering Co., and then from 1937 Chief Engineer (Engines) for Blackburn Aircraft Ltd.

prev exp 1600hrs. Owned 1931 Avro Avian G-ABIB


blenheim hendon

d. 29 Apr 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - on 3 Jan 1941, his Blenheim L1100 swung on takeoff from West Raynham and hit a hangar. Investigation showed that Carill had neglected to tighten the throttle friction nut, which was a contributory factor.

He was taken to Kings Lynn Hospital suffering from spinal, ankle and head injuries, then transferred to RAF Halton on the 8th February but died there from sepsis which led to heart failure.

Fellow pre-WWII air racer Peter Richards said "He was always cheery and a first class companion. If I had any technical troubles he would take endless trouble to help me out."


11 Sep 1939 to Dec-40

First Officer


Leopold Frank 'Leo' Partridge

 ata leo partridge 1931


flag england  b. 14 Jun 1901, London

ed. Aldenham then Cambridge

An antiquarian / art dealer in London

prev exp 501hrs. Owned 1930 DH Moth G-ABBO, and "a Fairchild".

ATA Contract terminated 1 Dec 1940; thereafter Leo continued as "Liaison Officer to ATA, without contract."

He ws later (1944) fined £75 plus 10 guineas costs, for "wilfully obstructing PC William Davey in the securing of public safety", after refusing to move back from an area being cleared of bombs. He said "My name is Partridge, and I will not move for you or anybody else"; he had, apparently, been drinking, but "was not drunk".

When told he would be arrested he said "I am a ferry pilot. I am not going for you trash". The judge was not impressed, telling him "You behaved extraordinarily bady. The difficulty is whether I am justified in keeping you out of prison. At times when there has ben a raid, it is a very bad thing for a well-to-do man like yourself to behave in the outrageous way you did".

 The family firm founded by Leo's father still exists:

see http://www.frankpartridge.co.uk/about-frank-partridge/

11 Sep 1939 to Mar-41



Percy Randall

 ata percy randall 1933


flag england b. 26 May 1900, Englefield Green

A 'Garage Proprietor' in 1933


 Hurricane II

d. 17 Mar 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Hurricane I Z7010 flew into high ground at Bledlow, Bucks in bad visibility.


11 Sep 1939 to Sep-42

Robert Hugh Malcolm Sandeman


 ata robert sandeman


 flag england b. 18 Jun 1908, Leicester

Educated at Malvern, and Chillon College Switzerland

A Stockbroker in 1937

Left ATA in September 1942 and transferred to RAF Ferry Command.



d. 12 Nov 1942 flying Catalina FP209 (coded S) of 117 Sqn from Dorval which crashed in the Strait of Canso.

Commemorated at Runnymede:

 11 Sep 1939 to Oct-40

First Officer

Harold Anthony Taylor

ata harold taylor 1929 1929

flag england b. 22 Nov 1904, London

A journalist in Coventry in 1929

d. Feb 1985, London


11 Sep 1939 to Sep-45

Flight Captain

Alfred Watson Vincent

ata alfred vincent 1937 1937

flag england b. 1 Sep 1908, Beverley, Yorks

A Ground Engineer in Brough in 1937

King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air

d. Apr 1996, Hull


11 Sep 1939 to Dec-40

First Officer


James Christian Victor Kiero Watson

 ata jcvk watson 1928 1928

 flag england b. 7 Apr 1904, Fleet, Hants

Address in 1939: 11 Boyne Hill Ave, Maidenhead

prev. Engineer, Straight Corporation

Lieutenant-Commander in the RNVR

Ferry Pool: Hucknall

[Contract Terminated by ATA 30 Jun 1940 - Disciplinary Reasons] but re-instated


d. 2 Jan 1944, in Oxford MP299 from HMS Godwit (the naval air station at Hinstock, Shropshire) which spun into the ground at The Wrekin.


11 Sep 1939 to Aug-44



Frank Ashton White

ata frank white 1933 


flag england b. 22 May 1909, Newton Abbott, S. Devon

Airline pilot at Bristol Airport in 1933

prev. exp. 350hrs

Ferry Pools: 1, 4, 4a, 6, 14

Jan-43, from O.C. No 1 F.P.: "This pilot is a most valuable member of the Pool, who has performed all his duties - flying and administrative - with very great distinction. I have nothing but praise for him, and can recommend that he be considered for promotion if a suitable opening be forthcoming. I am at a loss to understand why he did not succeed when he was O.C. No 4 F.P. Such shortcomings as he exhibited at Prestwick seem to have been completely overcome."

spitfire lfix

d. 7 Aug 1944 (Killed in ATA Service) - Spitfire LFIX MJ413 stalled after take off and dived into ground at Ratcliffe.

"It is considered that the pilot took off in a hurried manner, started a steep climbing turn immediately after becoming airborne, and whilst in a vertical bank the aircraft stalled and crashed."


11 Sep 1939 to Sep-45



Samuel 'Bert' Yardley OBE

 ata samuel yardley 1935


flag england b. 6 Mar 1902, Birmingham

a Hotel Manager in Birmingham in 1935

 d. 1949, Kidderminster

The next 11 joined before the end of September 1939:


20 Sep 1939 to Apr-43 (as pilot)

Flight Captain


Edwin Percy Lane

ata edwin lane 1928


ata edwin lane


flag england b. 17 Oct 1904, Olton, Birmingham

prev. an electrical engineer

ATA Pilot Contract terminated 21 May 1943 - after an accident in Feb 1942, ("a great loss to us") he became Officer in Charge, Squires Gate and finally Adjutant, No 1 FPP

d. Sep 1972, Solihull

20 Sep 1939 to May-40


Roderick Ayscough Fraser Farquharson

 ata roderick farquharson 1929

 flag UK b. 26 Aug 1908, Peradeniya, Ceylon

A descendant of Henry VII.

A Tea Planter

m. 1936 to Joan Staveley [Boumphrey], 2 children (Gail b. 1946 and Gordon b. 1949)

Left the ATA to join the RAF - Pilot Officer from 6 May 1940, Flying Officer from 6 May 1941.

AFC in January 1944 (when he was a Flt-Lt with No 46 Maintenance Unit, RAFVR)

A Squadron Leader by 1946, when he and J.P. Obeysekara both flew Austers from the UK to Ceylon.

Emigrated to Rhodesia in 1958

d. 25 Oct 1984 - Hillcrest, Natal, South Africa


20 Sep 1939 to Nov-45

Flight Captain


William Hampton MBE

 ata william hampton 1933


flag england b. 9 Apr 1909, London

Chauffeur-Mechanic in Fulham in 1933

d. 1968?


20 Sep 1939 to Dec-45

Senior Commander


Philip Aubrey Wills CBE



mini - philip wills2


flag england b. 26 May 1907, London

A 'Warehouseman' in London in 1928

record-breaking glider pilot at Dunstable pre-WWII;

President of the British Gliding Association;

ATA Director of Operations Feb 1942 - Dec 45

d. 16 Jan 1978

21 Sep 1939 to May-40

First Officer


John Taverner Wilson Clark

ata john clark 1938


ata john clark


flag england b. 9 Apr 1910, London

 prev exp. 483 hrs

Instructor's Report (Nov 1939) says "has no outstanding faults and has flown the Harvard, Battle and Blenheim very satisfactorily. He should be capable of flying all types."


blackburn botha

d. 25 May 1940 (the second pilot killed in ATA Service) - took off in Blackburn Botha L6160 from Brough but, finding himself approaching two houses on high ground, banked steeply right and, in doing so, hit a stone boundary wall and crashed.

buried in Yeadon Cemetery

23 Sep 1939 to Jan-41

First Officer


Stanley Hobson Hardy

 ata stanley hardy 1938


flag england b. 20 Feb 1906, Atherstone

A 'Director' in Birmingham in 1938

d. Mar 1973, Poole


23 Sep 1939 to Nov-45



George Major Samuel Kemp MBE

 ata g s kemp 1929

'G S Kemp' in 1929 (Flight)

flag england b. 6 Oct 1901, East Greenwich

Address in 1939: 15 White Hall Parade, Cardiff

RAF 1919-28, Sgt Pilot

a Flying Instructor; Club Instructor at Newcastle, 1929

"An able and competent instructor but he should endeavour to use more tact and drive with the other instructors"

Grosvenor Trophy, 1929, 1949

d. Sep 1972, Cardiff

23 Sep 1939 to Nov-45


George Stanley Pine MBE

 ata george pine 1935


flag wales b. 20 Mar 1896, Porthcawl, S Wales

A garage proprietor in Newton, Porthcawl in 1935

d. Apr 1957, Blackpool

26 Sep 1939 to Aug-40

First Officer


Sydney Edward Cummings

ata sydney cummings


flag england b. 14 Dec 1903, London

Owned 1936 Foster Wikner Wicko GM1 G-AENU

prev exp. 161 hr solo

prev. a construction engineer


 curtiss hawk

d. 29 Aug 1940 (killed in ATA Service) - died from injuries received on 26th Aug; stalled when piloting Curtis Hawk AR666 which caught fire in the air.

27 Sep 1939 to Feb-41

 First Officer


Alliston Temple Clough Hazledine

 ata alliston hazledine 1939


flag england b. 14 Apr 1907, Bedford

RAF 1928-32

A 'Conservative Agent' in Tavistock in 1939

later a Lt-Cmdr, RNR

d. Jun 1978, Exeter


27 Sep 1939 to Jun-41

First Officer


Harry Sanders Robertson

 harry s robertson 1917

RFC, 1917

flag england b. 2 Nov 1895, Nottingham

prev. London Scottish 1914, Border Regiment & R.E. 1915

RFC and RAF 1916-1919. RAF Overseas (Flt-Lt) 1924-37

One of the original 16 pilots of Imperial Airways; in fact, he was the pilot on its very first service on 26th April, 1924, flying D.H.34 G-EBCX from London (Croydon) to Paris (le Bourget).

Resigned 30 Jun 1941

 d. 12 Oct 1950, Manchester

3 more in October/November 1939:

2 Oct 1939 to Mar-40

First Officer


Mogens Louis Bramson

 ata morgens bramson 1923


flag denmark b. 28 Jun 1895, Copenhagen

Flew with Major J.C. Savage's 'Sky Writers' at Hendon in the 1920s - borrowed an aeroplane to write a certain lady's name in the sky. She, of course, later became his wife.

And, would you believe it, he was in charge of the 'Scandinavian Sky-Writing Expedition' in 1923-24.

King's Cup in 1931

4 Oct 1939 to Nov-41

First Officer


Cyril Geoffrey Marmaduke Alington


ata cyril alington


flag england b. 19 Aug 1914, Richmond, London, the youngest of four brothers.

In 1933, a public schoolboy in Hythe, Kent; by 1936 a student at the de Havilland Technical School.

ATA Contract Terminated 4 Aug 1940; he then continued as a part-time pilot until 10 Nov 1941.

later, a test pilot for Fairey.

d. Aug 1987, Poole

Schlesinger Race in 1936

6 Nov 1939 to Nov-40



Eric Gerald Hayes

 eric hayes 1916

1916 (Flight)

ata eric hayes


flag england b. 11 Jan 1900, Hoolebank, Chester

RNAS, RAF 1916 to 1919 then Officer in Shropshire Yeomany to 1929.

Resident Ardoch, Braco, Perthshire in 1916

Owned a 1927 DH.60 Moth, G-EBQW, then a 1934 Stinson SR-5 Reliant, G-ACSV

Flight, June 23 1927: "Captain Eric Hayes has G-EBQW. He landed at Stag Lane one afternoon lately with his left arm in a sling, and he explained quite seriously that as he had dislocated his shoulder bone in a motorcycle accident, flying was now the only way he could get about the country."

 ATA Contract Terminated 25 Nov 1940

d. Mar 1959, Scilly Isles