Modified 11:41



[unknown] to Apr-40



Douglas Stanley King


 flag england b. 1907, Battersea

"Captain King flew on several European routes for British Airways and in 1938 was a member of the aeroplane crew on each of Mr. Chamberlain's three flights to Germany."

G AFGP Electra

d. 22 Apr 1940 (Died in ATA Service) - Lockheed Electra G-AFKD crashed at Binn Uird, nr Loch Lomond


[Derek Eveleigh, whose wife Peggy later joined the ATA, was also killed in this crash.]


David Goodchild Biggart

22 Jan 1940 to Apr-42

Flight Captain

 ata david biggart 1936


flag england b. 13 Jun 1916, W Hartlepool, Co Durham

Learnt to fly in 1936 at the Witney and Oxford Aero Club

On the 8 Mar 1941, his C.O. wrote that he was amongst those pilots who "have been outstanding in the way they have worked, and the example they have set".

d. 1999, New Forest, Hants

22 Jan 1940 to Nov-45

Flight Captain


Asa Foster Lingard MBE

 ata asa lingard 1917


ata asa lingard 1937


flag england b. 20 Feb 1899, Bradford

Learnt to fly in 1917 at Bournemouth Aviation School (on a Caudron) while a Lieutenant in the RFC, then renewed his RAeC Licence in 1937 in Belfast

RAF post-WWI

MBE in 1943

His father (also Asa) was head of Lingard's Drapers in Bradford

d. 1 Jan 1971, New Forest, Hants


22 Jan 1940 to Feb-43

First Officer

John Stewart Leslie

flag scotland b. 8 Oct 1913, Edenside, Fifeshire

Ed. St Andrews College, then Madras College

prev. Flt-Lieut in RAF 1932-38, then Lieut in RN 1938-39

Ferry Pools: 4, 4a, 8, 14

Suspended for 2 days without pay in May-41 for 'continued unpunctuality'

"Very good pilot, inclined to be careless with money ... he reported to No 8 F.P. with his uniform in a disgraceful condition."


22 Jan 1940 to Mar-40

Howard Clive Mayers DSO, DFC and bar


 b. 9th January 1910 in Sydney.

Read engineering at Jesus College, Cambridge, but left when his father died, and formed Air Log Ltd in May 1932, making instruments for aircraft and ships. Commissioned into the RAF in WWII, initially as a test pilot and then with 601 (County of London) Squadron AAF at Tangmere during the Battle of Britain. Later posted to Egypt. At least 10 victories.

His 1942 DSO citation reads "Wing Cdr Mayers is an expert on bombing and machine-gun attacks and his tactical knowledge has contributed much to the success of long-range fighter operations. On two occasions in May this officer led a formation in attacks on aircraft bringing supplies to the enemy and destroyed many of them."

Killed in WWII: 20th July, 1942 when a Wing Commander 250 Sqn RAFVR; commemorated on the Alamein Memorial. Mayers radioed that he was having engine trouble and was making a forced landing in the Qattara Depression. His aircraft was found and, there being no trace of him, it was presumed that he had been captured. Mayers was not heard of again and may have been lost in a Ju52, which was shot down whilst ferrying PoW’s to Germany.

King's Cup in 1932, London-Newcastle race in 1932

see http://www.bbm.org.uk/Mayers.htm

1 Feb 1940 to Nov-40

Rupert Bellville

First Officer

 ata rupert bellville 1946


flag england b. 28 Dec 1904, Lubenham, Market Harborough, Leics. His family had made their fortune in the mustard trade.

Height: 6ft 4½ in. Fair hair, blue eyes.

In 1931, he was Venetia Montagu's (q.v.) personal pilot when they decided to tour Persia and Russia in her DH.60G Gipsy Moth G-ABFW. They left Heston on March 27th reached Budapest on April 1 made a forced landing at Nisch, Jugoslavia, but were able to fly to Constantinople on the 13th April. 20 days later on May 2nd, "when flying from Teheran to Moscow, their machine crashed near Sabzawar, Persia, and, although the machine was burnt, they were both unhurt.”

It only took her a couple of weeks to find another aeroplane, however; she purchased a ‘Moth‘ in Iraq, and left for Astrabad, on the Russian frontier, on May 16. They arrived in Moscow from Tashkent on June 1st, and left for Berlin on June 3rd.

In 1934, he was described as "a very well-known air pilot, of Papillon Hall, Market Harborough, Leicestershire".

He was fined £10, plus 3 guineas costs, in 1936 for persistently smoking on board the Imperial Airways airliner 'Heracles'. He said at the time "I shall smoke if I like, I have always done so". The Times reported that Mr Bellville had joined the Auxiliary Air Force in 1926 and had flown "all over the Continent and all over Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Persia, India, Siam and China". The court was thinking about letting him off with a warning, but were put off by what they described as his "defiant attitude".

In late August 1937, he got himself into the Spanish Civil War (on General Franco's side) and was briefly taken prisoner by the republicans. Apparently, he had (wrongly) heard that Santander had fallen to the nationalists, so he flew himself and the head of the Gonzales Byass sherry firm there, with "a few cases of sherry for the officers of the victorious troops". When they landed at the airport, he discovered his mistake and was taken prisoner and forced to fly to Gijon, while his passenger was held as a hostage. I don't know what happened to the aeroplane... or the sherry!

Rupert was released 10 Sep, 1937, prompting a question in the House of Commons as to "in what circumstances, on whose authority, and at what cost a British destroyer was dispatched" to rescue him.

He sold Papillon Court (11 bedrooms, billiard room and squash court, nursery suite, and 5 servants' bedrooms; in all, about 311 acres) the following year and thereafter gave his address as "White's Club, London."

His son Hercules was born in San Diego in 1939 (Rupert's then-wife was American).

 He resigned from the ATA on 19 Nov 1940.

He gave his profession in 1946 as (trust me) "a bullfighter".

He was declared bankrupt in 1955.

d. 23 Jul 1962, London

His obituary said "Rupert's death will leave a gap in many places. He had a host of friends in London, Paris, New York, Spain, and wherever else his wanderings took him and these friends were of all sections of the community.

Rupert's tragedy was that he was born in the wrong age. He would have been an ideal companion for d'Artagnan or would have been in his element helping Francis Drake to singe the King of Spain's beard. These things being denied to him in this material age, he nevertheless contrived to find adventure in every walk of life. He fought bulls in Spain and became a brilliant air pilot in the years before the war. He also took part in the Spanish Civil War. He loved to gamble and some of his happiest hours must have been spent at backgammon tables all over the world and at the bridge table.

There were times, perhaps, when the world became too much for him but his many friends will remember him for his cavalier qualities and his companionship. To paraphrase the words from which his great friend Ernest Hemingway took the title of a book, "... never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee".

His son Hercules, who became a famous film director and producer, died of lung cancer on 12 Feb 2009.


8 Apr 1940 to Nov-45



Stanley Thomas Lowe OBE

ata stanley lowe 1932


flag england b. 15 Mar 1911, London

prev. with Mac Fisheries Ltd

 "5ft 10ins, build: medium, eyes: hazel".

Father: William Thomas Lowe. Educated at Seaford College, Sussex.

A salesman in 1932, when 'Flight' said he was 'in the wholesale fish business' (in fact, he worked for Mac Fisheries Ltd).

For the 1938 King's Cup Race, (in which he came 9th out of 19), 'Flight' described him thus: "He has been a consistent competitor in air races, though last year - when he had the bad luck to retire at Glasgow in the eliminating contest - was his first King's Cup race. He won the 1937 Manx Air Derby. He lives at Twickenham, Middlesex, and plays golf and Rugby football."

  stanley lowe 1936 Flight

He also won the 1936 Portsmouth - Shoreham - Portsmouth race, averaging 126mph, in his Comper Swift (presumably the very lovely G-ABWE, although he later owned the Gipsy-engined [and therefore plug-ugly, imho] 'WW'):



He modified 'WW in 1938 to have a hinged racing windscreen and a fairing between the wing bracing struts, which are visible here. Them fairings must have made the visibility even worse...

He married Enid Eileen Thirlwell in 1939, and they had a daughter in 1943.

Stanley was very successful in the ATA, rising through the ranks to become a Commander by March 1945 and only leaving in November 1945, when the ATA ws disbanded. His recommendation for promotion in February 1945 reads like the appraisal I never got, praising his "excellent quality of leadership, occupational ability, punctuality, attendance, general conduct and discipline".

In over 5 years he flew 41 types of aeroplane, up to and including all 4-engine types, without any serious incident. His instructors reported him to be 'a competent pilot, obliging, efficient, considerate of his brother officers, and attentive of his duties'... 'recent operations to the Continent indicate his ability to command, organise and improvise. As a pilot he sets an excellent example"... (I could go on, but I think we can agree that he deserved his O.B.E., awarded in the New Years Honours List of 1946).

 d. 1993; wife Enid d. 2002.


8 Apr 1940 to 30 Nov 1945

First Officer


Philip James 'Jimmie' Grenside

 ata philip grenside 1935 1935

ata philip grenside JC ATA

flag england b. 6 Dec 1907, Paignton, Devon

ed. at 'Public School'

ata philip grenside and madge 1934

m. 1934 Ellen Marjorie 'Madge' [Watson, LRAM], the daughter of the bloke that designed the Royal Yacht 'Brittania'. Children: George b. 1934 d. 2002, Hazel b. 1937, Lois and Tulip b. 1940

prev. a Flying Instructor

Address in 1940: 'Vril', Ramsden Rd, Godalming, Surrey (Madge's house)


Postings: White Waltham, 6FPP, 1FPP, 2FPP, 1FPP

Off sick from 2 Feb to 1 Jul 1943 with a fractured ankle


After a slow start ("Not very confident in bad weather conditions. Not one of my hardest workers, suggest you keep an eye on him in this respect"), he made steady improvement and became "a sound and hardworking ferry pilot. He flies well and is unduly modest about his ability which is greater than he thinks."

He did confess he "hated the sight of aeroplanes" for a while, after an accident in June 1940.


d. 8 Jul 1961 - Godalming, Surrey


13 Apr 1940 to May-42

Roy Phillip Hallowell-Carew

First Officer

ata roy carew

ata roy carew2 ATA

flag england b. 27 Dec 1911, Kensington, London

[Contract Terminated by ATA - Disciplinary Reasons]

Died in a flying accident, 23 July 1942 when a Test Pilot for MAP


29 Apr 1940 to Jan-42

John Lloyd Bebb

Junior Captain

john bebb 1932


 flag wales b. 23 July 1901, Aberystwyth

 prev. Farming, Engineering and Aircraft Operator

prev exp. 700hrs

He owned:

G-AAHE, a 1929 Avro 594 Avian IV (which competed in the King's Cup, 1931);

G-ACFH, a 1933 Avro 640 Cadet, and G-ACPB, a 1934 Avro Cadet, which he offered to the ATA.

Commended by his C.O. in June 1941 - "outstanding ... always willing to start at any time of the day for any destination.  One of our best."

curtiss hawk

d. 30 Jan 1942 (Died in ATA Service) - Curtiss Mohawk AR671 stalled attempting forced landing at Pershore Aerodrome following engine failure.

buried Capel Madog.


29 Apr 1940 to Aug-45

Flight Captain

John Bayly MBE

 ata john bayly 1935

flag england b. 23 Feb 1911, Leominster

Ed. Winchester, then BA from New College Oxford

prev. Coldstream Guards 2nd Lieut. 1929-31

a Timber Merchant

Address in 1940: Amberde House, Taunton

prev. exp. 540 hrs. Owned 2 aircraft:

- G-ACRD, a 1934 BA Swallow 2, and

- G-AEUX, a 1937 Miles Whitney Straight.

Ferry Pools: 1, 2, 6, 7, 9 (also seconded to AFTS, Air Ministry and RAE Farnborough)

"An excellent ferry pilot, an admirable officer and a charming person. If his reactions to a situation are not always conventional, they are always sound and sensible."

Feb-45: "His qualities are such that he has been appointed acting second-in-command of No. 9 Ferry Pool".


1 May 1940 to May-41

First Officer

Michael Frederick(?) L Bruce-Porter

 ata michael porter 1938

Michael Porter, 1938

flag british india b. 15 Dec 1912 (15 Dec 1914 on RAeC Cert.), Bombay 

Address in 1940: 3 Ashburn Gardens, Gloucester Rd, London SW7.

Wife: Anne Hester Mary Layborne (nee Popham, m. 1939) lived at Carr House, Broxford, Hants, then later 22 Sefton Rd, Hook

prev. 2nd Lieut. RNVR Sep-39 to May-40

Ferry Pools: No. 3 

 [Contract Terminated by ATA - Disciplinary Reasons]

later m. 1954 Jean L Jorgensen, in Falmouth

Mysterious. It looks like this Michael Porter, born in Bombay in 1912 or 1914, changed his name to Bruce-Porter between 1938 and 1939. Anne Hester Bruce-Porter is listed as next of kin on his ATA form; her marriage in June 1939 was certainly to a Michael F L Bruce-Porter.

1 May 1940 to Oct-40

Luis Goncelvis Fontes

First Officer

ata luis fontes 1938


flag england b. 20 Dec 1912, London

Father Brazilian, mother English

Racing driver [1935 Le Mans winner] and sometime jailbird [spent 3 years in jail - convicted of manslaughter having killed a motorcyclist in a car accident whilst drunk]. Operated a speedboat firm in Torquay.


1935 Miles Hawk Speed Six G-ADGP G-ADGP Miles Hawk Speed Six Luis Fontes 3


1938 B A Eagle 2 G-AFKH G AFKH Tommy Rose 0129 0039

luis and ruth fontes

with his sister Ruth, King's Cup 1935

 janes wellington

d. 12 Oct 1940 (Died in ATA Service) - while circling to land at Llandow, his Wellington R1156 struck a telegraph pole in Llysworney during a second circuit and crashed into a bank.

Buried Mapledurham, Oxfordshire

King's Cup in 1935, 1938


12 May 1940 to Jul-43

First Officer


William Patrick D'Oyly Rochfort

 ata william rochfort 1938 1938

flag canada b. 4 Nov 1912, Victoria, BC

prev. Commercial Pilot

prev. exp. 625 hrs

Ferry Pools: 6, 16

"Has worked well, but entirely lacks any discipline."

d. Feb 1985 - Eastbourne, Sussex


14 May 1940 to 20 May 1943

Flight Captain


Donald Henry Arthur Golege-Steel


flag england b. 9 Nov 1909, London

m. 1933 Eloise [Edwards, divorced], 1939 Constance [Nye, 1 daughter b. 1940], 1965 Barboro [Norgaard or Lind]

prev. RAF 1929-32, [dismissed after a court martial], then a pilot for Birkett Air Services

prev exp. 3900 hrs


Postings: 1FPP

At first, "an excellent pilot, but not one to put himself to excessive discomfort in the execution of his duties.", but eventually "he performed the duties of Flight Captain with distinction and has show exemplary aptitude for the organisational side of the organisation. An influential and respected member of the pool."


Post-WWII, a pilot for Scandinavian Airlines; in 1948, in New York, he refused to take a load of (dead) deer; "No soap", he (allegedly) said, "They smell too bad. It would keep the passengers awake. Take them off."

rPittsburgh Post Gazette Mon Jan 5 1948

OK, this is the only photo I could find of him. That's him on the left, explaining the controls to Governer Youngdahl of Minnesota before flying them from New York to Copenhagen in 1948.


d. 21 Dec 1983 - Hurley, Maidenhead


17 May 1940 to Jun-45

Flight Captain

James Donald Greenhalgh

 ata james greenhalgh 1936

flag england b. 27 May 1913, Rochdale Lancs

prev. pilot with Birkett Air Services

prev. exp. 1053 hrs

Address in 1940: 9 Heather Bank, Higher Bebington, Wirral, Cheshire with wife Flora [later changed next-of-kin to his mother E.H. Greenhalgh]

Ferry Pools: No. 3

General Conduct "Good, with occasional minor lapses which are probably due to domestic difficulties." Leadership qualities: "Could do better if he tried harder."

"a good Flight Leader and his discipline has been excellent."

d. Apr 1996 - Honiton, Devon


22 May 1940 to Apr-43

Flight Captain

William Raymond Cary Wilkins


 flag wales b. 4 Apr 1905, Penarth

RAF Flying Officer 1927-32

"An efficient pilot and excellent officer"

[Resigned 15 Apr 1943, after sixth 'at fault' accident]

d. Jun 1994,  South Glamorgan


23 May 1940 to Jun-45

Harold Chater

First Officer

 ata harold chater 1931

flag england b. 4 Sep 1908, Eastbourne

A Pilot; owned 1932 Avro 504K G-ABVC (ex F8834), known affectionately as "Screaming Annie".

"Mr. Chater, who has become well known locally for the amount of spare time he has put in at the [Cinque Ports Flying] Club building up an Avro 504 from spare parts. He has fitted an equally aged Bristol 'Lucifer' engine." (Flight, 1933)

He advertised it for £225 in 1936, but it appears not to have found a buyer, and its registration was finally cancelled in 1945.

Chief Instructor at the Kent Flying Club in 1939.



Postings: 1FPP, 6FPP, 9FPP, 14FPP

"A pilot of above average ability and a capable instructor. He does, however, easily lose interest and he would do well to show greater keenness and enthusiasm." (T A Gale, Chief Flying Instructor, Jan-43)

May-43: "This pilot, although posted here with a somewhat moderate report has not shown any of the bad qualities he was reported to possess ... I find him a likeable individual."


Address in 1944: 1 Glynde Ave, Hampden Pk, Eastbourne

m. 1944 Susan Kathleen Speak Or Eastwood (an ATA driver at 6FPP)


He was still interested enough in aviation in 1965 to write to 'Flight': "My wartime ferry pilot [colleague] Tom Brooke-Smith said that flying a VTOL aircraft was like coming down a ladder for the first time. I saw the Hawker Siddeley P. 1127 at Farnborough last summer and decided that this sort of aviation was here to stay.

Having been a commercial pilot for 30 years I know that nothing annoys a customer more than unpunctuality at either end of the line. Whether you do 200 or 2,000 m.p.h. doesn't matter if he can't keep his appointment."


23 May 1940 to May-41

First Officer

Leonard Massie Cheer

flag scotland b. 20 May 1914, Aberdeen

Address in 1940: Thirlmere, 12 Greenway, Anlaby Pk, Hull

Postings: 1FPP, Prestwick

Suspended from all duties for two days in early May 1941 for "continued unpunctuality".

[Contract Terminated 25 May 1941 by ATA - Disciplinary Reasons]


d. 25 Sep 1942 when a Sub-Lieut., RNVR, in Fairey Fulmar II DR636, 795A Squadron Tanga, which force-landed on hilltop in darkness 45 miles south of Tannarive, Madagascar.


4 Jun 1940 to Jun-45


James Arnold Valerien 'Molotov' Watson OBE

ata james watson 1933 1933

ata James AV Watson ATA

flag england b. 22 Feb 1909, London

A Publicity Manager for Wakefield Oil (Castrol) in 1933

ATA Chief Test Pilot in 1945: "Captain Watson's work as Flying Technical Officer and subsequently Chief Test Pilot has been of the highest order. His enthusiasm for the job and continued cheerfulness have been an inspiration to all concerned."

d. 1994, Norwich


Douglas Keith Fairweather

11 Jun 1940 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

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 (Died 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.

ata white waltham pilots

Early days at White Waltham, Anson taxi pilots - Ronny Malcolm, Douglas Fairweather (M104), Jim Kempster and Harry Ellis (M139)

Brief Glory


27 May 1940 to Oct-42

Thomas William Brooke-Smith

First Officer

 ata thomas brooke smith 1935

flag england b.14 Aug 1918, Kirton, Lincs

prev. aircraft engineer

later a test pilot for Short and Harland

d. 1991, Poole


27 May 1940 to Nov-45



Oliver Eric 'Paddy' Armstrong


flag eire b. 19 Mar 1903, Dublin

prev. RAF Sgt Pilot 1919 to 1931

"Isle of Man Airways pilot before the war and later Officer Commanding the Belfast Ferry Pool; one of the best-known characters in the ATA - and in many a corner of his native Ireland." - BG


10 Jun 1940 to Apr-41

First Officer

Alexander Collinge

 ata alexander collinge 1931

flag england b. 2 Jun 1906, Oldham Lancs

A Secretary in 1931

In October 1933, he and his wife, and Mr. Gifford Hallam, made "a successful journey to Paris and return", and in 1934 he was a close runner-up to Alan Goodfellow in the Senior Landing Competition at Woodford.

Address in 1940: Flat 39, Parrawood Court, Didsbury, Manchester

Ferry Pools: No 1



2 Jul 1940 to Dec-45

Flight Captain


The Hon. George Edward Dutton


* King's Commendation for valuable service in the air

 ata george dutton 1929

A student in 1929

ata george dutton ATA

flag scotland b. 23 Sep 1912, Beauly

Charles' brother (see below)

Next of kin: Father, Lt-Col James Huntly Sherborne, 6th Baron Sherborne, Sherborne Park, Cheltenham, Glos.

Ed. at Stowe

prev. Foreign Office (Communications) Aug-39 to Jul-40

prev. exp. 250 hrs

Ferry Pools: 1, 2, 15

"A pilot of exceptional ability, and a successful Flight Captain, inasmuch as his high qualities as a pilot set a good example to others. His quiet disposition and lack of natural aptitude for leadership prevent him from being an outstanding Flight Captain as well as an outstanding pilot."

m. Joan Doreen East 1945;  Pauline Stewart Robinson 1959

d. 21 July 1981, Hereford


15 Jul 1940 to Mar-41

Robert Serge Loewenstein

First Officer

ata robert loewenstein


flag belgium b. 17 Jun 1910, Brussels

prev exp 350hrs. Owned a Stinson

A Company Director. Son of the famous financier.

Knew Leo Partridge and Rupert Bellville before joining the ATA.

Waived his ATA salary: "It is my opinion that everyone who is in a position to undertake war work without remuneration should do so. Therefore I suggest my salary be paid towards the start of a charity fund for the pilots [and dependents] of the ATA."

blenheim hendon

d. 29 Mar 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Blenheim V6263 stalled and crashed on undershot approach to White Waltham.

Leslie Arthur Phillips

18 Jul 1940 to Feb-41

First Officer

ata leslie phillips 1936


flag england b. 11 Dec 1900, Northampton

prev. a builder and estate developer

Spitfire IIA P7666

d. 9 Feb 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - misjudged landing approach to Stoke-on-Trent in Spitfire P7960, stalled and the starboard wingtip and tail hit the roof of a house.


22 Jul 1940 to Jan-44

Bernard Short

Flight Captain

 ata bernard short 1937


ata bernard short


flag england b. 1 Jul 1910, Hull

per exp 400hrs. Said he owned an Avro Avian. Sergeant pilot in the RAFVR from Dec-38 to Jul-40.

His flying in Nov-40 was considered so poor that, rather than training him to fly Class 3 and 4 aircraft as requested, they sent him back for a refresher on Clss 2 twins. He had three accidents in two months, and 11 in total - the last of these being fatal.

He was, however, always described as 'keen', and settled down a bit - in 1943, he was described as 'quiet, likeable and hard-working.'

Halifax Bomber 2 ExCC

d. 24 Jan 1944 (Died in ATA Service) - Halifax JP182 flew into Eel Crag 4 miles SW of Braithwaite, Cumbria, during a snowstorm. Flt. Eng. Arthur Bird also killed.


23 Jul 1940 to Nov-45

First Officer

Hon. Charles Dutton

 ata charles dutton 1933 1933

flag england b. 13 May 1911, Burford Oxon

George's brother (see above)

Physical Defects: No right arm [the result of a congenital defect, not amputation]

Next of kin: Father, Lt-Col James Huntly Sherborne, 6th Baron Sherborne, Sherborne Park, Cheltenham, Glos.

Ed. at Stowe

He worked in the Finance Department of the Hospital Savings Association, and was  a Temporary Assistant, Ministry of Economic Warfare, Apr-40 to Jun-40

Ferry Pools: 1, 9, 12

He got a Certificate of Commendation, in 1942: "On the 29th April, F/O C Dutton (a one-armed pilot) was ferrying a Spitfire from Lyneham to Biggin Hill. When he had got about a mile beyond Kenley he experienced complete engine failure due to a broken connecting rod. He succeeded in lowering his undercarriage and flaps and in landing his aircraft at Kenley (runway aerodrome) in a high wind without further damage."

"This officer has been flying consistently well and keenly ... a most likeable person whose discipline is good."

Lettice Curtis described him as 'a particularly English pilot'; "One day, in an honest effort to excuse something which American instructor Charles Smith had said or done, he said to all and sundry 'Remember he's just an American'."

m. Joan Molesworth Jenkinson, also an ATA pilot, in 1943:

 ata joan and charles dutton HB

Find her here: ATA Women

Despite his disability, Charles ferried 541 Spitfires, 14 Mustangs, 232 Typhoons, 4 Fireflies and 47 Tempests during his time with the ATA.

He duly became 7th Baron Sherborne in 1949, on the death of his father. He then farmed in Gloucestershire and was a member of Gloucestershire County Council for some years.

d. 25 Dec 1983


29 Jul 1940 to Dec-45

Flight Captain


Harry Alfred Ellis

 ata harry ellis 1934 1934

flag england b. 8 Dec 1908, Mitcham Surrey

Address in 1940: 214 Pullman Court, Streatham, S.W.2

prev exp. 300 hrs

A Commercial Traveller in 1934

Ferry Pools: 1, 14

" A first cass ferry pilot... albeit one who does not always take too kindly to regulations."

"He is still inclined to be somewhat controversial."

 d. May 1989 - Slough


1 Aug 1940 to Nov-43

First Officer

Homi Nandbhoy Chothia

 ata homi chotia ATA

flag british india b. 13 Oct 1914, Bombay

Address: 174 Court Lane, Dulwich, London SE21

prev. pilot with Western Airways (BOAC)

In 1934, when he was 19, Homi had been fined 40 shillings, and ordered to pay witnesses expenses of 32s, for driving a car without due care and attention; he tried to overtake a lorry near Bank Bridge. Tarleton, and "as a result an approaching coach had run against the bridge wall to avoid a collision."

Ferry Pools: 1, 2

Flight Captain from Feb-42 to Oct-43, when he was demoted to First Officer: "was party to a breach of Standing Orders C47 and C38"

"He has had difficulty in winning the confidence of pilots under him, which has impaired his efficiency as a Flight Captain. ... his record as a pilot has been exceptionally good."


d. Dec 1982  - Bromley, Kent


3 Aug 1940 to Oct-41

First Officer

Leonard Wright Cramer

flag usa b. 2 May 1906, Fulton NY

prev. a Commercial Pilot

Ferry Pools: 1FPP

20 Mar 1941 Seconded to Atfero


5 Aug 1940 to Nov-45

Flight Captain


Jose M Carreras

ata jose carreras

Brief Glory

flag spain b. 26 Aug 1906, Barcelona, Spain

Certificate of Commendation: "On the 22nd of April 1943, Flt-Capt Carreras was instructing on a Catalina aircraft. Through no fault of his own the aircraft crashed on to the sea and the crew were thrown into the water. F/O Gibbs lost an arm, and but for Flt-Capt Carreras's efforts would have lost his life. Flt-Capt Carreras also made the utmost efforts, but just failed, to save Flt-Engineer HFP Waldron from drowning, and helped other members of the crew to safety. He himself had experienced considerable shock and bruising."


7 Aug 1940 to 1 Dec 1940

First Officer


George Thomas Harris


flag usa b. 27 Dec 1906, Lawrence, Kansas

m. Margurite

prev. Kansas National Guard

Address in 1940: 714 N.N. St., Lawrence, Kansas (father)

[Contract Terminated 1 Dec 1940 - Transferred to RAF Ferry Command]

B 24 Liberator RAF Bomber

d. 10 Aug 1941 - Liberator AM261 crashed into Goat Fell mountain on Isle of Arran after take-off from Heathfield Ayr (22 killed - 5 crew and 17 travelling as passengers). Victims included F D Bradbrooke (q.v.)


8 Aug 1940 to 2 Mar 1942

First Officer


Sydney 'Syd' Gleave

 ata sydney gleave 1932 1932

flag england b. 31 Jan 1905, Boaley, Macclesfield

m. 1931 Dora [Clarke, divorced 1943], but gave his sister, Lucy Isobel Gleave, as next-of-kin in 1940

Ran his own motorcycle business: "Gleave Motors", and developed his own 'Syd Gleave Special' motorcycle. With this he competed in races from 1928-35.




Syd owned 1930 Avro 616 Sports Avian G-AAYU, which had flown in the 1930 King's Cup Race piloted by Jack Cantrill. He bought it in February 1936, flew it in the 1936 London to Isle of Man Race (coming fifth out of 20 starters) and the Manx Air Derby (coming 13th), but he wrote it off at Cheltenham later that year:


The wreckage of an aeroplane perched on top of a Cotswold hillside field to-day remained as evidence of the dramatic and almost miraculous escape of two airmen from death. The pilot, Mr. Sid Cleave, of Macclesfield, well-known T.T. rider and survivor of a remarkable racing crash a year ago, is today out and about, showing litte sign of the experience.

His passenger, Mr. Geoffrey Males Holt, of Manchester, is in Cheltenham General Hospital with a compound fracture of the right ankle and injuries to the head. 

Mr. Gleave last evening told the "Echo" his dramatic story of the crash during the fog which enveloped parts of the Cotsvvolds as he and his friend were flying from Bournemouth to Macclesfield. "The visibility was nil," he said, "and as we were flying down a valley a bank of clouds came down in front of us. Although we attempted to turn we went into it, and the wing tip hit the top of the hill."

Mr. Gleave has recently recovered from a terrible accident while riding in the T. T. last year. He was thrown when travelling at about 110 miles hour. He was hurtled along the road and finished up by crashing into wall. It was found that he had no fewer than 44 bone breakages."


Fleet Air Arm 1938-40

In 1939 he was one of two golfers who played five games of golf within 24 hours on courses in Scotland, Ireland, England, the Isle of Man and Wales, for a £100 bet.  He and professional golfer Ernest Smith flew 1,000 miles, walked thirty miles, and "went hungry". They started at 3.30 a m., by the light of road lamps, at Prestwick, Ayr, and then flew to games in Newtonwards, Ulster; Castletown, Isle of Man; Blackpool, and Hawarden, North Wales. "A condition of the wager was that Smith should average under eighty over the five courses. He won with an average of seventy two."

Address in 1940: 388 Buxton Rd, Macclesfield


Postings: White Waltham, Ratcliffe, Ringway

 [Contract Terminated 2 Mar 1942] "in order that you may undertake the post of Test Pilot with AV Roe & Co. Ltd."

 syydney greave in a lancaster

As 2nd pilot in a Lancaster with Bill Thorn and Roy Chadwick in 1942 (Flight)

d. 11 Sep 1944 in Lancaster III PB579; one of every 10th aircraft that was checked to its terminal velocity dive speed of 375mph to verify control effectiveness and ease of recovery. During the dive the fuel jettison pipes tore off, hit the tailplane and stripped the elevator skin. The aircraft dived vertically into the ground at Alderley Edge, three miles south of Woodford. This was the only fatal accident involving a Lancaster out of the 3,958 tested at Woodford.

"To assist in the identification of two men who lost their lives in an aeroplane crash near a Midlands town on September 11th, pieces of clothing, a tie and a pen-knife, were produced at the inquest at Wilmslow (Cheshire) to-day. The men were identified as Sydney Gleave, 39, test pilot for Messrs. A. V. Roe and Co., Ltd., and a former racing motor cyclist, and Harry Lewis Barnes, 41, a flight engineer, of Wilmslow.

Charles Stewart Riseley, member of the Observer Corps, who plotted the plane, said it was flying about for half an hour, and the first indication he had of anything being abnormal was when he saw it in a power dive. It came out of the sun with engines running, and dived almost vertically at a speed of between 500 and 600 miles an hour."


Sydney, his parents, and 3 of his 4 sisters are commemorated together



14 Aug 1940 to Apr-41

John Kenneth Bodinnar

First Officer

ata john bodinnar


ata john bodinnar 2


flag england b. 9 Jan 1906, Bristol

prev. "various, including fruit growing and engineering"

janes hurricane

d. 3 Apr 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Hurricane Z3166 flew into ground at Tarleton, Lancs, in poor visibility


17 Aug 1940 to Aug-41

First Officer


Philip Francis Lee, Jr

 ata philip lee 

ata philip lee 2 ATA

flag usa b. 14 Dec 1905, Baltimore, MD

Learnt to fly in 1928, then was an airline pilot, circus joy-ride pilot and instructor.

prev. exp. 1,150hrs

Address in 1940: Dayton, OH


Postings: 3FPP, 6FPP

Seconded to Atfero 20 Mar 1941

He was offered an extension to his 1-yr contract, but declined: "It is purely a matter of finances as I have enjoyed working for your organisation."

B 24 Liberator RAF Bomber

d. 14 Aug 1941 (Diedin ATA Service) - one of four ATA pilots, travelling as passengers, amongst the 22 killed in the crash of Liberator AM260. Others were Elbert Anding (M.316), Buster Trimble (M.112) and Martin Wetzel.

The cause of the crash was that "the pilot in command [Cpt Richard Charles Stafford of BOAC] started the take off procedure from runway 06 which was not suitable for the takeoff as it was too short for such aircraft."

 nell cole lee

Philip's widow Nell Cole Lee was also, like Mrs Anding, convinced that BOAC or Atfero was responsible by negligence for his death, and in fact threatened to sue them for damages. The situation was not cleared up until 1943, when the British Government agreed to provide her with an ex-gratia payment of $8,000, of which $2,000 was invested for her 2 children (Helen Cole Lee and Francis, who was born after Philip's death).

She then wrote, "May I offer you my sincere thanks and appreciation for the grant. While it is true that the death of my husband did not leave me in dire straits, it is also true that my children will not have all the advantages in life that they would have had had he lived."

The official ATA report summed it up in November 1944: "Thus, a case which had developed a very unpleasant atmosphere, and might well have left an unhealed focus of bitter anti-British sentiment, was concluded on an entirely satisfactory note."


19 Aug 1940 to Jul-45



Gerald Victor Cook OBE

 ata gerald cook 1935

flag england b. 14 Aug 1910, Alverstoke (Gosport) Hants

"The second son of the late A. W. Cook, C.I.E., I.C.S., of Calcutta, and Mrs. Cook, Willstead Lodge, Lee-on-Solent"

prev. exp. 325hrs

prev. RAFVR from 1935-7 (invalided out due to ill health)

and, a Tea Broker

O.C. No 7 Ferry Pool, Sherburn, from 22 July 1941

"He is exceptionally keen, hard-working and competent as a pilot, but there has been some risk that he judges others by his own standards and drives his pilots too hard."

... although Brief Glory puts it rather differently: "But from the Pool Commander - who in most cases spent as much time in the air as his most junior pilot - downwards, everyone was happy."

d. Jun 1958  - Surrey


25 Aug 1940 to Aug-41

First Officer


Walter Lee 'Buster' Trimble

 ata buster trimble 

ata buster trimble 2 ATA

flag usa b. 9 Jun 1908, Ft Worth, TX

A commercial pilot since early 1929

prev. exp. 3,000 hrs

Address in 1940: 506 W Central Ave, Fort Worth TX


"A pilot whose ability on twin-engined aircraft is well above the average."

B 24 Liberator RAF Bomber

d. 14 Aug 1941 (Diedin ATA Service) - one of four ATA pilots, travelling as passengers, amongst the 22 killed in the crash of Liberator AM260.

Others were Philip Lee (M.228), Elbert Anding (M.316) and Martin Wetzel.

The cause of the crash was that "the pilot in command [Cpt Richard Charles Stafford of BOAC] started the take off procedure from runway 06 which was not suitable for the takeoff as it was too short for such aircraft."


The ATA offered his mother an ex-gratia payment; she declined it at the time, but much later (in 1959), her circumstances having obviously changed, she did apply for a grant (and, I assume, receive it - his personnel file does not describe the outcome).



26 Aug 1940 to Dec-41

First Officer


Richard 'Dick' Fairey

 ata richard fairey 1935

flag england b. 21 Nov 1916, Iver Bucks

Son of Sir Charles Richard Fairey MBE, the aircraft designer and industrialist. He joined his father's firm in the jig and tool office in 1936, then transferred to the design office.

Educated at Harrow and Cambridge

Address in 1940: Sutherland Grange, Oakley Green, Windsor

Special Characteristics: "High blood pressure, must not fly high"

A "very good pilot, good worker" but he suffered ill-health for most of 1941: 4 Jan to 11 Jun, ischio-rectal abcess; 22 Jun to 5 Jul, multiple minor injuries, and 18 Sep to 25 Nov, injury to back and knee.

He resigned from the ATA in December 1941.

Shortly afterwards, on the 24 Jan 1942, on his way to the USA to visit his father, his ship (the Norwegian vessel Ringstad) was torpedoed and he spent six days in a open boat. As a result of frostbite and exposure, both his legs were amputated below the knee.

"At 15.25 hours on 24 Jan 1942 the Ringstad (Master Jacob K. Knudstad), straggling from convoy ON-55 due to several days of stormy weather, was hit on the starboard side in the foreship by one torpedo from U-333 about 85 miles southeast of Cape Race. All on board abandoned ship in three lifeboats and were questioned by the U-boat that surfaced after the ship sank after 20 minutes by the bow. The Germans offered water and food to the survivors and told them the direction of the nearest land before leaving the area after wishing them good luck.

The lifeboats were separated in the stormy and cold weather. Two lifeboats containing 27 crew members and three passengers were never seen again. Only the motor boat of the master that was completely covered in ice was spotted after five days by an aircraft that escorted a convoy and sent USS Swanson (DD 443) to rescue the master and eleven other survivors in it. The exhausted men were landed at Reykjavik on 5 February."

[In case you ever look up the Times' obituary, you will find that they mistakenly thought that Dick was torpedoed in 1941 on his way to join the Atlantic Ferry Organisation. However, Dick, as his personnel file confirms, was ill for most of 1941, and was not seconded to Atfero. The Times reporter may have thought that Dick was on the SS Nerissa, which was indeed torpedoed in 1941, but she was bringing American ATA pilots to Britain - 11 of the 13 pilots on board were killed. Dick also said in April 1942 that he had been on a Norwegian ship which was torpedoed.]

After WWII Richard rejoined Fairey and became a Director and later Vice-Chairman. He also became "an outstanding private pilot", and flew for the company all over the world.

He  was also a keen follower of powerboats; the 'Fairey Huntress' class of marine motor cruisers was his idea, apparently. He entered his Huntress in the 1960 Miami - Nassau race but this blew up and sank, the crew escaping unharmed. 

d. 27 Jul 1960 - Villa Benefiat, Cannes, "as a result of physical disabilities which followed injuries he received in the Second World War."

26 Aug 1940 to Nov-40

First Officer


Aage Valdemar Helstrup Laursen

ata aage laursen


flag denmark - > flag canada b. 23 Nov 1915, Copenhagen

(naturalised Canadian 1932)

previously (from Jul 1939) a Pilot Officer in the RAF. Before that, he had been involved in a flying accident whilst being carried as a passenger, and this "seemed to affect him when he had to be carried as a passenger or member of the crew". However, they said "I have no hesitation in recommending him as a pilot. He has more sense of responsibility than most pilots of his age".

janes airspeed oxford

d. 4 Nov 1940 (Died in ATA Service) - Oxford R6019 flew into hill at Brynford nr Holywell, Flintshire, in poor visibility

buried Hawarden, Cheshire


26 Aug 1940 to Aug-45

First Officer


William Anthony Artindale

ata william artindale 1935

flag england b. 21 May 1904, Sheffield

prev. a horticulturalist

[Contract Terminated, but re-engaged 3 Feb 1941]

d. 1991, Bournemouth


30 Aug 1940 to 29 Aug 1941

First Officer


Clarence Edward 'Speedy' Goza


flag usa b. 28 Mar 1910. Buda Texas

Ed. at Texas University, Mechanical Engineering

Next of kin in 1940: Mother, Mrs M. L. Roberts, Box 545 Rt 5, Houston, Texas

m. Mar 1941 Kathleen Irene [Bewshear] and lived at 418 Wells Rd, Bristol 4, UK


Sailed to the UK from Montreal with fellow pilots Alexander Chase, Clyde Gray (M.244), Robert Perlick, Philo Pringle, Albert Robbins, and Gilbert Tobin.

Postings: White Waltham, Whitchurch

"Good pilot, prefers single-engine types; not too progressive, but vastly improved."


After a couple of forced landings early on, he had a lucky escape in Jun-41 when his Blenheim, flying in bad weather, hit a tree.

Sailed back to Montreal with fellow pilots Hubert Timmermans, Gilbert Tobin, Irving Nelson and Lewis Hunter.

d. 1 Aug 1947 from burns he suffered in the crash of a crop-dusting aircraft near Spartanburg, S.C. His plane, belonging to Roberts Dusting Co. of Fort Pierce, Florida, stalled after take-off and crashed on the farm of William Mitchell where he was dusting cotton.

ata clarence goza grave

Inman Cemetery, Inman, Spartanburg County, South Carolina


30 Aug 1940 to 25 Jun 1941

[299 days]

First Officer


Clyde Erskine Gray


 flag usa b. 29 Dec 1907, St Louis MI

"Mr and Mrs H[arry] R[ichmond] Gray are receiving congratulations upon the arrival of a little son, born Dec. 29. The little fellow is the first grandchild in both families and has been names Clyde Erskine Gray after his paternal grandfather" - St Louis Post-Dispatch

The family moved to South Shore Drive, Chicago and in May 1908 it was reported that: "Mrs Clyde Erskine, Mrs Gray's mother, is visiting them."


Educated; Grammar School, Military School, Jr. College

Engaged to  Winifred Alaine [Stanz] in 1929 but may not have married (see below)

m. Elsie Mary [Green] Dec 1940 in Bristol

Address in 1941: Box 1001, Beverley Hills, California

Elsie's address: 11 Burnside Gardens, Prestwick

prev. an Aerial Photographer


Postings: 1FPP, 4FPP

Not sure why his contract was cut short after 299 days - his only accidents (the latter not his fault) were in November and December 1940. He sailed back to the USA on 26 April 1941, without Elsie.


d. Jan. 9, 1965 - Los Angeles County, California, USA

His son, Stephen Bennett Bishop,"known to his friends and family as Steve, died on April 17, 2014, after a short illness. He was born in Milwaukee, WI on February 26, 1931, to Winifred Alaine Stanz and Clyde Erskine Gray. He was adopted by Herbert Bennett Bishop at the age of three and was raised in the Los Angeles area for most of his childhood."


2 Sep 1940 to 20 Nov 1942

[809 days]

First Officer


Leslie Dickinson Hawthorn

 ata leslie hawthorn 1936 1936


jmh leslie 52 250

with son Mike, 1952

see https://www.mike-hawthorn.org.uk/images.php

flag england b. 30 Dec 1902, Mexborough, Yorks

Ed. Mexborough Secondary School

m. 1926 Winifred Mary [Symonds] [d. 1989],  son John b. 1929 d. 1959 **

prev. a Motor Engineer - T.T. [Tourist Trophy] Garage, Farnham

Address in 1940: 'Merridale', Rowledge, Farnham, Surrey

Owned a 1928 Avro Avian III G-EBWK until 1938: "PRIVATELY Owned Avro-Avian 2-seater, dual J. control. 12 months C. of A.; approximately 150 hours since rebuilt by Avro's; £150 or near offer.—Hawthorn, T.T. Garage, Farnham."


Postings: 1FPP, 6FPP

"A hard working pilot but is a nervous type and requires regular flying and good weather".

Contract Terminated 21 Nov 1942 - Disciplinary Reasons; "Work as a pilot was satisfactory but behaviour as an officer was poor. Continually giving trouble on establishment questions and considers his own opinion of greater force than official orders."


 d.  8 Jun 1954 - Godalming, Surrey "LESLIE HAWTHORN, father of Mike Hawthorn, the racing motorist, died in Haslemere Hospital last night from Injuries received in a crash at Hindhead, Surrey, on Monday night. He was driving to his home in Farnham when his car was Involved in a collision with another private car and turned over three times, Mr. Hawthorn received severe head injuries The driver of the other car was uninjured but a woman passenger in it was taken to hospital. Mr, Hawthorn was unconscious lor more than 12 hours before he died. His wife was his bedside throughout the day. Police confirmed that telegrams had been sent to Italy informing Mike Hawthorn of his father’s accident, but they did not know whether or not he had received them."


220px Mike Hawthorn

** from Wikipedia: "John Michael 'Mike' Hawthorn (10 April 1929 – 22 January 1959) was a British racing driver. He became the United Kingdom's first Formula One World Champion driver in 1958, whereupon he announced his retirement, having been profoundly affected by the death of his teammate and friend Peter Collins two months earlier in the 1958 German Grand Prix. Hawthorn also won the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, but was haunted by his involvement in the disastrous crash that marred the race. Hawthorn died in a road accident six months after retiring; he was suffering from a terminal illness at the time."


4 Sep 1940 to Sep-45

Flight Captain


Alexander Hartman Chase

flag usa b. 10 Nov 1908, Faribault, MN

Ferry Pools: 3, 4, 4b

He "cemented his union with this country by choosing a British wife and, being of a very modest and unobtrusive nature, arranged a Registry Office wedding without mentioning the matter to any of his friends.

As was to be expected, every pilot at his home station, Prestwick, was soon aware of the day, the place and the time, and, when the unfortunate couple left the Registrar they were met by a solid block of 40 pilots. After being carried out and suitably feted at a nearby hotel, the bridegroom was finally escorted from the scene in a wheelbarrow." BG

"An excellent officer in all respects."

d. June 1, 2000 in San Luis Obispo, CA

See http://grandcentralairterminal.org/people/chase_ah/index.php


16 Sep 1940 to 28 Apr 1945

 [1,685 days]


First Offficer

Geoffrey Hugh John


flag england b. 11 Aug 1912, Dudley

Father: Ivor Bertram John

Ed. Bristol University, [Zoology]

Prev. RAF Link Trainer Instructor at EFTS, P/O in RAF 151(F) Sqn, North Weald from May 37 to Jan 39 (Resigned)

m. 1938 Evelyn Mary [Congdon]

Address in 1940: 165 Markfield Lane, Ratby, nr. Leicester


Postings: 1FPP, 4, FPP, 14FPP, 6FPP, 8FPP, 3FPP, 10FPP

Jun 42: "This officer does the work that is given to him but doesn't show great keenness and is rather slow. His behaviour as an officer leaves something to be desired ... he is unlikely to suffer from overwork."

Nov 42: "His finances have been shaky but this trouble has been tackled firmly and an improvement should result."

May 44: "A keen hard working pilot who has shown good judgement and a high degree of adaptability."

Reprimanded and fined one day's pay for going AWOL, in early Dec 44


d. Sep 1982 - Chichester, West Sussex


16 Sep 1940 to Mar-43

Flight Captain


Llewellyn Oliver Moss MM

flag england b. 1 Feb 1895, Hollingbourn, Kent

Cavalry, Dorsetshire Yeomanry, RFC and RAF during WWI; RAF Overseas 1925-33 (Sgt and F/O).

prev exp 347 hrs

Resigned from ATA 18 Jan 1943

d. 9 May 1946, Berkshire - Flight says "It is with regret that we record the death on May 9th, in a test-flying accident, of Mr. Llewellyn Oliver Moss. Mr. Moss, who was 51 years of age, was chief production test pilot of the Gloster Aircraft Company.

After serving in the Dorsetshire Yeomanry in the first European war, he transferred to the R.F.C. and remained in the R.A.F. Reserve. At the outbreak of the second European war he was considered too old to fly with the R.A.F., and therefore joined the A.T.A. Later, he was in charge of the A.T.A. Brockworth pool, and, in view of his good work, was employed in 1942 by Glosters as production test pilot on the Typhoon contract. More recently Mr. Moss had been carrying out production tests on Meteors and had also helped with development work on this type."


19 Sep 1940 to Jun-41

First Officer


William Franklin Cummings


flag usa b. 22 Oct 1914, Lela, GA


Address in 1940: Donalsonville, Georgia


Contract Terminated by ATA 27 Jun 1941 - Disciplinary Reasons


He  took over the guardianship of his neice, Sidney Ethel Cummings, after the death of his brother Peter Sidney Cummings and his wife, and gave her away at her wedding in 1955.


23 Sep 1940 to Sep-41

First Officer


John William Jenkins


flag canada b. 13 Jn 1910, Toronto

son of Thomas Jenkins

Address in 1940: 59 Ashes Rd, Causeway Green, Langley, Birmingham

Moved to 106 Winona Dr, Toronto after leaving ATA


prev. a commercial pilot, then Volunteer pilot in Finnish Air Force, Feb - Mar 1940

prev. exp. 560hrs

"Has proved himself a most reliable, keen and hardworking pilot. Unfortunately, he became nervous and worried about his flying and is in need of an extended leave."


23 Sep 1940 to Jun-45

Air Gunner, then First Officer

Cyril Ernest Cutts

ata cyril cutts 1936

flag england b. 19 Apr 1910, London

prev. in Advertising

prev exp. 170 hrs

ATA Pilot from Feb-41: " A capable and intelligent pilot of above average ability."


25 Sep 1940 to Dec-43

First Officer

Robert Arthur Corrie

 ata robert corrie ATA

ata robert corrie BG BG

flag england b. 18 Sep 1905, Maidstone

"One-armed pilot and film actor" (Brief Glory)

prev. exp. 300hrs (pre-war he was restricted to single-engine types, but also flew twins in the ATA).

Ferry Pools: 1

"An excellent ferry pilot whose disability handicaps him surprisingly little.... inclined towards conceit, but this does not detract from his usefulness."


26 Sep 1940 to Aug-41

First Officer


Elbert Beard 'Tex' Anding

 ata elbert anding ATA

flag usa b. 11 Apr 1905, Rosebud, TX

Address in 1940: 2 Anding Ave, Merrick, Long Island New York

Joined the engineering staff of the Berliner-Joyce Aircraft Corp, Baltimore, in 1929

Operated the E.B. Anding Flying Service in Haiti; had also done crop dusting

prev. exp. 4,980 hrs


"A sound and intelligent pilot."

Seconded to Atlantic Ferry Organisation (Atfero), 20 Mar 1941

ata elbert anding danny dugan atfero

left, with Al Torrey (?Eaglerock) of Atfero

B 24 Liberator RAF Bomber

d. 14 Aug 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - one of four ATA pilots, travelling as passengers, amongst the 22 killed in the crash of Liberator AM260 when taking off from Ayr.

Others were Philip Lee (M.228), Buster Trimble (M.112) and Martin Wetzel.

The cause of the crash was that "the pilot in command [Cpt Richard Charles Stafford of BOAC] started the take off procedure from runway 06 which was not suitable for the takeoff as it was too short for such aircraft."


In October, his wife Jessie wrote bitterly to the ATA:

"Dear Sir,

I have in my possession a check for $1,005 as full settlement of my late husband's salary. I feel there has been a mistake in the amount, which I sincerely hope was not intended by the ATA.

Although it is to no avail to blame anyone for the accident I cannot help feeling that to a certain extent it was nothing more than 'manslaughter'. Capt. Stafford on two occasions at St Hubert airport in Montreal almost let his ships get away from him. Both occasions Capt. Anding was in the ships and I have heard my husband and other pilots discuss the fact that Capt. Stafford was not capable of flying the ships assigned to him. Of course "mere Americans" to even dare assume that an Englishman couldn't out-fly them would be something short of "treason".

and his brother-in-law added: "... in conversation with [Elbert] I learned there were only two things he was afraid of, Fire and Capt. Stafford - he met both."

Jessie had suffered financial hardship as a result of her husband's death (he had no insurance), but refused to cash the cheque for some months in protest at what she regarded as the shabby treatment handed out to her and the other families.

Eventually, on 16 July 1942, an ex-gratia payment of $4,000 was agreed for Jessie, with a further $4,000 in War Bonds in the name of their 9 year-old daughter Mary Anne.

Jessie wrote back to say she was " ... greatly pleased. Might I add that any sarcasm I have shown in past correspondence has not been towards any one individual but to all those who from lack of foresight failed to realize the value and ability of other mankind."


27 Sep 1940 to Feb-42

First Officer


James Evelyn Brian Duigan

 ata james duigan ATA

flag nz b. 5 May 1918, Auckland NZ

One of 3 sons of Sir John Evelyn Duigan, Chief of the General Staff of the New Zealand Military Forces from 1937 to 1941

Ed. NZ University (B.A. NZ), R.N. College

prev. Dept of Internal Affairs, NZ Gov't

Pilot Officer RNZAF then RAF Sep-38 to Sep-40

Ferry Pool: 1

He was blamed for a wheels-up forced landing in a Hurricane in Dec-40; "Pilot should not have taken off when he knew weather conditions were bad and is entirely responsible."

However, by 1942 his discipline had "improved beyond all knowledge, and he is a first class asset to the Pool."

[Contract Terminated by Mutual Consent]

d. 17 Jun 1945 on a delivery flight in Canada

buried Metis Beach (United Church) Cemetery, Quebec, Canada


1 Oct 1940 to May-45

Flight Captain


James Allan 'Jim' Mollison MBE

jim mollison 1934 1934

flag scotlandb. 19 Apr 1905, Glasgow

Educated at Glasgow and Edinburgh Academies.

RAF commission in 1923, transferred to reserve 1928, then a lifeguard and air-mail pilot in Australia.

Made many record flights:

  • Australia to England. July/Aug 1931. 8 days 19hrs 28min
  • England-Cape (first flight by West coast Route) Mar 1932 - 4 days 17hrs 5min
  • First solo Westward North Atlantic flight. August 1932
  • First solo westward south Atlantic flight, and first flight England-South America, February 1933
  • First flight England to USA (with Amy Johnson) July 1933
  • England to India (with Amy Johnson) October 1934. 22 hours
  • New York-Newfoundland-London (North Atlantic record crossing coast-to-coast 9 hours 20min) October 1936
  • England-Cape by eastern route, November 1936. 3 days 6hrs.

m. Amy Johnson, 1932 (divorced 1936)

 ata jim mollison wedding 1938

with second wife Phylis Hussey, 12 Nov 1938

One of the greatest solo pilots of the 1930s, but well past his glory days by the time he joined the ATA; through his constant drinking over the years, he had developed a very florid complexion, and in order to disguise it he had taken to powdering his face. When teased about this he said, "One must think of one's public, you know"

Hugh Bergel thought that he was "an infinitely nicer man than seemed possible after all the things that I had heard and read about him."

Despite his drinking, Jim completed over 1,000 delivery flights on 62 different aircraft types; he reckoned that, on a conservative estimate, he delivered not less than £15 million pounds worth of aircraft.


"...One cannot be young for long, and it has always been my practice to live for the moment."

d 30 October 1959 - Roehampton, from alcoholic epilepsy.


1 Oct 1940 to Mar-42

First Officer


Thomas Charles David ‘Tom’ Bray


 b. 22 Jul 1906, Sheffield, Tasmania

Next of kin: sister, Sylvia M Bray, 2 Paterson St, Launceston, Tasmania

Prev. exp. 420 hrs

Tom was one of a number of Australians who came over to fly for the Yorkshire Aeroplane Club, but when all civilian flying was stopped on the outbreak of WWII in October 1939, he applied to join the ATA.

They rejected him on the basis of his flight test, but then contacted him again the following July and asked if he would like to be reconsidered; he replied that, in the meantime, he had taken a job with the Rapide Flight of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, but would indeed like to re-apply.

His next flight test in August 1940 assessed him as: “A pilot of limited experience, who has ability and may prove adaptable to modern aircraft, of which he has no experience.”

Thomas then started with the ATA and worked well for about a year at Hawarden, but then resigned as the situation in the Far East deteriorated and he became worried about things at home.

However, his C.O. ‘Wal’ Handley wrote to the ATA to say: “I do not want to lose him, as he is a good pilot”, and they agreed to release Tom in the event of hostilities arising between Japan and Australia.

He withdrew his resignation, but died in an aircraft accident a few weeks later.

janes hampden 2

d. 18 Mar 1942 (Died in ATA Service) – his Hampden X3130 went missing after taking off from Kirkbride at about 15:00, heading for Thorney Island. He and 2nd Officer Nathaniel Berry (joined 1941) were presumed lost at noon the following day when no sign had been seen of them.

His body was eventually washed up on the shore at Southport, on the 8th June 1942. Cause of death could not be determined. He was buried at  Maidenhead Cemetery on the 13th:

 ata bray funeral 1     ata bray funeral 2

ata bray funeral 3

 ata bray funeral 4

As sometimes sadly happened, a final letter from home arrived after his death. It is dated 5 Feb 1942:

“Thursday morning thought I could pen you a few lines while I am waiting for my fruit and vegetable to come in.

Received money last Friday £24 18s 6d don’t know if that was right I haven’t had any letter to say how much you were sending. The last letter received from you was dated back to sometime in Aug and it arrived the first week in Dec. You said in that you would make arrangement and let me know later when and how much. Anyway thanks very much it arrived just in the nick of time. I ran myself a bit short last month paying £25 for wireless and I gave Stan £20, I had to pay £50 for vegetables for the Military for Feb. so you can guess I was just about on the rocks.

Well Tom the war gets closer every day. This is Monday the 9th and the paper says Japs are landing in Singapore. Mum seems to worry about it she is so helpless, and there all day on her own. She seems a lot better than she was last time I wrote, but said she felt crook this morning when she got out of bed.

Our petrol has been cut again so I don’t get out weekends at all, though we did run up to Mabel’s for a few hours yesterday. We have to black out the car lights and everything. What I can see we are going to have a cold black winter. The weather is terribly dry, and vegetables are very dear. But that is all the better for me, can always sell more when it is a good price.

Auntie A had a long letter from Bett. She is doing canteen work three days a week, and said she hadn’t heard any more of you but would write you in a few days. Edward is away a lot at night. Your letter must be hung up somewhere. I wonder if you are getting mine this is the third time since Xmas. We received greeting and it did your mother a lot of good.

Well Tom Rita, Dorothy and myself had a day at the Launceston Cup. Had quite a good day and it cost us 1 shilling for expenses, but it was a very poor meeting, no Melbourne horses, and very poor div’s. I wasn’t game to take my car, as they were checking up on all the cars registered for business, they are not allowed on pleasure trips, and for the first time I realised how hard it will be if I can’t get petrol.

Stan started on his new house this morning. He has two boys at work and they are going to school at night. So he should be alright now.

Business is going well so far, so I suppose I am lucky. There are quite a few shops closing up.

Well Tom it is time I did a bit of work. I have a boy and girl in the shop, they are only 14 years but they do a very good job.

That must be all for now so cheerio and heaps of love from Mum and Syl.”


2 Oct 1940 to 30 Jun 1942

[636 days]

Flight Captain


Philip Harvard Johnson

ata philip johnson 1933 1933

flag england b. 18 Sep 1907, Hessle, E Yorks

Ed. at Marlborough College. His father, Dr. Samuel Harvard Johnson, was the Medical Officer for Hessle, Hull. His mother was Ethel Ida [Booth] and he had an elder sister, Kathleen.

prev. a pilot for BOAC.

prev. exp. 4500 hrs (day), 500hrs (night) on "All Moths, Avian, Spartan Cruiser, DH84, 86, 89, Airspeed Envoy, HP42, and 'C' Class Flying Boat" in "France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Africa and the Far East".

Member of Hull Aero Club, and owned a 1930 Avro 616 Avian IVM G-AAVP:

G-AAVP Avro Avian

Single. Next of kin his mother, c/o Walney Hall, Southfield, Hessle


The Scotsman - Friday 2 Jun 1939:


Philip Harvard Johnson, an air pilot, at Perth, whose address was given as the Royal British Hotel, Perth, was fined £10 and had his driving licence suspended for twelve months when found guilty at Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday of driving a motor car in Dundee while under the influence of drink. 

No evidence was led for the defence. Sheriff-Substitute Malcolm, addressing Johnson, said his occupation and position made it more incumbent on him than on most people to refrain from drink."


Manchester Evening News - Thursday 8 February 1940


Described as an air pilot engaged on aerial black-out survey at the time of the offence, Philip Harvard Johnson, giving an address at the Woodcourt Hotel, Brooklands, was found guilty at the Manchester City Police Court of being under the influence of drink while driving a car and when disqualified. A third charge of driving dangerously was dismissed.

Mr T. A. Cunliffe, barrister, for the defence, said that at 11:20 p.m on February 18, a police war reserve officer saw a car driven by Johnson zig-zagging slowly towards London Road ; near Whitworth Street. The car reversed, mounted the foot-path and collided with a warehouse wall. When questioned about his licence, Johnson told the officer he had written to the Air Ministry and had got a letter to say that he was engaged on aerial duties which gave him special facilities.

Johnson said that on the night of the offence he had had ten whiskies and sodas between 7:30 and 11. This was his usual drink.

The Stipendiary Magistrate fined him £20 for driving a car while under the influence of drink, £5 for driving while he was disqualified, and banned him from driving for three years."



Address in 1940: 'Thornhill', Stamford Rd, Bowdon, Cheshire

Postings: White Waltham, Ringway

Seconded to Atfero, 20 Mar 1941


 m. Sep 1941 Joan [Hartley], son Timothy (later a Lt-Cmdr, RN) b. 1944


 d. Aug 1984 - St Austell, Cornwall


3 Oct 1940 to May-41

First Officer

Emmitt Eugene Beville

ata emmitt beville ATA

flag usa b. 10 May 1911, MO

Engaged in USA via MAP

Seconded to AtFero in Mar-41



7 Oct 1940 to 30 Apr 1945



Hugh Charles Bergel OBE


ata hugh bergel 1928

flag england b. 19 Nov 1905, London

Educated at Rugby School

m. Priscilla M Baumer, in 1930; 2 children before joining ATA

A "well known member of the gliding community" with his great friend Philip Wills (q.v.); in 1930 he received the Dent Cup ("in memory of Mr. David Dent, who did such good work for gliding in general"), for the year's outstanding performance, for his cross-country flight to Hornchurch, Essex, made with very little previous soaring experience.

Here he is in 1938 with Capt. Harold Balfour, the Under-Secretary of State for Air, in a Falcon III glider:

ata hugh bergel and harold balfour glider 1938 Flight

prev. an advertising copywriter with WS Crauford Ltd. From 1938, Sales and Advertising Manager for Desoutter.

Address in 1940: Stamford Brook House, London W.6


Postings: 1FPP, 16FPP, 6FPP, 4FPP, 4aFPP, 2FPP, 9FPP

'A keen and competent pilot, and an able and hardworking administrator.'

From 16 Jul 1942, ran No 9 FPP Aston Down 'in an eminently satisfactory manner'.

"He leaves ATA with an excellent record behind him." (Gerard d'Erlanger, O.C. ATA)


Wrote "Fly and Deliver - A Ferry Pilot's Log Book" (AirLife, 1982)

d. Jan 1986, London

[His elder brother Jack also joined the ATA in 1941, but died the same year in a flying accident]


8 Oct 1940 to 1 Feb-41

Francis Dean Carragher

First Officer

 ata francis carragher ATA

flag usa b. 19 Feb 1915, Greenville, Texas

prev. US Air Corps 1938-40

prev. exp. 645 hrs

curtiss hawk

d. 1 Feb 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - while performing unauthorised aerobatics at Ringway airport in Mohawk AR664 - engine failure led to a stall and spin into the ground.


12 Oct 1940 to Jul-42

Flight Captain

Donald Lee Annibal

flag usa b. 7 Nov 1915, Stroh, IN

A Commercial pilot - in June 1940 he made a 'perfect' forced landing on the riverbank of the Los Angeles River.

married, 1 child

Address in 1940: c/o his father Lee H Annibal, 2482 Tyler Ave, Detroit, MI


Ferry Pools: 2, 14

"An excellent pilot. Discipline above reproach."

d. 23 Feb 1943 when a member of Ferry Command

Commemorated at Runnymede:

M ---

16 Oct 1940 to Dec-41

David Aaron Marks

First Officer 

 ata david marks


flag england b. 31 Dec 1909, Holloway, London

 prev a Fruit Broker

Originally taken on as an Air Gunner, then trainee pilot from Mar 1941. 

Hudson 4

d. 26 Dec 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Hudson AE489 flew into ground at Stewarton, 15mi NE of Prestwick, in thick fog.

Pilot Lee Garlow also killed.


16 Oct 1940 to Aug-45

First Officer


Trevor Bertram Birkett

ata trevor birkett 1936 1936

flag england b. 13 Dec 1912, Southsea, Hants


Educated at Radley

Address in 1940: 12 High St, Portsmouth

prev. a Solicitor (Messrs Brutton Birkett & Walsh, 132 High St Portsmouth)


Ferry Pools: 4, 4a

His Feb-45 recommendation for promotion (he was briefly a Flight Captain) calls him "an officer who sets a very high standard of discipline ... during the past 12 months this officer has completed 364 hrs flying and has now flown all types of Class 5 aircraft, including Liberators.

He has spent 20 days on Accidents Investigation and I understand his work in this respect has been outstanding."


d. Jun 1983 - Portsmouth


18 Oct 1940 to 23 April 1943

First Officer


Robert Olyn Gragg


flag usa b. 18 Jun 1914, Montgomery Alabama

ed. University of Alabama '2 yrs Aeronautical Engineering'

4yrs aircraft maintenance work, 8 yrs private flying. 622hrs


Address in 1940: 702 Narman Bridge Rd, Montgomery, Alabama


Postings: 1FPP, 2FPP


His contract was terminated 17 Oct 1941 and he sailed to Montreal with fellow US airmen Donald Annibal, Roy Wimmer, George Wood, Robert Vinson, Claude Cole (all ATA) and Louis Brosmer; however, his contract was renewed 26 Jan 1942.

"An efficient and reliable pilot. V. keen. Discipline v. good both on and off duty."


Moved to Montreal, Canada, with his wife sometime before 1945.

Director of Flight Operations for Atlantic Southeast Airlines in 1972.


d. 21 Oct 2004 - Crossville, TN


18 Oct 1940 to 11 Nov 1944

[1,485 days]



Francis 'Frankie' Francis

 ata frankie francis 1929 1929

flag england b. 28 May 1906, London

Educated at Rugby and Sandhurst

m. , 2 children

prev. a Lieutenant in the Horse Guards, 1926-29, and a 'Director of Companies'

Address in 1940: The Pavilion, Datchet, Bucks

Next of Kin: Wife, c/o City Bank Farmers Trust, 22 William St, New York

Postings: 1FPP, 6FPP

On the 17th Feb 1944, he jumped out of a perfectly good Beaufort; "On encountering bad weather the pilot turned on a reciprocal course but lost sight of the ground. He then ran into severe icing conditions ... he climbed over the cloud, proceeded to the vicinity of Hawarden, and when an engine started to fail through lack of petrol, headed his aircraft out to sea and abandoned it by parachute."

"Unfortunately", as he later recounted in 'Brief Glory', "my baling out (a somewhat difficult operation) upset the trim of the aircraft, which proceeded to fly in circles round me as I descended, to my great embarrassment. However, it got on to the straight course and later plunged into the [Irish] sea as I had hoped."

Although he was held to blame for the incident, "the measures subsequently taken by the pilot showed commendable presence of mind."

Officer Commanding 1FPP from May-44

[Released by mutual consent]



19 Oct 1940 to Feb-41

First Officer

Howard Charles Alsop

flag UK -> flag usa (Naturalized 1916)

b. 21 Mar 1909, Manchester

Address in 1940: 41 Clifford St, Hartford, CT

prev. pilot; 3 yrs in 118 Observation Sqn, Connecticut NG, 4 yrs AAA Aerial Survey


Later joined Eastern Airlines

d. 1979


21 Oct 1940 to Oct-45 (Ground Duties from Apr-44)

First Officer


Dennis Gerald Brinjes

flag england b. 11 Feb 1918, Hornsey, London

prev. aircraft engineer

RAF 1939-40

Accidents Committee from Oct-44

d. 2011, Bideford


25 Oct 1940 to Apr-43

First Officer

Casey Thomas Boyd

flag usa b. 3 Aug 1911, Clayton, AL

US Navy pilot from 1930 to 1940

Ferry Pools: 2, 8

"Continues to be a most valuable member of this Pool, both as regards his flying qualities and his conduct."


28 Oct 1940 to Oct-41

Claude Porter Cole

flag usa b. 16 Oct 1903, Cumberland, Westchester Co., MS

" A good hard-working and reliable pilot"


1 Nov 1940 to Jun-45

First Officer


Reginald Wilfred Duckett

 ata reginald duckett 1937

flag england b. 30 Jun 1907, Porstmouth

Address in 1940: 25 Parkside Drive, Cheltenham Reach, Gloucester

prev. RAF Instructor, Estate Agent, Surveyor

Ferry Pools: 1, 2, 6, 14, 16

He had an exciting time in a Warwick in June 1943. The undercarriage failed to lock down due to an uncoupled pipe; he and the passengers reconnected the pipe and replaced the hydraulic fluid with "a mixture of ethanol and urine" and pumped the undercarriage down by hand. They were all commended for their efforts.

... and then 10 months later, in April 1944, the same problem occurred in a Barracuda - a hydraulic connection came adrift. This time, as there were no passengers with the necessary, he made a successful forced landing.

"A keen and willing worker who, after a slow beginning, reached average ability. A pilot who knows his own limitations and has no special faults."

Rejoined the RAF post-WWII; Pilot Officer in the Aircraft Control Branch from Nov 1950.

d. Jun 1976  - Hampshire

1 Nov 1940 to Jan-41

2nd Officer


Ivan Christian Randrup

 ata ivan randrup 1936


ata ivan randrup


flag denmark although b. 9 Jan 1915, Whitley Bay, Northumberland

prev. Chief Pilot of AllFlights Ltd, Heston from Mar 1939 - Jan 1940, then Chairman of Directors.

Jan-Feb 1940 Temp 2nd Officer for BOAC (left for reasons of ill health)

prev exp. 484 hrs (owned D.H. Moth G-ABJZ)

He was 'known to have previously had considerable income from his late father's estate in Denmark'.

Instructor's report says "This pilot is enthusiastic and rather temperamental. He is full of ideas, many of which are incorrect and he will need constant supervision ... but his flying in Class I [single-engine] is very satisfactory".

d. 29 Jan 1941, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, in the RAF Ambulance at Edzell Camp, Kincardineshire, while being moved to the operating theatre.


7 Nov 1940 to Aug-45



Ernest Bertie Cook

 ata ernest cook ATA

flag england b. 12 Jan 1915, Colchester

prev. RAF, Pilot Officer, Aug-1931 to Jun-40

prev. exp. 260hrs

Ferry Pools: 4, 4a

Deputy C.O. of 4FFP after Apr 1942

Off sick after a flying accident from 22 Apr to 1st Jul 1943

"An excellent officer, who handles all duties assigned to him in an excellent manner."


7 Nov 1940 to Sep-41

2nd Officer (demoted from First Officer)


Daniel Francis O'Mahony Leahy

ata daniel leahy 1939 1939

flag eire b. 19 Dec 1911, Castleknock, Eire

educated at Beaumont, Windsor and Trinity College Dublin.

RAF Jan-Oct 1936

prev. exp. 270hrs

Address in 1940: Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin


Postings: 2FPP

"This officer, since he has been in this pool, has improved as a worker. He has a very poor idea of discipline and needs very careful handling. " He also had 4 accidents, all of which were deemed to be his fault.

He was demoted to 2nd Officer on 1 Sep 1941 for "Carelessness in regard to secret documents", and then his contract was terminated on the 18th.


d. 16 Jan 1989 - Dublin


11 Nov 1940 to Jul-42

First Officer


Stefan Czyzewski

 ata stefan czyzewski


flag poland b. 11 Jun 1899, Szarpance, Poland

Sergeant Pilot in the Polish Air Force Sep-1918 to Jul-1921

A Mechanical Engineer, working for Avia in Warsaw from 1927.

prev. exp 1500 hrs on "about 70 different Polish, German, French, English and Italian types".

Had an unfortunate experience when he unknowingly hit and killed a labourer while taking off in a Wellington at Prestwick in December 1941; he subsequently took time off suffering from a 'lack of confidence'.

beaufighter 6

d. 21 Jul 1942 (Died in ATA Service) - Beaufighter X7764 flew into Glengavel Hill, 7 miles south of Strathaven, Lanarkshire, in bad visibility.


13 Nov 1940 to 12 Nov 1941

First Officer


William Eugene Gregg


flag usa b. 18 Feb 1915, Sunbury Ohio

Graduate of the Ryan School of Aeronautics; worked for Butler Airphotos (Aerial Survey).

prev. exp 1,000hrs


Address in 1940: 1651 Milford Ave, Columbus, Ohio


Postings: 2FPP

"Has done a good year's work. Efficient and keen pilot. Discipline good."


d. 1999


19 Nov 1940 to 30 Nov 1945



Thomas George Lamb Gale OBE


 ata thomas gale 1945 1945

 flag england b. 11 Nov 1910, Stoke Hammond, Bucks

Ed. at Berkhampstead School

RAF [originally an appentice at Cranwell, eventually Sqn Ldr] 1927-1940; winner of the Sir Charles Wakefield Scholarship in 1930; Indian General Service Medal

Married 1935 Helen [Cragg], 2 children

Address in 1940: The Cottage, Wicks Lane, Shurlock, nr Reading


Postings: 1FPP, 6FPP, AFTS

 Officer Commanding, ATA's Advanced Flying Training School (AFTS) from Aug-42

"The AFTS has given excellent results for which the credit goes to Cmdr Gale. As an individual, if he were to unbend occasionally, he might get even better results from his staff and pupils." G d'Erlanger


d. Dec 1956 - Colchester, Essex 


18 Nov 1940 to Sep-44

First Officer


Lionel Kay

 ata lionel kay

ata lionel kay 2 ATA

flag usa b. 28 Feb 1905, Salt Lake City, UT

Address in 1940: 10 Main St, Randolf, NY

prev. exp. over 10,000 hrs - Aviacion Faucet, Lima, Peru

His wife, Anita Peral Kay, was of 'Spanish extraction'.


Ferry Pools: 1, 4, 8, 14

Convicted for drunk driving in Sep-41


Off sick from 23 Jan 1943 to 16 Nov 1943, after he crashed in a Whitley VII after engine failure due to lack of of fuel. He was assessed as being to blame for the accident.


"A very experienced and reliable pilot. He has rather a blunt manner."


19 Nov 1940 to Dec-41

First Officer


Thomas William Rogers

ata thomas rogers


flag wales b. 7 Jan 1917, Blaencwm, Camarthenshire

prev. an amateur steeplechase jockey

RAF Sep-39 to Sep-40

prev exp. 168hrs on Airspeed Oxfords

On applying to the ATA, he got this splendid endorsement from his local vicar; "He comes from very fine stock and he has entered into his heritage with a sense of real responsibility... As his vicar, I can speak of a good and reliable parishioner; as a personal friend, I know his honesty and sincerity will commend him to others as his fine qualities have commended him to me. "

blackburn botha

d. 10 Dec 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Botha W5103 crashed at Blacklow Meadow, 2 miles NE of Glossop. His body wasn't discovered until 3 days later, buried in the mud beneath the burnt-out aircraft.


19 Nov 1940 to Dec-45

Flight Captain


George William Forster

flag england b. 26 Nov 1912, Deptford London

Address in 1940: 19 Ford View Rd, Stowmarket, Suffolk

prev. RAF Sgt Pilot May-31 to Jun-40, then Pilot Officer to 30 Sep 40

Ferry Pools: 1, 3

"Exceedingly keen as a pilot and takes his duties as a Flight Captain seriously."

d.  Apr 2002 - Greenwich, London


19 Nov 1940 to Oct-41

First Officer


Kenneth Meryl Seeds

ata kenneth seeds


flag usa b. 14 Oct 1910, Oklahoma City

prev a pilot instructor, CPTP Training Program, Idaho, and for Southern Air Service, Pocatella, Idaho

prev exp. 1550 hrs. Started flying in 1936, and operated his own flying school, firstly in Los Angeles during 1937-8 and then Burley, Idaho in 1939.

In July 1941, he wanted to resign from the ATA, quoting "personal, domestic and family" reasons. However, as he had not served for 12 months, this was refused. He asked again in September, but was again turned down.

Those reasons became clearer later in September 1941, the month before he died:

"Young Taplow Woman's Death - Tragic End to courtship with American Ferry Pilot"

A verdict of 'suicide' was recorded by the Manchester City Coroner on Monday, when he held an inquest on Miss Doris Hume, aged 26, Weymouth Lodge, Ellington Rd, Taplow, who died as the result of septic abortion.

Evidence showed that the deceased, who was employed by a firm of insurance brokers in Maidenhead, associated with an American Ferry Pilot in Maidenhead and Manchester. She spent a week-end with him at a Manchester hotel and shortly before her death she went to see him at Manchester. He booked a room for her at the hotel where he was staying. She seemed so ill that he called a doctor. She later went into a nursing home, where she died some time after an operation had been performed.

Kenneth Meryl Seeds, an officer in the Air Transport Auxiliary, said he was married and his wife and children were in California. He came to England in 1940 and first met Miss Hume in Maidenhead. They commenced to keep company, and Miss Hume knew he was a married man.

The Coroner: "You are quite sure about that?" - Yes

The Coroner said that was not a court of morals. With regard to Mr Seeds' conduct he would only say that his own thoughts would probably be sufficient castigation. Properly used the pills were harmless, but improperly used in large quantities they could, as had been seen in that case, be very harmful"

janes wellington

d. 8 Oct 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Wellington Z8424 hit the summit of Snaefell, Isle of Man, in generally good visibility, although parts of the Isle of Man were in fog.

He had earlier flown a Havoc from Belfast, which developed engine trouble; he landed it at Hawarden and handed it over as unserviceable. Fellow ATA pilot O E Armstrong wrote "The weather from Hawarden via Rhyl was perfect ...I flew at 2, 000 feet all the way leaving the Calf of Man about 5 miles to starboard ... I am at a loss to account for the accident, as I am sure that F/O Seeds must have flown above the fog on his way over, otherwise he would not have decided to return... what I am afraid happened was that he endeavoured to fly below cloud and was off course. Approaching the Isle of Man he found that the fog was right down on the surface, so decided to climb above it."

He was buried at Jurby, IoM with full military honours.

These are photographs of Kenneth's funeral on the 13th October:

kenneth seeds funeral

kenneth seeds funeral 2

The ATA agreed in 1942 an ex-gratia payment of $8,000 to his wife and step-daughter Betty Jo. His wife, who had been left penniless and had taken a job at the Vega Aircraft Co., wrote "I am extremely happy at the fine and generous way the British Government has seen fit to handle this matter."


25 Nov 1940 to Nov-41

First Officer


Kenneth Richard Douglas


flag usa b. 15 Feb 1904, Latrobe WV

son of John Lawrence and Elizabeth Douglas; m. to Viola May

Address in 1940: 410½ Fayette St, Charleston, WV

prev. 1 yr Air Force Mechanic, 5 yrs C.C.C. (Civilian Conservation Corps) Transportation pilot

Postings: 2FPP, 15FPP

"A keen and competent pilot ... rather reluctant in taking conversion course when offered but I think this was due to several minor illnesses. Discipline v. good."


d. 21 Feb 1968 - Flushing, Belmont County, Ohio


29 Nov 1940 to 17 Mar 1943


First Officer

Edmund Thornton Jarrett


flag usa b. 28 Apr 1914, Charleston WV

His father William Wesley Jarrett,  was an ex Fire Chief; mother Katherine Belle Biane

Ed. at Charleston High School, Charleston Business College

prev. a commercial pilot

Address in 1940: (parents) 825B Indiana Ave, W Virginia

Travelled from St. Johns to Liverpool on the SS 'Nova Scotia' with fellow pilots Omar William Crim, Kenneth Douglas, Kenneth Seeds, Robert Vinson and Edwin Whittington.

Postings: 4FPP, 1FPP, 4aFPP

[Original contract expired 28 Nov 1941; re-instated 27 Feb 1942]

"A sound pilot who will not attempt to overstep his capabilities. A good officer and reliable pilot."


c.1 Dec 1940 to [unknown]


Third Officer

Omar William Crim

ata omar crim

via Alisa Scott

flag usa b. 4 Aug 1904, Bucyrus OH

Father John Bennett Crim [d. 1932, Charleston WV], mother Matilda

m. 1934 Hazel [Roberts] [d. 1985]


Travelled from St. Johns to Liverpool on the SS 'Nova Scotia' with fellow pilots Edmund Jarrett, Kenneth Douglas, Kenneth Seeds, Robert Vinson and Edwin Whittington.

He joined a Mr. Hubert M Covert in setting up 'Flight School Inc.' an air taxi, cargo and ambulance service, at Clark Field nr. St Albans, WV, in Nov 1954.

d. 31 Jul 1987, Charleston WV



3 Dec 1940 to 2 Dec 1941

First Officer


William Lawrence Hanks


flag usa b. 27 Sep 1919, Montgomery Alabama

Father Joseph Perry Hanks (d. 1939), Mother Minnie Belle Dowling (d. 1966)

prev. a Commercial Pilot

Address in 1940: 1042 Sorolla Ave, Coral Gables, Florida


d. 2 Nov 1967 - Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan


4 Dec 1940 to Jun-42

First Officer


Alexander Ronald Leslie-Melville

ata alexander leslie melville1929 1929

ata alexander leslie melville 2

ata alexander leslie melville ATA

flag england b. 13 Dec 1905, Chelsea, London

prev. a journalist

prev. exp. 'about 700 hrs'

RAF 1924-30; entered Cranwell from Eton, Jan-24 ; P/O from Dec-25, eventually F/O

Invalided out "solely through being unfit for tropical climates"

RASC Nov-39 to Apr-40 (Driver)

RAE Farnborough Jul-40 to Dec-40, to do Pilot's Notes on aeroplanes. "The work I am doing is a useful one, but I do feel that there must be many better-qualified people to do it who for one reason or another cannot fly, and I really believe I would be more use as a pilot."

1 Sep 1940, he wrote:

"Dear Mr d'Erlanger,

You may not remember me, but we were at Eton together (I was at S.G.L.'s, 1919-23) & I remember you perfectly well, although we did not happen to come across each other very much.

I happened to see Keith Jopp today at Boscombe Down, who told me that you wanted experienced pilots in ATA. I believe you would find that I was all right, & for my part there is nothing I should like more than to get back to flying..."

He was offered a contract on the 16th September; after his 15-minute Tiger Moth flight test, the Chief Flying Instructor recorded that he was "above the average", except that " He flies with a little too much abandon and all turns are too steep"

He was posted to Kirkbride (west of Carlisle, the 16th and last Ferry Pool to be opened), but his father died in October 1941, and he applied for a transfer to be nearer London to wind up the estate. This was not possible, however, and he wrote to ATA a month later:

"I have suffered from Lupus Erythematosus since 1928 ... since joining ATA a year ago I have been able always to go to London to get the regular treatment, from the doctor I have had for years, that this complaint necessitates ... I must therefore request to be posted immediately to White Waltham, with permission to take one day off a week instead of two consecutive days a fortnight."

While this was being considered, he had a car accident, in December 1941; this left him with severe concussion and some 'postconcussional phenomena such as slight giddiness on turning quickly". His doctor wrote "I recommend that he not return to flying for at least three months."

In fact, he did not return to flying until May 1942, doing a refresher course from 8 May to 2 June. He had made arrangements to move into a small cottage owned by Anthony Phelps (q.v.), but before that could happen he was killed in a flying accident.


janes hurricane

d. 12 June 1942 (Died in ATA Service) - Hurricane AG680 crashed into a hill at a height of over 1500ft in Keld, N Yorkshire, in poor visibility and low cloud.

He was blamed for the accident, having persisted too far over high ground in bad weather. Also, "He failed to obtain weather information for his route before taking off and continued to fly in conditions worse than those prescribed in ATA Standing Orders."


5 Dec 1940 to 29 Sep 1941

 [298 days]

First Officer


Jesse Hugh Hall


flag usa b. 5 Dec 1903, Orange Springs, Florida

Education: 2 yrs High School

prev. a Flying Instructor

Address in 1940: E 4th Ave and 29th St, Hialeah, Florida

Next of Kin: his sister Mrs Roy Milton, who lived at 32 Baceller, Lynn, Mass., USA

Postings: 14FPP


d. c.1966

c.Dec-40 to c.Dec-43

First Officer


Gilbert Anthony Phelps

ata anthony phelps ICCL

flag england b. Jun 1916, Winchester, Hants


m. 1938 Cecily Dora Sinclair [Willis], [divorced, from 1952 Mrs Adams], 1 son

m. 1952 Amy E J Russell

prev. RAF

Wrote 'I Couldn't Care Less' in 1943, shortly after leaving the ATA. It was published in October 1945. Flight's reviewer said he enjoyed it, apart from "the author's tendency to write in forced journalese, and to show repeated signs of an exaggerated consciousness about the "right" things to do, to eat and to think."

The reviewer did, however, admit that the writing became more 'free and natural' as the story continued.

'I Couldn't Care Less' ends: "Those years with the ATA have given me so many memories and so much for which to be grateful. I have been privileged to fly the world's fastest and finest aeroplanes - experience which could not have been got for unlimited money before the war. I have ranged these islands of ours from Land's End to John o'Groats, from the Thanet coast to the Western Isles of Scotland, and gained an intimate knowledge of them and their people as would have been impossible in normal times unless possessed of limitless time and money. From the air I have seen the indescribable glory of snow-covered mountains on a clear day in winter; known the peaceful charm, beyond description, of flying over a calm summer sea towards a setting sun; I have known the stern joy and healing wave of happiness that comes only to those who land at an aerodrome after struggling through a hundred miles of really bad weather. All this and much more the ATA has given me, but most of all it has given me friends who will last as long as all of us live, and that in itself is a lot for which to be grateful."

Those friends included Alexander Leslie-Melville (q.v.); "Never have I met anyone whom I liked better or whose tastes were more identical with mine."

He learnt about Melville's death in "a horribly casual fashion... In the Mess one morning the Orderly Officer, who was very new, remarked that he had to officiate at a funeral the following day. Someone called Melville; did anyone know him?"

Even so, he didn't go to the funeral; "war leaves no time for sentiment, but even so I couldn't stomach it."


d. Dec 1967  - Colchester, Essex


7 Dec 1940 to 9 Dec 1941

[367 days]


First Officer

Steven Calhoun Beville

 ata steve and bernadette beville


flag usa b. 10 Sep 1914, Gainesville, FL

ata steve beville

m. to Bernadette [Dulin] [d. Mar 1990, Indiana]

Address in 1940: 836 Bauer St, Hammond, Indiana

prev. a printer, and airport operator


Postings: 1FPP

 "This pilot is absolutely first class & one of the keenest and hardest working in the pool."


d. 6 Jul 2000 - Indiana

"Veteran, Pilot. Flew the infamous P51 Mustang named "The Galloping Ghost" which won many of the Cleveland Air Races and Thompson Trophy Races. Former Spokesman for Kendall Oil. Married to Bernadette Dulin Beville for 56 years."

12 Dec 1940 to Mar-41

First Officer


George Washington Holcomb

ata george holcomb


flag usa b. 1 Jun 1909, Georgia

Electrical Engineering Diploma

prev. Asst Manager in retail seed business

prev. exp. 800 hrs


miles master bw

d. 27 Mar 1941 (Died in ATA Service) - Miles Master T8822 flew into a hill in bad visibility

buried Whitehaven, Cumbria


12 Dec 1940 to 11 Dec 1941

[364 days]

First Officer


Jospeh Benjamin

'J. B.' Holloway


flag usa b. 27 Jun 1909, Columbus, Georgia

Ed. High School in Georgia and Florida

m. with 2 children

prev. 6 yrs Marines, 9mo Aviation Corps, USMCRA

a Pilot Mechanic

Address in 1940: 2780 NW North River Dr, Miami, Florida (Mother, Mrs Tom Taylor)

 Postings: 2FPP

 He ws commended for a successful forced landing in a Westland Whirlwind in Jul-41


Later flew 'The Hump' for China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) - see http://cnac.org/index.html

In 2004 Florence Mueller wrote: "He was in ATC before the war started and was in for the duration. He was married to my sister Esther in Miami in the late 1930's. They were divorced after the war. J.B. was killed in a plane crash in the mid 50's, flying hops from Miami to the Caribbean islands. I have a silver cigarette case with a map of the hump area with tiny gems in the cities where he stopped. It was my sister's who is deceased.



23 Dec 1940 to Sep-45

First Officer


Ian Campbell Chalmers

ata ian chalmers ATA

flag scotland b. 12 Jun 1914, Edinburgh

prev. P/O in RAF

Metropolitan Police

m. K M Chalmers

Address in 1940: Ross on Wye, Herefordshire


Postings: 4FPP

"An officer who tries hard but has had some bad luck."


28 Dec 1940 to Apr-43

First Officer


William Arthur Andrews


flag UK b. 2 Feb 1906, Gibraltar

Educated at King's College School, Wimbledon

prev. RAF 1925-29: Short Service Commission as Probationary P/O & to CFS Upavon, 26 Sep 1925; Confirmed as  P/O, 26 Mar 1926. 19 Sqn, 30 Sep 26; F/O, 12 Apr 27; 23 Sqn, 12 Mar 28; 41 Sqn, 18 Aug 28.

On the 3 Apr 1929, he was fined £15 for being drunk at the wheel of a motor vehicle & £5 for driving in a dangerous manner at West Side, Wimbledon Common. When told that he would be arrested, he replied "I have been on the loose. I have had 15, or maybe 17, whiskies with a friend".

Possibly as a consequence, he resigned his Short Service Commission on the 31 May 1929.]

[details thanks to Steve Brew]

Then to National Flying Services Ltd, Hanworth Pk, in Oct 29.

Pilot for Air Commerce Ltd, Sudan, 1937

Address in 1940: The Croft, Sandown, I.O.W.


Ferry Pools: 3, 4a, 8

"A capable pilot on heavy aircraft, does not like flying single engined aircraft ... nice personality but apt to be forgetful."


Resigned from the ATA in Apr-43

d. Mar 1977 - Isle of Wight