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1941 Jan - May

M.200

1 Jan 1941 to 30 Nov 1945

Captain

 

Kenneth Carlyle Gill

 

flag england b. 28 Aug 1915, Southgate, London

ed. at Royal Masonic School, Bushey, Herts

m. (1937 Dorothy Turner?), one child

Sep-1934 to Nov-1940 RAF Short Service Commission (Flt-Lt.)

prev. exp. 763hrs

Address in 1941: 25 Oxford Rd, St Annes, Lancs

 

Postings: 4FPP, 14FPP, 3FPP, 7FPP, 6FPP

"Thorough, loyal, conscientious worker. A first class pilot, and an officer who commands the respect of those junior."

" He has been most co-operative. He is a most capable Second-in-Command."

 

d.  Oct 2005 - Kettering, Northamptonshire

M.204

1 Jan 1941 to Oct-45

Philip Penrose Bradley

First Officer

ata philip bradley 1928 1928

ata philip bradley2 ATA

ata philip bradley ATA

flag england b. 25 Jul 1905, Nottingham

Ed. Bradfield College, Leeds; Lausanne and Zurich Universities. B.Sc.

a Company Director

Sgt pilot instructor in RAF; discharge on medical grounds, Nov-40

prev. exp. 2,398 hrs

[Resigned Aug-43, re-instated Apr-44]

"Reliable pilot and good officer when on duty. General behaviour off duty suspect owing to several police visits on private matters" 

Hmmm... wonder why the police kept visiting ... perhaps because he was (still) a terrible car driver ...

Nottingham Evening Post - Tuesday 16 March 1937:

"CITY MOTORIST FINED £10

PENALTY BY WILTSHIRE BENCH

CAUSED TROUBLE TO POLICE

CONDUCT DESCRIBED AS VERY SLACK

Salisbury magistrates yesterday imposed fines amounting to £10 upon Mr. Philip Penrose Bradley, company director, giving an address in The Park, Nottingham, who surrendered to bail charged with five offences under the Road Traffic Act. When the cases were first before the Bench defendant did not appear, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. It was then discovered that he was in a nursing home, and the case was adjourned, bail being extended.

The charges were that he drove a motor car without having in force a policy of insurance; that he failed to produce a certificate of insurance; that he drove without a licence; that he failed to produce his licence, and that he, having been prosecuted for exceeding the speed limit, failed to produce his driving licence to the Clerk of the Court prior to the hearing of the summons.

At the hearing yesterday the Chief Constable (Mr. F. Nixon) said he was now satisfied that the defendant held a driving licence and that he had in force a policy of insurance at the time that the offence was committed, and he therefore asked that those summonses be withdrawn. This was agreed to, and defendant pleaded guilty to the remaining, summonses. Mr. Nixon said when defendant was stopped by the police he promised to produce his policy of insurance and driving licence within five days to the Nottingham Guildhall. This he failed to do. The Nottingham police made several unsuccessful efforts to interview him, and it was only few days ago that the insurance policy was produced. In January summons was sent to defendant for a speeding offence, and with it was enclosed a printed slip instructing him to send his licence to the magistrates' clerk the day before the hearing. On the day of the hearing defendant telephoned to say that he could not attend court, and that he put his licence in an envelope ready to post, but he had forgotten to send it. On January llth he was fined in that court for exceeding the speed limit, and an endorsement of his licence was ordered. He was instructed to produce his licence endorsement, but as no satisfaction could be obtained, further proceedings were instituted."

Tamworth HeraldSaturday 13 August 1938: "A collision happened at the Bodnets cross-roads, Bonehill, on Saturday afternoon, between a motor lorry driven by Herbert Young. Prospect Street, Old Kent Road, London, S.E.I, and a motor car, the driver of which was Philip Penrose Bradley, Malvern Road, West Bridgford."

Derby Daily Telegraph - Saturday 31 August 1940:

"PATROL CAR INCIDENT

Pleading "Not guilty" to driving a motor-car without due care and attention on March 11, Philip Penrose Bradley, Burnaston, was discharged. He was fined 5s. for failing to produce his driving licence and a similar amount for failing to produce his certificate of insurance. Inspector S. Bradwell said that a private car and police patrol car had to brake violently when Mr. Bradley suddenly stopped his car on the Nottingham road without warning. Mr. H. M. Clifford admitted that the only danger was caused by the speed of the patrol car."

 --------------

His daughter tells me that "My father deserted my mother in 1946. They had been married for just a few years, and I never had the opportunity to get to know him. His visits were infrequent and, like my mother, he eventually re-married and had more children.

During the 1960’s he served a prison sentence. He embezzled a large sum of money from 'Kennings'. He had worked for Kennings for a number of years and became a company director. It was during his term in prison that he became ill and had a stroke. He was given early release but was eventually diagnosed with lung cancer and he died in 1968 in Nottingham."

"He came from a well known Nottingham family, they were lace manufacturers and also had leather works both in Nottingham and abroad. My mother was Philip's second wife. He married his first wife, Lilian, in the early 1930’s and they had one son, John, who sadly died from polio at the age of approx. 2 years. My mother was introduced to Philip by her older sister and they married early 1940’s.

I do know that he had owned at least two planes of his own. The first one, I was told, was purchased with money his father had given to him to buy a factory in Holland….Philip obviously had other ideas! Unfortunately my father told numerous lies both to his family and especially to my mother. I attended his funeral in 1968 but had not seen him for several years. I believe his third and last marriage was a happy one."

---

He owned:

- a Leopard Moth,

- a 1929 Desoutter I, G-AAPK (bought in Dec 1937),

- a 1933 Comper Swift G-ACGL, registered to 'E Bradley' [presumably his father Ernest Frank Bradley], and

- a 1934 Miles M.2 Hawk, G-ACOC.

 

M.214

1 Jan 1941 to Nov-45

Flight Captain

 

Arthur Edward Henry Coltman

 ata arthur coltman 1929 1929

ata arthur coltman 1939 1939

flag england b. 25 May 1906, Leicester

Address in 1941: 'Avion', 60 Edward Ave, Braunstone, Leicester

m. Hilda Hayward 1932 (2 children before 1941)

prev. Motor salesman, and then pilot for Taylorcraft Aeroplanes, Syston, Leics

RAF Sergeant - Link trainer instructor, Jun-Dec 1940

prev. exp. 153 hrs

 

Ferry Pools: FP6

Instructor from Jan-43: "A willing and hard working instructor who fits his present job better than he would a ferry pilot ... his patience and placid temperament has undoubtedly been of great value in assisting backward pupils through the elementary stages of their training."

 

d. Sep 1997 - Market Harborough, Leicestershire

M.272

2 Jan 1941 to Apr-42

First Officer

 

William Silver Edgar

ata william edgar ATA

flag usa b. 7 Oct 1906, Waco TX

'Silver' came from his mother Estelle's maiden name

Educated at Baylor University, Waco

 

2nd Lieut., Army Air Corps 1932-35

Author of "Wings across the World", Syndicated newspaper writer

Also a pilot, rancher, and with some 'Banking experience'

prev. exp: about 900hrs

Address in 1941: 1305 Jefferson Ave, Waco, Texas

 

Postings: 4FPP

His initial ATA test described him as "a rather nervous type, but general flying fair."

 ata william edgar id card

"An excellent officer. A keen and reliable pilot."

He had a nasty forced landing on the 2 Mar 1942, in Airspeed Oxford L4597 following an engine failure. "He crash-landed on the ice of Loch Laidon but returned to the burning aircraft and saved the Log Books and his kit. The ice broke under him before he reached the shore and he was completely immersed. He then walked nine miles before he found a barn for shelter."

[During 1978 the two Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah engines from L4597 were recovered by the Scotland West Aircraft Investigation Group using a raft. Subsequently the engines were restored by staff at Rolls Royce’s Hillington site. At least one of them was subsequently put on display at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland.]

He put in a request for a replacement cap, but before this could be actioned he was killed in another accident:

 Spitfire VB 92 Sqn top view c1941

d. 2 Apr 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Spitfire BM358 crashed at Chapel of Garioch, 20 miles NW of Dyce, (or possibly at nearby Boghead, about 4 miles southwest of Inverurie) on a flight from Castle Bromwich to Kinloss.

The very next day, a telegram arrived from home:

"DEAR SILVER LOVE YOU DEARLY WISH HERE EASTER PICTURES RECEIVED NO BON CHOCOLATES SOON - MOTHER DAD"

 

Buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery, and commemorated at Baylor University: "William Silver Edgar lights up Fountain Mall every day and Robert Warren illuminates the courtyard by the Carroll Science Hall. These two men, along with 123 other Baylor men and women, made the supreme sacrifice in World War II. Now they stand as the honor guard at Baylor in the form of red granite light posts."

M.236

8 Jan 1941 to 18 May 1942

First Officer

 

Edwin Hanson Freshfield

ata edwin freshfield 1929

flag england b. 16 May 1909, Buckland, Surrey

ed. Lancing College, Trinity College Cambridge M.A.

prev. an Air Traffic Controller, attached to HQ Fighter Command Bentley Priory, 1937-date

Order of St John

'Slight limp left leg'

prev. exp. 1450 hrs; owned a 1928 D.H. Moth G-EBZE from 1930 to 1932, and had flown in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. His instructor at Brooklands was George Lowdell.

His flying may have been curtailed after this incident on the 23 Mar 1932: "Animals at the Whipsnade Zoo rushed about an excited state and there was danger with elephants carrying children when an aeroplane flew low overhead, it was stated at Luton, where a summons against Edwin Freshfield, a Cambridge undergraduate, the pilot of the machine, was dismissed on payment of costs."

 

Address in 1941: Glovers Farm, Reigate, Surrey

 

Postings: 1FPP, 4FPP (part time)

"Keen pilot, but owing to part-time duties this officer is not seen very much."

[Services Discontinued] 

 

d. 18 Feb 1985 - Lewes, Sussex

M.210

15 Jan 1941 to 24 Mar 1943

First Officer

 

Ernest Maurice Gill

 ata ernest gill 1931 1931

 

flag england b. 4 Aug 1905, Caterham, Surrey

ed,. Lancing College O.T.C. 1919-23

m. Cherry, 1 child

prev. a trooper in the Calcutta Light Horse, 1927-29; then a Technical Representative in Africa for the Stanton Iron Works of Nottingham.

Address in 1941: The Graden Flat, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

 

Postings: 2FPP, 15Fpp, 6FPP, 9FPP

"A very hard worker. His cheerful willingness to undertake any job is a great asset in this Pool. Rather over-zealous in command owing to lack of experience."

In Nov-42, "Failure to immobilise his motor-car in Montpellier-walk led to Ernest Maurice Gill, a ferry pilot, of 6, The Park, Cheltenham, being fined £2."

 

[Resigned 27 Dec 1942, after his third 'at-fault' accident, but he stayed on until 24 Mar 1943]

M.322

15 Jan 1941 to Jun-41

First Officer

 

Willard Noel Estes

ata willard estes

ATA

flag usa b. 15 Jan 1911, Monett, Missouri

prev. exp. 1,050hrs during 12 years civilian flying

Spitfire VB 92 Sqn top view c1941

d. 26 June 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - overshot while landing at Biggin Hill in Spitfire Vb P8538, tried to take off but hit top storey of airmen's barrack block.

M.213

21 Jan 1941 to Jun-42 (as pilot), then Technical Dept until Sep-44

Flight Captain

 

Thomas James McOran Campbell

 ata james mcoran campbell 1935 1935

flag england b. 15 Aug 1906, Plympton

Eldest son of Rear-Admiral George McOran Campbell, C.M.G.

Address in 1941: 'Jacques', Pipers Lane, Harpenden, Herts

Educated at St Edwards, Oxford; BA (Eng), Cantab

prev. 2nd Lieut, Royal Corps of Signals Aug 1926-Nov 1929, then an Aeronautical Engineer and pilot

m. Jean Emily Mitchell in 1928 (d. 1976)

(3 children before 1941)

 

Ferry Pools: FP1, FP2, FP4, FP4a, FP6, FP15

"A hardworking and methodical pilot, and a good officer."

"(Jan-42) Has done very little flying as a pilot lately, as he is employed on the engineering side on Liberator training."

"This officer's work on the collection of data for and the writing of handling notes is of a very high order. He is a very hard worker and has put in exceptionally long hours."

 

In May 1955, Flight reported: "Another Bristol appointment announced last week was that of Mr. James McOran Campbell as senior technical representative in Pakistan ... In pre-war years Mr. Campbell was with de Havillands and Imperial Airways, and during the war flew as an A.T.A. pilot, later becoming a Hawker production flight development engineer and test pilot. He joined the Bristol engine division in 1951."

 

d. 4 May 1990 - Plymouth: a "much loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather... A very special and Christian life, greatly missed by all of us."

M.298

23 Jan 1941 to Jan-42

First Officer

 

Jack Fitzgerald

 ata jack fitzgerald AR

flag usa b. 10 Jul 1915, Bagwell TX

Educated at Paris Junior College then Texas Technology College.

prev. An airline pilot for Braniff, and 18 months at Odena Flying School at Odessa, Dalton, Texas

prev. exp. 800hrs

 

Postings: 6FPP, 15FPP

Oct-41: "A most capable pilot, who now seems to have settled down and is doing a good job of work."

 

In 1971 the Abilene Reporter said, "Jack, the fifth son of the six 'Flying Fitzgeralds', was being honored by American Air lines in Los Angeles for his 25 years with American. Jack like [his brother] Glenn attended Texas Tech and learned to fly at an early age. He was a pilot for American Air lines [sic] by the time he was 20. During the war he served in the airlines military operation for the Air Transport Command in India. He also flew supplies from San Francisco during the Tokyo Airlift.

Jack lives in Los Altos, Calif., with his wife Betty and four children. Betty is a former airline stewardess. Today he is based in New York, from where he flies 747s."

M.334

25 Jan 1941 to Jan-42

First Officer

 

Kenneth Russell Arnette

 ata kenneth arnette ATA

flag usa b. 31 Aug 1912, Rutherfordton VA

Married, no children

prev. Barnstorming; Arnette's Air Show (Stunting shows)

Address in 1941: Henderson, NC

Next of Kin: c/o Arnette's Ice Cream Co., Richmond, Virginia

Postings: 2FPP, 3FPP

"A sound and experienced pilot and in every way satisfactory."

 

Killed in action in the India-Burma Theatre 4 Feb 1945

buried Jefferson Barracks National Military Cemetery – St. Louis, Mo.

 

"Learned to fly at the Meyer Airport near Hendersonville, N.C. A graduate of Hendersonville High School where he was an outstanding athlete, he is survived by his mother and four brothers. James Arnette Jr served in the US Navy, Sgt Roy A Arnette with the AAF in France, W C Arnette with the Seabees in the Aleutians, and Milton Prince Arnette, who lives in Hendersonville."

 

His brother Roy owned Arnette's Ice Cream Co; he was killed when 3 armed men robbed the company in 1974, hit him on the head and shot him in the arm.

M.330

27 Jan 1941 to Oct-41

First Officer

 

Harry Wolff

ata harry wolff

ATA

flag usa b. 31 Jan 1907, Malden MA

prev. a Flight Instructor and commercial pilot

beaufighter 6

d. 28 Oct 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Beaufighter T3045 stalled on approach, crashed at Norton crossroads between Shrewsbury and Wellington.

M.329

1 Feb 1941 to Feb-42

First Officer

 

Elwood Palmer Walmsley

 

flag canada  -> flag usa 

b. 3 Nov 1914, Toronto Canada, naturalised American

married, with 2 boys

A Flying Instructor

prev. exp. 2,225 hrs

Address in 1941: 922 Gordon Terrace, Chicago, IL, USA

 

Postings: 1FPP

"Has completely overcome his difficulties with regard to discipline and is now an exellent pilot and an excellent influence on the Pool as well."

M.332

1 Feb 1941 to May-42

First Officer

 

Jack Groover Durham

 ata jack durham ATA

flag usa b. 2 Nov 1919, Fort Payne AL

Educated at Birmingham High School

prev. a pilot, instructor and crop dusting with Dawn Crop Dusting Corp., Leland, Miss.

Address in 1941 (grandparents): 5326 Court P, Birmingham, Alabama

'My family is Democratic'

 

"This pilot has developed into a very fine influence in the Pool by reason of his keenness and good sense of discipline. He is also a first class pilot."

 

d. 19 Apr 1943 when a Captain with RAF Transport Command, in Baltimore FA330 which was lost enroute Dorval, Quebec to Natal, Brazil (or possibly enroute from Natal to the Middle East). Also killed were F/O John Dickson Grant (RCAF) and Radio Operator Harold Alfred Picher.

No known grave. Commemorated on the Ottawa Memorial.

c. Feb-41 to c. Sep-43

Commander

Maitland Walter Sabine Boucher

ata maitland boucher

Capt Boucher R.N. in 1931

za 1928flag b. 19 Dec 1888, Port Elizabeth SA

Rear-Admiral Boucher from Jan-41

"Admiral Boucher had been one of the pioneers of the Fleet Air Arm havng obtained his RAF wings in 1925. When he joined ATA he started like any other pilot in EFTS and worked his way up through the ATA School." Lettice Curtis

After a paricularly bad landing whilst on the training course, he was 'carpeted' by his instructor Jimmy Weir. He apologised and then said "And may I say that in 20 years in the Navy, I have never had such an excellent and comprehensive ticking off."

O.C. ATA Northern Area, 1943

Returned to the Navy as a Commodore and was put on convoy duty; in December 1943 he commanded Convoy JW55B taking supplies to the USSR, which was the target of the German battleship Scharnhorst. Scharnhorst was intercepted and sunk by Royal Navy forces in the Battle of the North Cape.

d. Jun 1963  - Maidenhead

M.250

15 Feb 1941 to Nov-45

First Officer

Stephan Karpeles-Schenker

ata stephan karpeles schenker 1938 1938

ata stephan karpeles schenker BG

flag austria b. 18 Jan 1901, Vienna Austria

Vice President, International Federation of Forwarding Organisations in 1929

Arrived in the UK from France in Jun 1938, and immediately sold his D.H. Hornet Moth OE-DKS in London

Director of Rosenberg Loewe & Co, shipping and forwarding agents, Aug-38 to May-40

He was interned on the Isle of Man under the 'Defence of the Realm Act' from 15 Jul 1940 to 12 Dec 1940. His release was facilitated by Leslie Runciman, Margie Fairweather's brother and MD of BOAC at the time.

 

Address in 1941: 64 Queensborough Terrace, London W2

 

"A loyal and likeable officer. Efficient, hardworking and reliable."

 ata karpeles schenker steynor

with Martyn Steynor in a 'taxi' Anson (ELC)

 

m. Margit V Rupp in 1949 in London (d. 1978)

 

d. 30 Dec 1990 - London SW1

M.251

15 Feb 1941 to 12 Jan 1945

[1,427 days]

Flight Captain

 

James Smith Halliday MBE

ata james halliday 1938 1938

flag scotland b. 22 Jun 1908, Rothesay, Bute, Scotland

 Ed. Morrison's Academy, Crieff

m. 1937 Dorothy Henderson [Shaw], 1 daughter

prev. exp. 102 hrs

prev. a Garage Proprietor; Observer Corps Sep-39 to Jan-41

Address in 1941: Firwood, Newton Mearns, Scotland

Postings: 4FPP, 6FPP, 4a FPP, AFTS (as instructor), 16FPP

"A very capable officer and reliable pilot who shows great keenness at all times."

 

d. 13 Apr 1974 - Glasgow

M.343

17 Feb 1941 to Feb-42

First Officer

 

William Johnston 'Bill' Elliott

 ata william elliott

flag usa b. 18 Apr 1917, Chambersburg Pennsylvania

prev. a flight instructor, charter and barnstorming pilot

prev exp. 786 hrs, mostly on Lockheed 10a

Bill worked for the Stanley Company as a shipping clerk from 1935 to '36, then was a general electrical contractor ('house and motor wiring - small repairs') until he became a flight instructor at his local airport (Sunset Airport, Chambersburg PA)

ata william elliott ID Card

He had a one-year contract with the ATA, which they wanted to extend - his CO wrote: "First Officers Fitzgerald, Elliott and Hoover. All three excellent pilots and are some of the best types of Americans that I have seen over here. I think everything possible should be done to get these pilots to renew their contracts."

Bill replied that he had decided to return to the US "after February 16th [1942] as soon as the details of my transportation can be arranged", but sadly before this happened he was killed in an accident.

janes anson

d. 8 Feb 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Anson W1793 crashed into the side of a hill in bad visibility 3 miles N of Kirkby Stephen, Westmoreland. The accident committee concluded that he flew into snow-covered ground "in conditions which would cause confusion between ground and cloud".

He was buried at Altrincham Bowden and Hale Cemetery, Cheshire, beside Earl Renicker (q.v.) and near Hubert Dixon (q.v.)

ata william elliott funeral 1

ata william elliott funeral 2

He was "an exceptionally careful and steady pilot and his general behaviour was excellent."

His parents Gernard and Louise wrote "He studied hard and to be a good pilot was his whole ambition. Sorry as we are that he had to give his life so soon in this his chosen occupation, we are proud that he was a member of your organisation."

ATA Memorial Bill Elliott 

with thanks to Barbara Grayson

M.345

17 Feb 1941 to 3 Mar 1942

[379 days]

First Officer

 

Raymond O Hoover Jr

 

flag usa b. 17 Feb 1917, Chambersburg, PA

Educated at Chambersburg High School - a classmate of Bill Elliott (M.343):

wjelliott science club cashs 1934 1

Bill Elliott and Raymond Hoover in the Science Club, front row, in 1934

https://micheleepps.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/ata-pilot-from-chambersburg-pa-part-one/

His parents ran a turkey farm.

prev. a Flight Instructor for Mahon Flying Service

Address in 1941: (Mother) Route 2, Chambersburg, PA

Postings: 1FPP, 6FPP

"An excellent pilot who gets through all the work given him quietly and efficiently."

After leaving the ATA, Raymond joined RAF Transport Command, "serving in the Caribbean."

m. Judith in Maryland in Feb 1948 (Divorced 1958).

1,500 of his family's turkeys were killed when a poultry barn was hit by lightning in 1959.

According to the above website, "Raymond Hoover apparently survived the war. His obituary tells us he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for a little over a year piloting planes between Canada and England."

M.257

18 Feb 1941 to Aug-45

First Officer

 

Peter Wellburn Bayliss

ata peter bayliss 1939 1939

flag england b. 17 Jul 1915, Wolverhampton

educated at Charterhouse

an Iron Founder (Bayliss, Jones & Bayliis Ltd, Wolverhampton)

Address in 1941: 'Woodthorne', Tettenhall, Staffs

 

Postings: 1FPP, 6FPP, 12FPP, 14FPP

"A good pilot of sound average ability", but he was:

a) severely reprimanded and given 2 extra duties for 'Neglect of Duty' in Jun-43; "When detailed for night duty pilot and firewatcher, he left the airfield on two occasions without permission" and

b) reprimanded in Feb-44 for taxying a Proctor so carelessythat the port wing hit a gate post.

He seems to have settled down later; his discipline was regarded as "satisfactory" by late 1944.

 

aline johncelyne bayliss 1946

m. Aline Johncelyne Spiers (nee Pickin), also an aviator, in 1946

 

Flew Proctor II G-AKXZ in the 1949 Goodyear Race

He took out a patent in 1956: "Improvements in or relating to vices" (not that sort of vices, silly).

Later Director and Secretary of Brockmore-Bede Aircraft of the Brockmoor Foundry Co., Brierley Hill, W. Midlands.

 

d. 14 Nov 1992 - Titley Kington, Herefordshire

M.260

18 Feb 1941 to May-43

First Officer

 

Bruce Campbell

ata bruce campbell 2

ata bruce campbell ATA

flag england b. 9 Feb 1910, Harrow

prev. A Stockbroker

RAF Sgt Pilot 1938 then P/O Jun 1940

Later a test pilot with de Havilland

"In July 1955 Bruce Campbell, a long-time friend of mine, as well as owning a boat in the south of France, had a de Havilland two-seater Hornet Moth registered G-ADNE. From his boat, then in the south of France, he asked me to fly the Hornet down to Cannes for both of us to fly home in."

 Lettice Curtis

M.568

24 Feb 1941 to Feb-42

Acting First Officer

 

Emmett 'Kenneth' Chaffin

 

 ata kenneth chaffin

Fort Myers News-Press Apr 41

flag usa b. 24 Nov 1921 **, Forth Worth TX

** On his registration forms, Kenneth gave his date of birth as 2 Feb 1920 - thus making him 21. However, he admitted that he was only 20 when he returned to the US in 1942. Obviously, he had lied about his age in order to join the ATA!

prev. Gulf Airways, Fort Myers, Florida (newspaper delivery by plane) 2 yrs.

He was a member of the Fort Myers high school boxing team!

Address in 1941: Beach Rd, Fort Myers, Florida

  

Arrived in the UK 22 Apr 1941 on the SS Mercier with fellow American ferry pilots James Emor O'Halloran, John Cleveland Davis (M.416), Gilman Benedict Warne, Marvin Harrison Dunlavy (M.408), Harold Lindsey Price.

 

Off sick for all of May 1941 with acute appendicitis.

kenneth chaffin and ruth

m. 29 Sep 41 to Ruth Alice Maud Morgan, from Abergevenny, in London (divorced 1946);

Sailed back to the US on the SS Vibran on 20 Mar 1942 with fellow American ferry pilots James Bruce Warren, Jack Edison Jenkins, Homer Edward Anderson (M.496), Robert Leonard Hamilton, John Cleveland Davis (M.416), James Emor O'Halloran, John R Scribbens, Paul Blecker Makepeace, Raymond Sylvester Allen, George H Robertson, Frank C Hoffman, William Raymond Cooper (M.531)

 

Later, 2 years in the US Army Air Force as a Flight Officer - he force-landed in a pea patch near Brownsville, Texas in Aug 1944.

 

m. Martha Blackburn in 1947

In 1947, a pilot for C Adrianza, Venezuela; from 1949, a pilot for Delta Airlines.

His father (also Emmett Kenneth) owned a grocery store, once had a pilot's licence, filed a patent for aircraft carburettors, became mayor of Medley, Florida in the mid-60s, and finally committed suicide by shooting himself in the head (having tried to shoot his second wife in the head just beforehand, but only grazing her temple).

Kenneth became a police lieutenant in Medley.

d. 11 Mar 1992 - Deland, Florida

M.263

25 Feb 1941 to Nov-45

First Officer

 

Jerzy Drzewiecki MBE

 drzewiecki

http://rwd-dwl.net/pracownicy/drzewiecki/

flag poland b. 7 Aug 1902, Warsaw Poland

Educated at Warsaw University of Technology 

An Aircraft Designer - one of the three founders (with fellow students Stanisław Rogalski and Stanisław Wigura) of RWD, which was a Polish aircraft construction bureau active between 1925 and 1939.

In 1933, Rogalski, Drzewiecki and Wędrychowski founded the company Doświadczalne Warsztaty Lotnicze (DWL, Experimental Aeronautical Works) in Warsaw, which became a manufacturer of further RWD aircraft. 

He fled the German-Soviet occupation of Poland in September 1939 and found work as a draughtsman at Westland Aircraft from Feb 1940, but was frustrated that they would not allow him to do "creative work."

prev. exp: over 1500hrs in about 60 land and seaplanes

Address in 1941: 4 West Park, Yeovil, Somerset

 

Postings: 2FPP, 6FPP, 9FPP, 14FPP

Off sick from 24 Nov 1941 to 19 Jan 42 following a forced landing in a Beaufort after both engines failed.

"A most reliable and experienced pilot. Discipline excellent."

 

Post-WWII, after working for Bristol Aircraft for a while (and again getting frustrated by what he saw as a lack of opportunity) he emigrated to Canada in Dec 1947.

d. 15 May 1990 - Ottawa

M.274

26 Feb 1941 to Nov-44

First Officer

Arthur Godfrey Ellis

ata arthur ellis 1934 1934

ata arthur ellis ATA

flag england b. 23 Feb 1913, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Educated at North Staffordshire Technical College;

Bronze Medal in Pottery

Works Manager for Colclough China Ltd, Regent Works, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent

m. (1 child before 1941)

Address in 1941: 227 Stone Rd, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent

prev. a member of the Civil Air Guard

Missing index finger on right hand, and bad scar

prev. exp. 153hrs 

Postings: 2FPP, 3FPP, 6FPP, 12FPP

"A willing, keen and reliable pilot, a good officer with a keen sense of discipline", but was given a severe reprimand in Dec-43 for taxying a Beaufighter without sufficient care and colliding with a Blenheim. Both pilots were held equally to blame.

 

Filed a number of patents post-WWII, e.g. in 1948, "a chuck for holding articles of clay, glass, plastics or other materials, in manufacture or finishing operations", and 1952: "Apparatus for shaping clayware."

[Colclough China Ltd became part of the Royal Doulton Group in the early 1970's; production ceased in 1996.]

 

d. Nov 2003 - Stoke On Trent

M.292

27 Feb 1941 to Apr-42

First Officer

 

John Edmund Layard Drabble

 ata john drabble in 1932

1st on left, with other members of 40 Bomber Sqn, Upper Heyford, 1932 (Flight)

flag england b. 14 Mar 1901, Twickenham

Royal Navy from 1914 to 1919 (Sub Lieut.)

Victory Medal

RAF 1919 to 1932 (Flight Lieut.)

m. (One child before 1941)

a Civil Pilot

prev. exp. approx 3,000hrs

"Lost right foot and ankle - artificial foot" [Possibly in the accident to Avro 504K J732, of 39 Sqn, Spittlegate which spun in during aerobatics on 2 Feb 1923; F/O Cyril Chambers (24) killed, F/O John Edmund Layard Drabble injured. The inquiry found that the accident was due to an error of judgment on the part of Flying Officer Drabble.]

 

June 1932: "FLIGHT LIEUTENANT FINED. John Edmund Layard Drabble, Flight Lieutenant. 49 Squadron, Upper Heyford, Bicester, did not appear to answer a charge of using a motor car with no Road Fund licence at Waddesdon on Tuesday, April 26th. but sent a telephone message explaining that was on duty until noon. P.S. Snelling deposed that in High Street, Waddesdon, he noticed that defendant’s Road Fund licence expired on March 24th. Defendant said, " I forgot all about it."

 

Director of Aircraft Equipment Ltd from Jan 1936, presumably based on his patent for 'increasing the field of vision in aircraft", filed the same year.

 

Address in 1941: 1 Lanark Rd, Maida Vale, London

 

Postings: 3FPP, 6FPP

"A pilot of considerable experience ... a capable pilot who is working hard and well."

 

[Contract Terminated 10 Apr 1942 by ATA  - Disciplinary Reasons]

M.408

27 Feb 1941 to 10 Apr 1945

First Officer

 

Marvin Harrison 'Alabam' Dunlavy Jr

 ata marvin dunlavy

ata marvin dunlavy 2 ATA

flag usa b. 14 Oct 1916, New Orleans

Marvin was one of a team of 6 pilots, in 3 aeroplanes, who made an attempt on the world endurance flight record (which stood at 22.5 hrs), in Sarasota, Florida in April 1940. However, he had to land after just over 6hrs in the air, as they were getting low on fuel and efforts to refuel them in the air had failed.

Address in 1941: 1913 3rd Ave, Bessemer, Alabama.

Brief Glory says he had "black curly hair, rolling eyes, a broken nose and an accent you could cut with a knife. A disconcerting habit he had of rolling his head from side to side was due to an early boxing accident."

When asked about his opinion of England, he said "Gee, that's a terrible country! I can't think why they don't cut all their balloon cables and let the god-damn country sink to the bottom of the sea."

He was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for his part in the rescue of the crew of a returning operational Halifax III of No. 420 Squadron, piloted by Flt Lt R. A. Kalle which, having been damaged during a sortie over Normandy, overshot the runway and caught fire at White Waltham on the 30th July 1944.

The full list of those commended was:

pilots David Cotter (M.349), Reginald Davidson (M.918), Marvin Dunlavy (M.408), Albert Gardner, John Gulson, Francis Lees, Alan Murray, Donald Soutter;

Fire Officer D Baldwin, Senior Flight Engineer Kenneth Payne, and

Mr J.J. Thompson.

 

d. 17 Oct 2003, California.

The East Bay Times, Oct. 26, 2003: "When he returned from the war, M.H. opened Bessemer's first Airport, teaching and sharing his love of flying with many local residents. He was married for forty-five years to the love of his life, Carolyn Masingil and had two daughters, Marilyn and Anne. He went on to become a Captain with Capitol Airways. He later owned a boat rental and resort at Lakeport, California, continuing to fly and maintaining his flight instructors license into his seventies.

He was fortunate enough to return to Bessemer and Clarksville, Tennessee to visit family and friends for his eighty-seventh birthday. Graveside service was held at Cedar Hills Cemetery in Bessemer on Monday, October 20th at 11 AM.

M.H. is survived by his daughters, Marilyn Dunlavy (Todd) Plum of Martinez, California, Anne Dunlavy of Napa, California, brother, Louis "Eddie" Dunlavy of Bessemer, granddaughter Elizabeth (Lisa) Karen Dunlavy and great-grandson Phillip Harrison Wierson, both of Bogart, Georgia."

 

His son Marvin Harrison Dunlavy III, (by his first wife Jane Bell Crosby), was killed in 1969 when the truck he was driving went off the road nr Yanceyville, N.C.

M.314

1 Mar 1941 to 31 Dec 1945

[1,766 days]

First Officer

 

Percy Cecil Golding

ata percy golding

ata percy golding 2 ATA

flag england b. 3 Dec 1911, Plymouth

"Second finger right hand malformed"

Ed. at Devonport College, Plymouth

m. 1939 Adelaide B [Stephenson]

prev. an 'Official' in Sun Life Assurance Society, and 1 year in 'a Banking Firm'

RAF Sergeant Pilot from 17 Sep 1939 to 21 Jan 1941

Address in 1941: 37 Bemberley Avenue, then 114 Hurst Grove, Bedford

Postings: 6FPP, 1FPP

 

He was absent for 4 months in 1944 due to a motor accident, and suspended for 7 days without pay in Sep-45 for 'Low Flying'.

"A keen pilot who I think is apt to underestimate his own ability", or "Had some difficulty at the commencement of training apparently due to the fact that he considered the Halifax an easy proposition."

One of the very last batch of pilots to leave the ATA at the end of WWII.

 

After leaving the ATA he lived at 53 Philpotts Avenue, Bedford, and became a civil pilot.

G AHFI http://www.cbfsim.co.uk

d. 15 Mar 1949 at Gatow Aerodrome, during the Berlin Airlift (26 Jun 1948 – 30 Sep 1949).

He was the pilot of Skyways Avro York G-AHFI, which lost control while approaching Gatow; the port wing dropped and the aircraft dived into the ground. Two other Skyways staff - co-pilot Henry Thomas Newman and Radio Operator Peter James Edwards - also died.

henry thomas newman 1946 Henry Thomas Newman in 1946, aged 22

M.264

2 Mar 1941 to Nov-41

First Officer

 

John Graham 'Jack' Bergel

 ata john bergel 1934

1934

ata john bergel

ATA

flag england b. 1 Mar 1902, London

prev. a journalist for the 'London Evening News' from 1925; "no previous employment"

His brother Hugh said: "Jack was nearly four years older than I was, so that we never overlapped at school, and were never quite as close to each other as I would have liked. All his working life had been spent on the London Evening News, which he joined as a cub reporter. By the time he left to join ATA he was, or had been, wireless correspondent, motor-racing correspondent, music critic, Rugby football correspondent, aviation correspondent and writer of the Diary. But for years his main job had been that of Dramatic Critic, and there must be some who can still recall the reviews he wrote over the initials J.G.B."

 

prev exp. 160 hrs

He originally applied in July 1940: "My brother Hugh tells me that the A.T.A. is still anxious to recruit ferry pilots. As I am despairing, after ten months, of getting into the RAF in any capacity - I've seen three [selection] boards who all lose interest when they find I'm over 30 and wear glasses - I would like to know if I am any good for your service - which sounds disrespectful, I'm afraid, but isn't meant to be."

He added: "I'm nothing like as good a pilot, naturally, as Hugh, but I can find my way; it always was my one aeronautical talent."

[hugh bergel 1928

His brother Hugh had learnt to fly in 1928, and had already joined the ATA]

However, when he turned up for a flight test in September 1940, the report was that "this applicant's standard of flying is so low that he cannot be accepted for ATA duties even on light types".

By January 1941 the ATA had realised that it needed more pilots, even if they had to train them themselves. Accordingly, a second test was arranged for the 19th January; this time he was accepted, and duly started on the 3rd March.

By the 7th November, when he was posted to No 6 FPP, he had satisfactorily passed training courses on Classes 1, 2, 3 and 4 aircraft. Sadly, he was killed a week later.

blenheim hendon

d. 15 Nov 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Blenheim Z6080 stalled on landing approach to Oulton. He "made his final approach too slowly, particularly having regard to the fact that it was a fully equipped Blenheim IV, with inner and outer tanks full."

[Hugh attributed the accident to a faulty air-speed indicator reading, "caused by water in the system, which in turn was caused by aircraft having to live their lives out in the open through all weathers."]

 

His mother said of him "Jack's happiest months were spent in the ATA".

 

M.293

4 Mar 1941 to Feb-44

First Officer

 

Vernon Cheer

ata vernon cheer 1936 1936

ata vernon cheer ATA

 b. 1 Mar 1913 or 1914, Aberdeen

 brother of Leonard Massie Cheer (M.78)

 m. Sep 1941

Address in 1941: 12 The Greenway, Anlaby Pk, Hull, Yorks, then

14 Fonthill Terrace, Aberdeen

 

prev. a motor engineer and garage proprietor;

Pilot Officer in the Air Defence Cadet Corps Apr-40 to Dec-40

Also worked for Blackburn Aircraft Co. in Hull, Yorks.

 

Postings: 2FPP, 4,FPP, 4aFPP

Accident in Walrus 9 Jul 1942: when landing, a/c dropped wing, hit violently and caught fire. Pilot is held responsible.

Jan-43: "A good officer whose flying is now quite satisfactory, but still receiving treatment after his recent accident."

 

d. Jun 1973  - Holderness, Yorks.

M.356

6 Mar 1941 to Jun-44

First Officer

 

Claudius Philippe Echallier

 ata claudius echallier

ATA

ata claudius echallier 2

flag france b. 24 May 1911, Saint-Lager, France

prev a test pilot; arrived in the UK in June 1940, and worked at the RAF Repair Depot at Burton Wood.

prev exp. 500 hrs

He was in demand as a 'very highly skilled engineer'- The Container Engineering Co. Ltd of Maidenhead even asked if he could be transferred to them, in March 1942.

Although his initial flying reports were fine ("A good pilot, very careful and of good average ability"), in June 1943 he failed the conversion course for Class 5 (4-engine) aircraft (Stirling): "This pilot proved temperamental and erratic and his flying generally was disappointing... especially taxying which was much too fast and careless!" Charles Tutt, who was on the same course, said that, if he had been the instructor, he "would have failed him two hours earlier".

 He continued to do good work on single- and twin-engine aircraft, however, and eventually amassed 1,135 hrs in the ATA.

beaufighter 6

d. 8 Jun 1944 (Killed in ATA Service) - Beaufighter NV235 flew into hillside in poor visibility near Mull of Galloway, Scotland.

ata royston staniford

23-year-old Senior Flight Engineer Royston Edwin Staniford was also killed.

After the funeral, his wife Lucienne returned to Scarborough but two days later was taken ill and subsequently had a miscarriage. She returned to France in late 1944.

He is commemorated in Saint-Lager:

800px 69218 Saint Lager MM4

M.348

11 Mar 1941 to Feb-45

Captain

 

Charles Henry Tutt

ata charles tutt

1930

flag england b. 18 Oct 1901, Catford, London

prev. A Fishmonger - "C. Tutt & Sons" but a prominent pre-war racing pilot, owning:

- a 1929 D.H. Gipsy Moth, G-AAJW;

- a 1931 D.H. Gipsy Moth, G-ABPK;

- a 1932 Comper Swift, G-ABWE;

- a 1933 GAL ST.4 Monospar 2, G-ACEW.

exp. 850 hrs, 'mostly on light types'.

Cleared for Class 5 (4-engine) aircraft; "an excellent officer and a splendid example to his colleagues. A highly capable ferry pilot and one of the hardest workers in the pool. He has a modest and pleasant personality and his sense of discipline is of the highest order."

d.1992, Surrey

King's Cup in 1938

M.271

13 Mar 1941 to Jun-45

First Officer

 

Kenneth Howard Vivian Day

 

flag wales b. 27 May 1917, Newport

Address in 1941: 71 Albany Rd, Cardiff

Educated at Cardiff University

RAF Flying Officer 1936-40

 

m. Sheila E M Draper 1945, Betty M Davies 1957

 

d. May 2001 - Chester 

M.375

17 Mar 1941 to Apr-43

Flight Captain

 

George Roger Clark

flag usa b. 29 Apr 1903, Union City, Randolph County, IN

Educated at Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN

US Air Corps from Feb-25 to Feb-28, then 'actively engaged as pilot and in aviation sales and service work. Engineer."

Worked for Iloilo-Negros Air Express Co. in Philippines for 3 years

Address in 1940: 5647 Fountain Ave, Hollywood, CA

 

Postings: 3FPP

Aug-41: Fined one week's salary ($50) for lighting a cigarette in a Spitfire

"A good officer and an excellent pilot."

 

M.414

17 Mar 1941 to 9 Dec 1941

First Officer

 

Austin Marcus Drumm

 

flag usa b. 14 Jan 1915, Union City, Michigan

father Earl Drumm (dec'd), Mary Eta Parkman

m. 1939 to Benita 'Bonnie' Vieve [McCarthy] [d. 2 Jun 2008]

prev. exp. 5yrs as a flight instructor in Virgina Air Service, Gordonsville

Address in 1941: 503 Carleton Ave, Charlottesville, Virginia

 

Postings: 6FPP

"A good pilot who has done all work allocated to him in a satisactory manner", but:

Contract Terminated by ATA - Disciplinary Reasons

 

Later a pilot in the US Army Air Transport Command, and then a Colonel in the USAAF.

In 1944, he and his crew bailed out of a B-24 near Georgetown, British Guiana and spent about 2 weeks in 'the roughest jungles in South America'. One of the pilots sent to look for him was James Ansley (M.511), who had travelled to the UK with him in 1941.

In 1946, Drumm "picked up a copy of the Southeastern Airport News and read that Ansley was running Page Field for Lee County. After an exchange of telegrams he flew over to Page Field in his PT-17 for a happy reunion with his old flying partner."

After WWII, the family lived in Utah and North Carolina while Austin completed his education, then moved to Lexington, Virginia, where from 1963 he was Professor of history at Virginia Military Institute.

d. 8 Jan, 1997 - Barboursville, Virginia

buried Weedsport, Cayuga County, New York

M.424

17 Mar 1941 to 17 Jun 1942

 [457 days]

First Officer

 

Robert Leonard Hamilton, Jr

 

flag usa b. 12 Jan 1906, Baltimore, MD

Ed. at Baltimore Polytechnic Inititute and University of Baltimore

prev. Managed a Country Club

Address in 1941: Elkridge Club, Baltimore - see www.elkridgeclub.org

 

Postings: 6FPP

"A good pilot ... an excellent officer and works hard"

 

M.295

18 Mar 1941 to Nov-45

Captain

 

Evelyn Henry Newman

 ata evelyn newman

ATA

flag england b. 15 Sep 1903, Sutton, Sussex

ed. Lancing College, then Oriel College Oxford.

prev. RAF and RAF Reserve, 1924-33. Later a commercial pilot for Birkett Air Services.

"A very experienced pilot and a good officer" ... " a quiet and unassuming officer who ... is carrying out his duties as second-in-command at this Pool [No 8 FPP, Belfast] in an excellent manner"

From March 1945, Officer Commanding No 10 FPP.

King's Cup in 1934

M.416

18 Mar 1941 to 6 Mar 1942

First Officer

 

John Cleveland Davis

 

flag usa b. 9 Jan 1920, E. Setauket, Long Island, NY

prev. a flight instructor for the 'Spartan School of Aeronautics', which still exists:

blackcat13The Spartan College Black Cat with the 13 signifies that “Knowledge and Skill Overcome Superstition and Luck”.

 

http://www.spartan.edu

 

d. 11 Mar 1993, Topanga, Los Angeles, California

 

M.353

21 Mar 1941 to Mar-42

First Officer

 

Graham Oliver Lever

ata graham lever 1937 1937

ata graham lever ATA

flag england b. 31 Dec 1914, Hook, Hants

prev. ground engineer

RAF trainee pilot, Jun-40 to Feb-41 - "The reason for his withdrawal from training is due to the failure to pass his examinations."

prev. exp. 166 hrs

Address in 1941: Dixons Rd, Broughton, nr Stockbridge, Hants

 

Postings: 1FPP

17865926404 c940fe6fb3 n

He bought himself this 1932 Aston-Martin Le Mans, [registered APG 410, previously owned by Richard Shuttleworth; it still exists] in September 1941, for £175.

 

fairchild argus

d. 15 Mar 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) piloting Fairchild HM178 which stalled and crashed on approach to White Waltham. His fellow ATA pilots Bridget Hill and Bessie Sayers (qqv) were also killed; Pamela Duncan (qv) was thrown from the aircraft during the crash and suffered burns.

He had turned back due to bad weather, but was held to blame for the accident.

Yorkshire Evening Post, 17 Mar 1942: "AIRWOMEN KILLED Ferry Pilots' 'Plane Hit Bungalow. The Ministry of Aircraft Production announces that Flying Officer Graham Lever, Third Officer Bridget Hill, and Third Officer Bessie Sayers lost their lives in a flying accident on Sunday. The accident occurred in the course of their duties with the Air Transport Auxiliary. The 'plane crashed on to a bungalow. A fourth passenger in the machine, also a woman A.T.A. officer, was injured. Twenty-six people were injured when they rushed to the house to extricate the passengers in the 'plane. It is believed that the petrol tank in the machine exploded.

Among the injured were children who were in the street. The petrol tank exploded some time after the crash, owing, it is believed, to contact with a fire in the kitchen. A man named Croft, living in an adjoining bungalow, was blown through a window into the street and badly hurt but a child in the front room of the bungalow was rescued almost uninjured. "

 

buried at Broughton Church, Hants

Aston Martin offered £50 for his car - "we are afraid that the recent petrol restrictions have severely hampered car sales."

M.357

21 Mar 1941 to 28 Aug 1942

[525 days]

First Officer

 

Malcolm Goss Grant

ata malcolm grant 1937 1937

 

 ata malcolm grant ATA

flag england b. 17 Dec 1914, Croydon

Educated at Eastbourne College

m. Marie [Plumpton], 17 Feb 1939 in Cullompton, Devon. After the wedding they departed in a Leopard Moth from Exeter Airport and were back in Croydon by 3:30, "subsequently going on to the beautiful little cottage at Newdigate, Surrey, which the bridegroom's father has given them as a residence."

prev. a draper (Grant Bros Ltd, Croydon) then a Link Trainer instructor in Carlisle, Dec-39 to 1941.

Member of Redhill Flying Club from 1936. Prev. exp. 75 hrs. They reported that his flying was "consistently steady and reliable." He first applied to the ATA in Dec 1940, but his flying hours were below the standard required at the time. However, things changed within 3 months and he was accepted for training.

Address in 1941: Gotwick Farm, Orlton Lane, Rusper, Sussex

 DB7 3

d. 28 Aug 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) in Douglas Havoc Z2299, which dived into the ground at Abington Pigotts near Bassingbourn, Cambs, whilst attempting to land following port engine failure. the accident report blamed a "loss of control on turn towards dead engine in course of circuit at low altitude and with insufficient air speed."

His wife wrote to the ATA afterwards, asking whether they had discovered the whereabouts of his stop watch, silver cigarette case and gold lighter, and key case: "I am only fussing about such things as I would so like to have them for his son - who is only five weeks old - and so, will not remember him at all."

"My great consolation is the fact that he loved every moment of his job, and although you must have many pilots with more experience, you can have few so keen - and for this reason the past eighteen months have been particularly happy."

M.510

23 Mar 1941 to Feb-42

First Officer

 

Earl Lamar Renicker

 ata earl renicker

ATA

 flag usa b. 16 Nov 1906, Minot ND

janes hampden 2

d. 7 Feb 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Hampden AT231 crashed on Lord Bradford's Estate, Weston under Lizard, Staffs after port engine fire.

He was buried atAltrincham Bowden and Hale Cemetery,Cheshire,  beside Bill Elliott (q.v.)  and near Hubert Dixon (q.v.)

ATA Memorial Earl Renicker

with thanks to Barbara Grayson

His mother wrote to Mrs Lawrence, with whom Earl had ben billeted: "It just seems like I can't get over it, I was looking forward to seeing him this spring. It was such a terrible shock. You all were so nice to give him such a nice funeral, and I'm so appreciative. 

Honey, I just write awhile and then cry awhile."

Although Earl said that he was 'single' and specified his mother as his next of kin, it later turned out that he had been married at the time he joined the ATA, but was divorced in May 1941. He and his wife had a daughter, Dorothy Ilene (b. 1926), who later married a Mr Paul E Rusher in Ohio, and died in 2007.

M.296

25 Mar 1941 to Mar-42

2nd Officer (Acting First Officer)

Guy Alan Cremonini

 ata guy cremonini ATA

flag england b. 6 Jul 1917, Birmingham

prev. RAFVR Jan-39 to Feb-40 (Sgt Pilot, OTC)

[Contract Terminated by ATA - 'Temperamentally unsuited']

'A highly nervous pilot whose sense of judgement does not seem to be very steady. He is keen, but in the four months at [Ratcliffe] Pool he has consistently taken longer to complete jobs than other pilots.'

Changed surname to 'Jordon' (his mother's maiden name) in 1944

d. 1977

M.351

25 Mar 1941 to 11 Nov 1941

First Officer

 

Charles Arthur Adams

ata charles adams 1926 1936

flag england b. 8 Jan 1906, East Ham, London

prev. a London Transport driver, later inspector

RAF from Jun-40 to Mar-41 (Sgt, Link Trainer instructor)

Address in 1941: 51 Wilson Rd, East Ham, London E6

 

[Contract Terminated by ATA - Disciplinary Reasons]

d. Dec 1957  - Lambeth ?

M.384

25 Mar 1941 to Nov-41

[227 days]

First Officer

 

Isidro Juan 'Sid' Paredes

flag philippines - flag usa b. 6 Apr 1907, San Antonio TX (father Quintin originally Mexican and his mother American).

His father was the Resident Commissioner of the Philippines to the US.

Degree in Business Studies from Detroit Inst. of Technology in 1927.

Employed by the Ford Motor Co, and had a brief career as a boxer; returned to the Philippines in 1931.

Jul-37 to Jan-41, 1st Lieutenant in USAAF.

He fractured his skull in a crash on 15 Feb 1939 near Bloomsdale, Missouri, and later had plastic surgery.

prev exp. 800 hrs

 

married, (err, three or four, or five, times... see later...), 2 adopted children

After training on Magister, Harvard and Hawk aircraft, he progressed to Hurricane and Oxfords, then passed Class 4 training (on Blenheims) 9 Oct 1941 - assessed "a good average, with no special faults".

However, the first time he flew a Hampden, he stalled and crashed it:

janes hampden 2 

d. 7 Nov 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Hampden P5396 crashed on approach to Burtonwood Aerodrome after opening up for second circuit after mis-landing.

Philippines President Quezon (who seems to have mixed Isidro up with somebody else) wrote to Isidro's father to inform him that his son, "a volunteer with the R.A.F., participated in a British mass air raid on German-held territory and apparently was wounded but was able to land on English soil before he died."  Hmmm...

Buried Sankey Cemetery, Warrington. He was the first Philippino casualty of WWII and his body was later repatriated to the Philippines, according to CWGC.

--------

Although Isidro was only with the ATA for less than 8 months, it took them and the US Consulate until 1948 to sort out who should get his personal effects and the proceeds of his estate (which actually only amounted to a few hundred dollars - he 'left a lot of debts'). The reason was simple; there was "uncertainty over which of the four wives is the legal one".

For the record, therefore, what happened was (as far as I can make out, and using contemporary newspapers and the photos found in his personal effects):

  • Isidro originally married Nena Barbast in the Philippines in 1931. The marriage was not a success and they separated, but, by 1934, "owing to the inflexibility of Philippine domestic laws" they had not been divorced.
  • [He also got engaged to a wealthy young heiress called Colletta Mulvihill, but she ran off (with Sid's engagement ring) and married a coal-truck driver called Tom Creen, 'for a lark'.]

Anyway,

  • He then married Gracia M Marques, but they were divorced on 17 Oct 1938.

 

  • Before the divorce became final, however, Isidro seems to have married Alamar Trevinio (also known as Josephine, b. 6 Nov 1915 in Texas) in Mexico c.27 May 1938.

josephine paredes

'Best wishes and Good luck May God Bless you, Yours Josephine'

  • There was later a suit for divorce filed in Texas, but it was withdrawn by Alamar. In fact, Isidro specified her as his wife and next of kin when he joined the ATA. They adopted two children (Linda Victoria, b. 6 Nov 1940 in San Antonio and Sidney John, b. 21 Jan 1940 in Chicago), and I think this must be them:

Alamar Paredes and children possibly

  • Isidro then married Virginia Urbina on 31 Dec 1940 (again, without waiting for a divorce from Alamar). It appears that he and Virginia were later divorced.

kate worledge possibly

  • Isidro then moved to the UK, and married 34-year-old Kate Worledge (a spinster, address 'The Blossom Hotel, Chester') in Chester, England, on 28 Jul 1941. He produced papers which showed that he was divorced from 'Gracia M Paredes, nee Marques'. Which was true, but perhaps not quite the whole story...

Anyway, Kate moved to London and gave up all claims on his estate; what was left of it eventually found its way to Josephine, who had moved to Manila.

M.411

26 Mar 1941 to 24 Feb 1942

[335 days]

First Officer

 

Earl Clinton Grigsby

 ata earl grigsby 1941

San Bernadino County Sun, 1941

ata earl grigsby 1942

and 1942

flag usa b. 27 Mar 1918, Nr Roy, Washington

Educated at San Bernadino High School, CA

Address in 1941: 1382 Vine St, Highland, CA

 

A Commercial pilot, flying since 1936, Tri City Airport, San Bernadino

 

 from the 'San Bernadino County Sun':

"First Word Received from E.C. Grigsby, Highland Flier

Earl C. Grigsby, Highland youth who at 22 years of age is already a veteran flier, is now a member of the royal air force, engaged in defending London from Nazi air raids.

The youth is believed to be the only San Bernadino county flier in the R.A.F. He is the son of [ClintonTherman] Grigsby, widely known Highland resident, who is foreman of the Highland Fruit Growers' packing house.

According to a censored letter written by Earl to his father, the Highland youth said he was now 'flying over London' and that he 'had one of the best flying jobs to be had'.

As far as is known, Earl flew across the Atlantic Ocean as a ferry pilot, under contract with the Canadian government.

Earl became interested in aviation when only 16 years old and made a rapid advancement in his chosen field. He received his first training at the Shandlin Hills and the Tri-city airport.

He then went to Long Beach to further his training under government instruction. At Long Beach he was advanced 50 hours of flying requirements because of his flying record and experience.

Earl received his 'wings' two months ago at Long Beach and left almost immediately for Montreal, Canada, expecting to be an instructor for the Canadian government in one of their air schools. There again he advanced rapidly and was given an overseas contract.

Mr Grigsby recently received the first letter from his son since Earl left the United States.

The letter required three weeks to reach Highland from the aerodrome near Maidenhead, Berkshire, where Earl is stationed. The youth could tell little of his experiences in England because of censorship. He said he is studying to be a trans-atlantic pilot.

Although a native of Washington, Earl has lived in Highland the greater part of his life. His home is at 1381 Vine street. He attended Highland elementary school and was graduated from the San Bernadino High School."

 

[

media 18232 www.americanairmuseum.com

"Another Highland youth now in service in England is Grigsby's chum, Keith Alexander, also of 1382 Vine street, who is a first officer in the American Eagle Squadron, stationed near London."

 ]

Transferred to Atfero, Feb 42.

 3 Apr 1942: "He has greatly enjoyed his work overseas, but has little to say of his war experiences. Earl also visited his mother, Mrs. Margie Grisby of Harlem Springs.

Young Grisgby left tonight to drive back to Montreal to resume his flying, and expects from now on to become a transatlantic pilot."

 

From 1970, ran G&E Flying Service, which was renamed J Kreuger and E Grigsby (Redlands Air Academy) in 1975, located at 1745 Sessums Dr., Redlands CA.

 redlands air academy 1976 [Please note that this coupon is no longer valid :-} ]

 

d. 4 Apr 2001 - Highland, San Bernardino, CA

M.347

30 Mar 1941 to Mar-42

First Officer

 

John Charles Fisher

ata john fisher

ATA

flag england b. 6 May 1918, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs

a Sergeant Pilot in the RAFVR from Apr-39 to Jan-41; exp. 120hrs. He was discharged - "unable to complete course following a night crash."

prev. an insurance agent

He proved himself a "quiet, steady and conscientious officer", but had a couple of accidents during his short ATA career; on 25 October 1941 he taxied a Swordfish "carelessly" into a parked Piper Cub, and the following January he suffered head injuries in a forced landing in a Mohawk after engine failure.

His third accident, sadly, proved fatal.

janes airspeed oxford

d. 15 Mar 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Oxford X7190 crashed into ground 300' above sea level nr Wigtown. He was deemed to be 'at fault' as he persisted too far in bad weather, "of which the forecast he received gave him warning."

 The wreckage was not discovered for 3 days, and the sketch map below shows its location:

ata john fisher crash site

He was buried in Newcastle-under-Lyme Cemetery. His parents took some flowers to his grave in September 1943 and were sorry to see a wooden cross had been put there by the ATA, despite his parents having erected a stone memorial the previous November. The wooden cross was later removed.

M.369

1 Apr 1941 to 24 Apr 1943

 [753 days]

First Officer

 

Edgar Bernard Harold Hall

 ata edgar hall 1939 1939

ata edgar hall 2 ATA

flag england b. 23 Mar 1908, Woolwich

m. 1935 Philis Margarete [Hills], one child

prev. exp. 135hrs

prev a Chief Link Trainer Instructor, and aircraft inspector for A.S.T.

Address in 1941: 5 Gambia St, Swindon

"Although he appears keen enough in his flying, he is unable to control his weakness in financial matters, and through worry of this, his flying is of poor quality"

Demoted to 3rd Officer for 3 months in 1942 for landing in poor weather conditions and then leaving the aerodrome before close of flying, without waiting to see if the weather improved. 

Jan-43: "Hall came here with somewhat poor reports, but to date has done his job conscientiously and safely and has behaved himself as an officer."

 

[Contract Terminated by ATA - 'Financial Instability']

 

In 1949, he was fined £40 for bad airmanship: "Edgar Bernard Harold Hall, of Homefield House, Old Coulsdon, Surrey, was fined a total of £40 with three guineas costs at Croydon yesterday.

Hall was found guilty of making a circuit of the Croydon Aerodrome while not clear of the manoeuvring area; endangering life and property by diving under another aircraft which was engaged landing on or about July 4; and failing to obtain such authorisation of movement as was necessary for the protection of aerodrome traffic on August 13.

He pleaded guilty to piloting a plane on August 13 while not in possession of a licence. He was fined £10 on each of the four summonses. 

Captain T. J. Gunn, chief pilot of an airways company at Croydon, told the court that when he was preparing to land a Proctor at Croydon, a Tiger Moth flew straight at him for a few seconds and then dived under him. It landed in front of him and he turned away. Hall denied Captain Gunn's allegations, and said, " I am an experienced pilot and a qualified instructor of 40 years of age and have got beyond things like that."

 

d 1982 - Lewes, E Sussex

M.395

1 Apr 1941 to Sep-41

First Officer

 

Richard William Purser

ata richard purser 1939

1939

ata richard purser

ATA

flag england b. 5 Sep 1919, Slough

prev Acting Sergeant, RAF Sep-39 to Feb-41. Ex RAF - "failed to complete course in Rhodesia. 50 hrs solo"

janes airspeed oxford

d. 14 Sep 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Oxford X6958 crashed on farm at Sandon Rd, Weston-on-Trent nr Stafford, in bad visibility.

M.396

4 April 1941 to [unknown, but promoted to F/O in Feb-42]

First Officer

 

Peter Robert Griffith

 

flag england b. 28 Jun 1920, Northampton

Ed. Northampton Town and County School

m.

prev. a Leather Traveller

RAF from Apr-39 to 29 Nov 1940 (Sgt Pilot)

Address in 1941: 44 Union St, Montrose, Scotland (Father's address 53 Holly Rd, Northampton)

 

M.341

6 April 1941 to 10 Apr 1943

First Officer

Charles Lionel Griffiths Back

ata charles back 1933 1933

 

za-1928flag b. 23 Dec 1913, S Africa

Educated at St Andrews, Grahamstown, SA

Arrived in the UK in 1928

prev. RAF (Pilot Offficer) 1935-37

Address in 1941: Newton House, Barn St, Marlborough, Wilts

Postings: 2FPP, 8FPP, 9FPP, 14FPP, 15FPP

He was described as 'a very capable and experienced pilot, and in every way satisfactory', but had a couple of problems during his ATA career, being placed on a weekly salary basis after writing cheques with insufficient funds to cover them in May-42, and suspended without pay for 3 days in Jan-43 for 'failing to surrender clothing coupons'.

kenneth mackenzie and patricia 7 jun 1941 Kenneth and Patricia [Pruett], 7 Jun 1941

He then 'committed misconduct' in Luton with Patricia, the wife of Flt Lt. (later Wing Cmdr) Kenneth Mackenzie DFC, while the latter was away as a wartime guest of the Germans. The divorce judge said that it was "a most lamentable feature of the case that a man who was an officer in the RAF should commit misconduct with the wife of a brother officer who was a prisoner in German hands."

[Resigned]

Later a de Havilland test pilot

 

The loss of 11 Ferry Pilots on board the SS Nerissa, 30 Apr 1941

RAF SS Nerissa 30 April 1941 2 of 2

http://www.ssnerissa.com/

The SS Nerissa was bringing 290 passengers and crew from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Britain; amongst them were 13 American pilots destined for the ATA. 11 of them were lost after the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-boat U-552 about 100 miles NW of Donegal, Eire. There were 84 survivors.

The pilots lost were:

Robert John Burden (age 20 from Warsaw, Indiana), Kenneth Brown Collings (age 42 from Oceanside, NY), Robert Eugene Fordyce (age 20, from Chicago), Ellis Gustave Friedrich (age 37 from Peoria, IL),

Irvin Trout Landis (age 25 of Boyertown, PA), Robert Alfred Lowell (age 25 from Chickasha, OK), William Harold Nance (age 31 from Houston, TX), Robert Glenn Smith (age 33 from Warsaw, Indiana),

 James Charles Torpey (age 30 of Silverdale, Washington), John Allison Woodall (age 33 from Dallas, TX), and James Siegel Wright (age 29, from Medford OK).

 

The two surviving pilots were Clyde Cecil Foreman (M.482) and Joseph Stuart Wiley (M.427).

M.482

6 Apr 1941 to Apr-43

First Officer

 

Clyde Cecil Foreman

 

 

flag usa b. 6 Jul 1911, Nowata OK

Address in 1941: 6340 Community Drive, Houston, TX

prev. a private in the National Guard 165 Field Artillery, 1927-30, then charter work for the oil business - Air Activities Inc., based in Houston

 

Ferry Pools: 1, 14

After losing all his things on the SS Nerissa, the ATA bought him a new set, at a total cost of £89 7s 6d. It included a pipe and a watch (Second Hand):

ata clyde foreman nerissa list (click to enlarge)

 

"A good, keen and hardworking pilot who has carried out all his work most satisfactorily."

M.423

9 Apr 1941 to 31 Dec 1941

First Officer

 

James Francis Howitt

ata james howitt ATA

 

http://www.lifenews.ca/announcement/4189450-howitt-james-francis

flag canada b. 20 Apr 1914, Guelph, Ontario

Next of kin: Father, John J Howitt, 407 Water St, Guelph.

A former employee of a dairy firm, who used his savings to get to England. 

A 'non permanent gunner' in 1938 with 43rd B.T.Y., R.C.A.

P/O with 242 Sqn RAF, Jun-39 to Dec-40 - the first all-Canadian squadron of the RAF.

In September 1940, according to The Ottawa Journal, he "cracked up and was sent to hospital. Doctors told him he couldn't fly a fighter plane again. He heard he was being sent back to Canada.

'I didn't want that', Howitt said. 'Any kind of flying is better than none at all, so I volunteered for the ATA and was accepted.' " 

Address in 1941: Marbrock, Smedley St, W Matlock, Derby

 

Postings: 14FPP

Off sick from 14 Dec 41 to 28 Dec with 'nervous apprehension', perhaps brought on by the 2 forced landings he had (a Spitfire in August, and an Anson in October, both due to engine failure).

[Contract Terminated 31 Dec 1941)

 

d. November 2, 2002, Guelph

M.427

14 Apr 1941 to Dec-41

Joseph 'Stuart' Wiley

First Officer

ata joseph wiley

ATA

flag usa b. 10 Jan 1913, Pine Bluff, AR

Address in 1941: 2287 Cove Rd., Merchantville NJ

Arkansas National Guard from 1932-35

a Commercial Pilot

"Extremely hard working and capable"

Curtiss P 40 Kittyhawk of the 14 Sqn RNZAF in flight

d. 10 Dec 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Kittyhawk II AK575 left Speke at 16:15. Stuart "appeared not to be too familiar with the controls of the aircraft as he spent approximately 20 minutes in running up the engine and receiving advice from the delivery crew". When last seen he appeared to be "heading north with the aircraft properly under control", but he was never seen again. He was formally presumed dead 6 months later.

Margie Fairweather wrote: "We have had a tragedy already in no. 4b FPP. A charming American called Wiley who was posted to us left Speke on Wednesday afternoon & has not been heard of since. It is strange (or perhaps just a matter of psychology) how it always seems to be the nice ones that go and the toughs who remain."

 

ata mildred to jospeh wiley "To Stuart, Happy Memories of June 1941. Mildred"

 

[His fiancee's name was Marion Wilson and she lived in Little Rock ...]

M.381

15 Apr 1941 to Mar-42

Alexander Scott

2nd Officer

ata alexander scott 1937

1937

ata alexander scott

ATA

flag england b. 22 May 1900, Kingstown, Carlisle

prev. Royal Navy 1917-18 (Boy 1st Class) - 'usual war medals';

from 1924, a salesman for the United Yeast Co., and a member of the Carlisle Flying Club;

RAF Aug-40 to Jan-41 (Link Trainer Instructor).

prev exp 84 hrs on Gipsy Moth, Hornet Moth.

Married, 2 children

 After his initial flight test he was described as "steady, but slow, particularly in navigation"

Spitfire VB 92 Sqn top view c1941

d. 15 Mar 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Spitfire AD395 hit high ground in poor visibility at Breconside Farm, Durisdeer

M.418

16 Apr 1941 to 20 Sep 1944

[1,253 days]

First Officer

 

Edward Louis Hazeldine

ata edward hazeldine 1937 1937

ata edward hazeldine ATA

flag UK b. 19 May 1911, Paris

father William Augustus Hazeldine, mother French. Living in France at the outbreak of WWII

6ft 4¼in tall; 'scar on left of throat'

Ed. Cheltenham College

prev. Clerk, Private Secretary to Produce Merchants

prev. exp. 50hrs single engined in France

Address in 1941: Greenways, Hillside, New Barnet, Herts

Next of kin his brother, F. W. Hazeldine, later (1941) changed to his wife Mary G [Smith]

 

Ferry Pools: 15FPP, 6FPP

 'A steady pilot and an excellent officer. His keenness and sense of discipline are excellent... was quick to adapt to the Stirling."

Contracted tuberculosis of the lungs ('Koch's disease') in Jul 1943 and appears not to have flown after that.

 

Address in 1948: 188 Chiltern Court, Baker St., London

m. 1978 Cecilia Mary H [Jones] (d. 2000)

d. Jul 1984 - Chichester, Sussex

M.420

18 Apr 1941 to 15 Jun 1942

[423 days]

First Officer

 

William Arthur Hayward

 ata william hayward 1937 1937

 flag england b. 15 or 16 Apr 1907, Surbiton, Surrey

prev. a chauffeur, then an aircraft fitter for Hawker at Brooklands

 

Address in 1941: Ivy Cottage, St Mary's Rd, Oatlands Park, Weybridge

 

Postings: 6FPP, 16FPP

Off sick with gastro-enteritis from Dec-41 to Jan-42, then Apr-42 to May-42

"Has not made much progress lately, probably due to indifferent health."

Contract Teminated 15 Jun 42

 

d. Mar 1976 - Newport, Gwent, Wales

 

M.389

18 Apr 1941 to May-43

First Officer

 

Felix Graves Whitnall

 ata felix whitnall 1936

1936

 flag england b. 2 Sep 1902, Whitstable, Kent

prev. radio engineer (wireless dealer)

His ATA pilot contract was terminated in October 1942 after he had been absent following a serious accident in a Hurricane in the February. When he returned he was put onto 'Maps and Signals' duty, then back on a pilot training course in early May 1943.

This was not a success, however - "it would be much safer for himself and all concerned if he was taken off flying" - and his contract was again terminated on the 29 May 1943.

M.545

20 Apr 1941 to Apr-43

First Officer

 

James Mitchell Cathey

flag usa b. 7 May 1915, Asheville NC

Had a twin sister, Martha

High School in Washington DC

prev. Service Dept, Piper Aircraft Corp.

Address in 1940: 131E Main St., Lock Haven, PA

 

Postings: 2FPP, 9FPP

"A good pilot. Demeanour - lacking in enthusiasm."

He was due to return to the US in May 1942 (with fellow American pilots Jack Groover Durham (M.332), Bruce Elmer Raymond, H Stirling, Gerald Gilbert Yerdon, W Walters and Ernest Carl Ewing (M.470), but his contract was renewed at the last moment.

Reduced in rank to 2nd Officer for 1 month from 31 Jan 43 after showing 'very bad airmanship' when flying a Typhoon; he misjudged his approach, undershot the landing and struck a gun post.

Captain in USAAF until 1947, then with the Curry School of Aeronautics

m. Ethel Brown of the Army Nurses Corps, 22 Sep 1948

 

d.  11 Nov 1984

Burial: Culpeper National Cemetery

M.365

22 Apr 1941 to Jun-42

First Officer

 

Clarence Brook

ata clarence brook ATA

flag england b. 25 Jun 1919, Featherstone

prev. a Clerk in West Riding Surveyors Dept., Yorks

RAF Sep-39 to OCt-40, LAC/Sgt.

d. 26 Jun 1942 - killed in a motor accident at East Ardsley, nr Wakefield when returning home to visit his mother on weekend leave.

Albert Ronald Humphreys (27), a laboratory assistant, of The Avenue, Ledger Lane, Outwood, near Wakefield, was charged with Clarence's manslaughter, but a plea of dangerous driving was accepted.

At 11 o'clock at night at Ramper's Bend on the Wakefield Road at East Ardsley, Humphreys took the corner at too great a speed. The car turned over and Brook, one of the passengers, was thrown out and killed.

The Judge imposed a fine of £5O and disqualified Humphreys from holding a driving licence for three years.

buried in Pontefract Cemetery

M.366

22 Apr 1941 to 30 Nov 1945

[1,683 days]

Flight Captain

 

William Cuthbert MBE

ata william cuthbert

ata william cuthbert 2

 ATA

flag england b. 17 Jul 1912, Belsay, Newcastle on Tyne

prev exp 90hrs

a Ground Engineer for Rotol Airscrews in Gloucester

Ferry Pools: 2, 3, 9

"A pilot of outstanding ability on all types, with the added advantage of having an excellent technical background."

O.C. No 2 FPP wrote in 1945: "I cannot speak too highly of this officer's ability as a Flight Captain and a pilot. He has been one of the mainstays of this pool since the beginning of 1942."

M.421

22 Apr 1941 to 30 Jun 1945

 [1,530 days]

First Officer

 

Godfrey Albert Chichester Greene

 ata godfrey greene 1935 1935

flag UK - flag eire b. 25 Sep 1911, Dublin

Ed. G.C.S. Dublin, National School Kildare St.

prev. RAFVR 16 Jan 1939 to 18 Sep 1940, Sergeant Pilot under training

prev. a 'Ladies Court Hairdresser' in Paris, then a technical assistant at Plessey in Ilford

m. Jun-42 Madeline Clare [Grigsby] in Maidenhead [d. 2009, Wallasey]

Address in 1941: Littlewick House, Littlewick Green, Maidenhead

 

Postings: 6FPP, 16FPP, 14FPP, 1FPP

Had 5 accidents in 1942, 4 of which were his fault; he managed to damage a Walrus [failed to control swing], a Hurricane [forgot to lower undercarriage], 2 Masters [hard landing collapsed undercarriage, and hit a post whilst taxying] and a Spitfire [undercarriage leg failed to lock down, that one was not his fault].

Contract Terminated in Apr-42 but re-instated; "This pilot has been given a second chance, a further course of training in the School ... He has not given entire satisfaction. As a pilot he appears now to be average but his reports indicate that he requires driving."

"General flying poor, take-off and approaches below standard", but "A keen and willing pilot within his limited capabilities."

 Also damaged 2 more Spitfires in 1943, but neither was his fault.

 

d. Jul 1995 - Wallasey, Merseyside

M.378

25 Apr 1941 to 30 Nov 1945

First Officer

 

Sylvanus 'Syl' Anderton

ata sylvanus anderton 1938 1938

flag england b. 21 Jul 1907, Bolton

prev. A motor trader and motorcycle racer; he and his brother James founded Anderton Bros. Motor Cycles Ltd. in Bolton, Lancashire in 1935.

Served for 6 months in the Civil Air Guard, as a Unit Leader.

Address in 1941: 18 Lever Edge Lane, Great Lever, Bolton

Postings: 3FPP, 14FPP

In September 1944 his CO, Stan Ogden, wrote "Has been a member of this Pool since Dec 1942. He has proved a willing worker. He uses his head as a pilot and does not attempt to fly in weather beyond his capacity. His discipline has been a good example to more junior members of this Pool."

Syl Anderton 1949 1949

from http://triumphtiger100.blogspot.pt/

Wikipedia: "In 1949 he competed in his first Isle of Man TT event with brother James in the pits. He also competed in the Ulster Grand Prix 1949 to 1951."

Owned G-AMZI, a 1953 Auster J-5F Aiglet Trainer.

d. Dec 1983  - Bolton

M.540

28 Apr 1941 to Dec-41

First Officer

 

Ernest Edward Gasser

flag usa b. 16 Feb 1910, Peoria IL. Parents both Swiss.

Studied Engineering and Accountancy in College, then in the US Marine Corps (Radio & Comms) 1931-35

Started flying at Washington Airport on Fleet in 1936, then 1939 on Taylor Cubs and Aeronca. Bought his own Aeronca Chief, took a commercial pilot's license and an instructor's course in Rockville.

A corporal in the Washington DC Special Police, as a radio operator.

prev exp  445hrs on Aeronca, Fleet, Wco, Stinson, Fairchild, Cub.

Address in 1941: 4848 Western Ave, Chevy Chase, MD

Trained on Magister, Hawk, DH Moth and Avro Tutor; completed his training on Harvard and Hurricane in Aug 1941

 Hurricane II 

d. 7 Dec 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - in Hurricane IIb Z5663; became lost in snowstorm and nose-dived into ground in Wyre Forest, nr the Button Oak Inn, 5mi NW of Bewdley, Worcestershire.

 the button oak inn

The Button Oak Inn, 2015

 ata gasser funeral

Buried in All Saints Church, Wribbenhall on the 10th December. The pall bearers were Sergeant Pilots Jeffery (Canada), Munro (Canada), Brown (USA), Terry (USA), Isfield (Canada) and Wilson (USA).

Chief Mourners were F/O Jack Terry, F/O Anthony Storey, and Miss Stamford. The many wreaths included one from Mrs Jane Spence, "the only American-born resident in Bewdley."

His wife Mrytle wrote "Numbers of my husband's friends, both officers and fellow-pilots, have written to me. Will you please give them my sincere thanks? I'm glad he made so many friends, and I appreciate their sympathy."

M.404

29 Apr 1941 to 31 Oct 45

2nd Officer

 

Stanley Orton Bradshaw

ata stanley bradshaw 19271927

ata stanley bradshaw ICCL

flag england b. 2 Feb 1903, London

An aviation journalist (e.g. 'Flying Memories,' 1936) and a prolific and well-known artist, e.g. this from 1931:

83609

and this, from 1936:

coverart 1936 Bradshaw zpsb4aeb757

 

Address in 1941: Fivetrees, Wood Lane, Stanmore Middx

Ferry Pools; 1FPP, 6FPP

[Promoted to First Officer 29 Dec 1941, but demoted to 3rd Officer 21 June 1943 after being absent through injury following a forced landing in a Hurricane, from 27 Mar 1942 to 15 Nov 1942]

Jan-43: "After a long rest from flying owing to his accident this pilot failed to reach the necessary standard on his Class 2 refresher. He has bnow been checked out on Class 1 and after 3 months experience in this class should be given another trial."

By Dec-44 he had qualified for Class 2 and 3, and became "a good reliable and well behaved officer. His knowledge of the country and steady flying make him an excellent pilot."

d. 1950. Flight, 13 Apr: "It is with deep regret that Flight records the deaths, in an air accident at Boston last Friday, of Stanley Orton Bradshaw, pilot, and editorial contributor to The Aeroplane, and of his two passengers, E. J. Riding and N. C. Stoneham. Aged 47, Mr. Bradshaw had been a pilot since 1926 and, following wartime A.T.A. experience, had over 70 types of aircraft in his logbook. In addition, he was a noted aviation writer and painter of flying scenes. He had a happy way of transmitting his intense enthusiasm for aviation, particularly private flying, to all he met. Mr. Riding, also a writer, was an authority on aero-modelling and light aircraft. The third victim, Mr. Stoneham, was a member of the Redhill Flying Club."

M.455

1 May 1941 to 30 Nov 1945

First Officer

 

Alexander Dickie Ferguson

 

flag scotland b.3 Nov 1912, Glasgow

Educated at Fettes College, Cranwell College

RAF Pilot Officer Sep-31 to Apr-34, 111(F) Sqn RAF Hornchurch flying Siskins and Bulldogs

m. 1943 Denise Germaine [Dartnall] in Maidenhead

an Instructor in Air Navigation, for Air Schools Ltd.

Address in 1941: 26 Weymouth Mews, Weymouth St., London N1

Postings: 6FPP, 3FPP, 4aFPP, 4FPP 5FPP, and AFTS as instructor

 

"An excellent officer and reliable pilot", but developed "a rather worrying disposition and would probably overcome this if he mixed more with his collleagues."

d. 3 Apr 1986 - Bournemouth, Hants

"Elder son of the late Professor and Mrs A R Ferguson of Cairo and Edinburgh and father of Christopher." The Times [actually Christian A J Ferguson, b. 1947]

 

M.537

1 May 1941 to Sep-41

2nd Officer

 

Stephen William McFarland

ata stephen mcfarland

ATA

flag usa b. 6 Mar 1918, Mt. Vernon, OH

prev. a Flight Instructor and commercial pilot

 miles master bw

 d. 3 Sep 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Master AZ324 crashed into the sea at Terally Point, 2 miles N of Dronmore, Scotland.

And then A Small Surprise Emerged

ata stephen mcfarland jr

young Stephen Raymond Lambert McFarland

The American Red Cross in Mount Vernon, Ohio, reported that they had seen Stephen's mother Anna; "we had previously been informed by a member of our committee that we could rely on any statements she would make, she was that kind of a person".

nancy ann mcfarland

Anna

from http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hhickman/p271.htm

Anna told the Red Cross that she and Fred (Stephen's father) had been contacted by an English girl - Frona 'Daisy' Lambert, who told them she had met Stephen when she was a 'canteen hostess' in London. They became fond of each other "and - well - a baby was soon on the way."

Stephen had not known she was pregnant: "About that time Stephen became acquainted with another girl and saw a great deal of her. Miss Lambert was proud and did not hunt Stephen up to tell of her condition". After the baby was born (on the 14th March 1942) she wrote to him, not knowing that he had been killed.

"Miss Lambert is most anxious to keep the baby with her and find some way to solve her problems... Her mother is dead and her father has more or less disowned her since she became an unwed mother."

Stephen's parents wanted Daisy to bring the baby (who, they said, bore a strong resemblance to Stephen) to live in Mount Vernon. They would, they said, "plan to have her known as their son's widow" and look after her and the baby, to the best of their limited resources. Anna wrote to Daisy: "We are surely glad about the baby but sorry you did not tell Steve as we are sure he would of made everything alright with you and been proud of his son."

All was then arranged; the only serious qualms felt by the McFarlands were "in regard to Miss Lambert's name. Their wish is to introduce the girl as their late son's widow, which will be difficult if she does not bear his name." They wondered if it would be possible for Daisy to change her surname to McFarland? This was "owing to their fear that complications and unpleasantness might arise in a small farming community, having a somewhat rigid moral outlook."

Indeed it was possible, and Daisy and Stephen Raymond changed their name to McFarland in May 1943. The ATA Benevolent Fund agreed an ex-gratia payment of $3,000 to Mr and Mrs McFarland, and $3,000 in trust for Stephen Jnr. on the condition that Fred and Anna could sponsor their move to the US.

The ATA also arranged for Daisy and Stephen Jr to stay with Sqn Ldr Morgan in Twyford until arrangements could be made for their transfer to the US, and gave him £3 10s a week for her board and lodging.

In April, Daisy wrote to the ATA: "You are kind to go to all this trouble for us, and I will not disappoint you. It will be a fresh start, in different surroundings, and I shall do my utmost to settle down, and help Mrs Morgan as much as possible."

By June 1943, however, Daisy seems to have disappointed some people at least, according to a letter from Cmdr Stocks, the ATA Personnel Officer. Having moved to Amerden Priory (thanks in part to Audrey Sale-Barker), she spent "the majority of her time lazing about the gardens and in the evening playing cards until the early hours of the morning." One evening she reportedly won 6s at cards and the next morning bought cigarettes with this money, instead of buying new shoes for her baby - his only shoes being worn out.

She also was reported to have consorted with other married men, to have wasted money on taxis, stayed out late, etc, etc. Daisy thought, apparently, that Mount Vernon was going to be "a place of bright lights, lots of music and tall buildings", and thought that everyone owned a car.

Whether or not the reports were true or not is impossible to say - in Daisy's letters she comes across as a sweet, perfectly respectable, 22-year-old. She was making a living as a dressmaker and did 'very fine needlework'.

They finally arrived in Mount Vernon in September 1943. "Just a few lines to let you know I arrived safely. After we parted at N.Y. I was feeling pretty low... I got to Columbus at around 11:30 the next morning and Mrs McFarland sent her son Frank to pick me up by car."

"It's very nice here, everybody's so sweet and kind, I shan't find it difficult to settle down. Things are so different to England, but in the right way."

"p.s. Dumbo's doing fine - and if possible - getting fatter."

Anna's great-nephew tells me that "I recall visiting Anna on her farm in Ohio, and my parents kept in contact with their other son Frank McFarland, until the 1990’s when he died."

Virginia Gooch Howard Anna McFarland

Anna McFarland, on the right

Daisy - reverting to her original name, Frona - later moved out of Ohio, married Benjamin H Corbin in 1946 (he was a bricklayer; they divorced in 1971), had two daughters (Kim and Carla) and carried on with her 'fine needlework', for example winning 'Best of Show' in the 1980 Yarncrafters Guild Show.

Frona Corbin 1980 Frona in 1980: photo courtesy of Howard Hickman

"Lest the impression be given that Ms Corbin has spent her life with a needle in her hand, it should be noted that, amongst other things, she has travelled with a carnival for six-seven years, worked as a carpenter's helper for four years, done interior and exterior house painting for four years and managed a pet shop for several years."

"I look at every day as something exciting ... One of the nicest things my children ever said to me was, 'Mother, don't ever grow up'."

Frona died in 2002 aged 80.

As for Stephen's parents, Fred died in 1959 and the indomitable Anna in 1972.

M.470

3 May 1941 to 2 May 1942

First Officer

 

Ernest Carl Ewing

 

flag usa b. 15 Jan 1914, Savannah in Chatham, GA

Address in 1941: (mother) 607 15th Ave E, Cordele, GA

Ed. Georgia Military College

prev. A Banker; Flight Instructor; US Army Sep-28 to Aug-40, 2nd Lieut.

'Flying since 1928'

Postings: 3FPP

Either "a good and capable pilot", or "This pilot gossips and grumbles too much about things of which he knows nothing; a troublemaker."

 

M.413

4 May 1941 to 21 Apr 1944 (as pilot)

 [1,083 days]

First Officer

 

John Wright Gibbs

ata john gibbs ATA

ata john gibbs 1946 1946

flag scotland b. 28 Mar 1915, Queensferry, W. Lothian, Scotland

prev. a salesman (Gents Tailors), and a Ground Instructor for Marshall's Flying School, Cambridge

m. , one child before 1941

RAFVR Sgt in General Duties Branch, Apr-39 to Aug-40, exp. 70 hrs solo

Address in 1941: 34 Elfloda Rd, Cambridge

 

Postings: 4FPP, 4aFPP, 1FPP, 10FPP

He had 4 'at fault' accidents:

- 30 Jun 1941: overshot on landing in Fairey Battle P6668;

- 24 Oct 1941: his Hurricane BE341 collided with a Blenheim in bad visibility [suspended for 3 days without pay for landing late and in bad weather];

- 22 Mar 1942: failed to control landing swing in Spitfire Vb BL775, swung off runway and nosed over, and

- 11 Jun 1942: failed to control swing (again), but at least there were extenuating circumstances in that he was making a single-engine forced landing in Beaufort W6498 at the time.

 

He was then injured as a passenger in yet another 'landing swing' accident on 22 Apr 1943; "Consolidated Catalina FP321 swung on landing after a training flight and sank. The accident on Cumbrae involved Captain Ernest Cook, Flight Captain Jose Carreras from Spain, and Flying Officer Gibbs, who all survived the accident, but sadly, the body of Flight Engineer Harold Frank Peter Waldron was never found. Flight Captain Jose Maria Carreras, who was a former Spanish Civil War pilot, was instructing on the seaplane when through no fault of his own, the aircraft crashed." http://www.largsandmillportnews.com/news/13750810.70th_anniversary_of_Catalina_crash

"A good officer whose flying was entirely satisfactory."

 

Transferred to Admin (Air Accidents Investigation Officer)  Apr-44 [at a salary of £525 a year.]

 Off sick from 29 Nov 1944 to 13 Apr 1945 - "Reporting to Canadian Hospital"

When he returned to flying, "This pilot flew the Moth and Argus well and is perfectly safe on those types. These two aircraft are at the moment the limit of his ability due to his physical handicap."

"Occupational Ability: Average. Very good but inclined to be erratic."

"General Remarks: With growing experience his judgement is improving. At first he was inclined to be a little emotional and prejudiced in his judgement, and to be argumentative, but he is settling down."

ATA contract terminated Jan-46.

M.403

6 Apr 1941 to 23 Jan 1944

[1,002 days]

First Officer

 

Stanley Richard Herringshaw

 ata stanley herringshaw ATA

flag england b. 2 Mar 1905, Erith, Kent

ed. at Elborow and Rugby

m. 1936 Myra Helen [Small], 3 children

RAFO from 1928 to 1941; Studied Engineering at Imperial College London, then an Aeronautical Draughtsman for Fairey & Co.

prev. exp. 188 hrs in 'Hart, Audax, DH87, DH Tiger Moth, Miles Hawk, Blackburn B2'

Address in 1941: 12 St Mary's Walk, Hayes, Middx. Later moved to "Ashfield", Milmer Rd, Burnham, Bucks.

Originally applied to ATA in Aug-1940 but withdrew owing to 'circumstances beyond my control', and re-applied in Mar-41.

Postings: 1FPP

"A keen, hardworking pilot who is progressing well, and developing into a first rate ferry pilot. Discipline Good." [Frankie Francis] He was offered a place as an instructor but turned it down as he wanted to continue ferrying, and felt he did not have the right temperament to be an instructor.

Beaufort I

d. 23 Jan 1944 [Killed in ATA Service] in Beaufort N1001 which crashed at Chobham, Surrey, after a fire in the port engine caused by a 'seizure of a wrist pin'.

Third Officer [Flight Engineer] Stanley Edwin Cooke also killed.

Buried Maidenhead (Section D No, 16W)

M.471

6 May 1941 to 10 Aug 1943

First Officer

 

Joseph Gaston Naz

 

flag UK b. 13 Mar 1908, Curepipe, Mauritius

Father: Joseph Lois Naz (A member of the Institution of Civil Engineers)

Educated at Bedford School, Stanislas College Paris. B.Sc.

m. 1933 Eileen Winifred [Barrett], 2 children

Next of Kin: Dr P L Naz, Kingston & District Hospital

An Electrical Engineer; R.A.F. Reserve Officer Jun-28 to Nov-39

Address in 1941: 72 Handside Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Herts

 

Postings: 15FPP, 3FPP, 14FPP, 1FPP (Communications Flt)

"A keen and competent pilot", "Above average as a pilot; apt to be a bad time-keeper."

 

d. 26 Jul 1962 - St Albans, Herts

M.407

13 May 1941 to 31 Jul 1945

Flight Captain

 

Ian Stewart Fossett

 ata ian fossett 1939 1939

ata ian fossett ATA

flag england b. 14 May 1917, Wolverhampton

prev. a draughtsman for Bristol Aeroplane Co

RAFVR L/AC from Sep-39 to Oct-40

prev. exp. 52hrs

Address in 1941: (father) Outwood, Almondsbury, Bristol

Later: Rosemary, Imber Pk Rd, Esher, Surrey

 

Postings: 16FPP, 5(T)FP, CTO

Reprimanded in Mar-43 for a taxying accident in which his Dominie struck Pilot Officer Reinke and knocked him over, although both were held responsible.

"This officer at all times carries out his duties and responsibilities in a very satisfactory manner."

King's Commendation for valuable service in the air

 

m. 1952 Kathleen M Kromhout Or Fraser in St Albans

The ‘quiet and reserved’ executive aircraft sales manager of Hawker Siddeley.

d. 27 Apr 2001 - Sootfield Green, nr Hitchin, Herts

 

M.450

13 May 1941 to 31 Dec 1945

Flight Captain

 

Frederick Robert Davy

ata frederick davy 1936 1936

flag england b. 30 May 1900, Great Yarmouth

Royal Flying Corps/RAF from Nov-17 to Jun-19; 'Boy and Aircraft Mechanic'

m. 1925 Adelaide [Holmes], 2 children [Robert, b. 1929, d.2002, Pamela b. 1931, d. 1936]

A jeweller and watchmaker (his own business: apparently, "The sign on Frederick Davy's shop in Great Yarmouth said "Watchmakers since 1700."), also an instrument maker for the Air Ministry.

He was a witness in a rather sad case in May 1937, as reported by the Thetford & Watton Times:

"FOUND HANGING. Yarmouth Man’s Suicide In His Home.

A verdict of "Suicide while temporarily of unsound mind” was recorded by the Borough Coroner, at the Town Hall on Tuesday, at the inquest on Edward Gilbert Edwards (53), of 8 Caister Road, who was found hanging from a bannister in his home on Saturday.

Frederick Robert Davy, watchmaker, of 37, Calster Road, said that at 1.40 a.m., in consequence of information he received, he went across to 8, Caister Road. 'When I got into the house', 'said witness, 'I saw the man hanging by the neck from a bannister rail; his feet were about ten or twelve feet from the ground floor. I could see that the man was dead and had been hanging for some time, and owing to this fact I telephoned the police.'"

Address in 1941: 8, Caspard Pl, Barry, Glamorgan

 

Postings: 16FPP, 15FPP, 14FPP, 4FPP, 1FPP

"A careful pilot of average ability, has sound judgement but was inclined to be underconfident at first" ... "Since promotion to Flight Captain [in September 1944] has assumed the position of Accidents Investigation Officer." 

Off sick from 17 Dec 1942 to 1 Jan 1943 with a 'touch of pleusiry [sic]'

 

d. Mar 1979  - Norwich

M.405

15 May 1941 to Sep-45

Commander

 

Marcus Samuel 'Mark' Hale OBE

ata marcus hale

1945

flag england b. 20 Jan 1900, Manchester but grew up in London; went to school in Fulham and Putney.

prev exp 'over 500 hrs' on D.H.9a - he joined the RFC as a cadet in Nov 1917. However, his time in the RAF was short; he moved to 137 Squadron in June 1918, and graduated with good marks in October 1918, but he was moved to the unemployed list in May 1919.

 After a year out, he was given a short service commission in July 1920, but this did not go well:

- He was reprimanded for 'failing to take proper precautions ...of secret despatches' in October 1920;

- He went 'absent without leave' from the 5th to the 11th December 1920. (Actually, on the 20th he married Gertrude Maude Mickle at Lambeth Registry Office), and was again reprimanded;

- Finally, he was court-martialled for 'disobeying a lawful command given by a senior officer' and was dismissed His Majesty's service in May 1921.

He then married Dorothy Mary () and they lived in Sevenoaks, Kent. He worked in the leisure industry, then when WWII came along, in the Hurricane Repairs Section of Gloster Aircraft Co.

Marc Joan 1942 pvw

Joan and Mark 1942

He met Joan Durham Witherby (q.v.) when she joined the ATA in 1942, and they had a son together in November 1945, who remembers his mother telling him that "she was still flying missions with the ATA whilst pregnant".

During his time in the ATA, he flew 35 different types of aircraft. He was initially assessed as an "above average pilot who, although somewhat out of flying practice proved himself a safe and steady pilot, possessing good judgement."

In Feb 1943 he was appointed as Officer Commanding, No 5 FPP, then O.C. the Training Pool from Aug-43, and finally O.C. No 1 FPP from Nov-44. He performed his duties in "an eminently satisfactory manner" and also managed to do a fair number of ferry flights himself, including a few on Halifaxes.

Marc S 1945

Mark in 1945

In 1946 he was one of the 13 members of the ATA to receive the OBE for his services during WWII.

d. Sep 1981, Chichester

M.547

15 May 1941 to Jan-42

First Officer

 

Cletus Lloyd 'Clyde' Park

ata cletus park

Houston Post, October 1941

flag usa b. 9 Jul 1909, Salem in Dent, MO

His father was Jesse L Park, mother Lula, and he had a brother and two married sisters: Sanford R, Mrs Alice Hendricks, and Mrs Lucile Faulk.

I'm not sure how he came to be accepted for the ATA; his May 1941 flight test at Uplands Airport, Ottawa, said "This applicant carried out a very poor test and due to nervousness he is not considered suitable for ferry work. FLYING WAS DANGEROUS."

This article appeared in  the 'Houston Post' in 1941:

"Ferrying planes around on the British Isles is a tough job because there is so much fog. Take it from Clyde L Park, a 29-year-old former Houstonian who is now in England doing just that for the British Government.

Mr. Park started learning to fly at the Cunningham Airport in Houston last January. After 35 hours of instruction he obtained his private licence. Then he hitchhiked to Canada and received five months of training at a Canadian government school.

Park ferried a bomber to England for the RAF and stayed in Englnad to fly for the Air Transport Auxiliary. He is stationed now at the White Waltham airdrome at Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

In a letter written Sept 14 to "all the gang" at Cunningham Airport, which bore a sticker, "opened by examiner 1541", Park said, "I will try to tell you what little I can about England and my flying here."

Scissors had been used on the letter, to clip out parts of a sentence in which Park apparently had told how long it took to cross the Atlantic and at what port he landed.

"We came to London by train", he wrote. "There were 12 US pilots and we sure blew our top the first two nights in London. Night life is quite gay in the old city, but part of it sure has been hit hard. They sent us on to White Waltham airdrome where they gave us two months training, ground school and flying. My first ship they put me in was a Harvard, which is the North American trainer with a constant speed prop, flaps and retractable gear. Boy, did I have my hands full? Ha!"

"I had an English instructor and he had a lot of patience or I never would have made it. He soloed me in two hours and I got about 10 hours on the Harvard. I went from there to [Lysanders], Battles, Hurricanes, then Spits."

"I have flown every single motor type of aircraft they have and I think the Spitfire is the sweetest one of them all. It is fast as hell but very easy to handle and doesn't have any bad tricks."

"We ferry all over the British Isles and when we have had a few months' experience on single motors they send us back to school and give us twin motor conversion. I am about due for my twins now."

"I like the job OK if the weather would stay good. But this stuff is hell, you can't tell 15 minutes ahead what it is like. We have lost two of the boys that came over with me. One flew into the hills in Scotland and the other flew into the Irish Sea. The damn soup closed in on them."

"It is good experience as we get to fly so many different types of aircraft, and it shakes you sometimes when you get one that you know nothing about where all the knobs and gadgets are. All they give us is notes on the take off, revs and cruise and you have to figure the rest out."

"Did you know Clyde Forman? He is here, doing OK. He was on the boat with Nance and one of three that got here."

Park said his rating now is first officer, with two stripes in the shoulder."

---

Hawker Hind

d. 30 Jan 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Hind K6838 crashed into high ground on Eaglesham Moor 10mi S of Glasgow in snowstorm. He had failed to get a weather forecast for the route before taking off.

----

... And I found this photo in his file:

ata cletus park photo in file

but I don't know who she is ...

M.437

15 May 1941 to Mar-42

First Officer

 

Ronald Arthur Porter

ronald porter RAeC 1936

1936

ata ronald porter

ATA

flag england b. 6 Apr 1913, Carlisle

 prev. a Joiner and Cabinet Maker

prev exp 100hrs

 Sergeant in the RAF from Aug-40, on Link Trainer based in Cambridge

Spitfire VB 92 Sqn top view c1941

d. 15 Mar 1942 (Killed in ATA Service) - Spitfire Vb AD296 crashed in poor visibility at Lochembrech Hill nr. Castle Douglas

M.439

16 May 1941 to Dec-45

Flight Captain

 

David George Sinclair Cotter MBE

ata david cotter 1945

flag england b. 18 May 1913, Leicester

ed. St Paul's, London

RAF Short Service Commission, terminated 1933 due to ill health

Company Commander in the Home Guard May-40 to Jan-41

prev. Aircraft Inspector for Fairey Aviation, Hayes.

"A sound and smart officer who is a great asset to the ATA"

 

He was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for his part in the rescue of the crew of a returning operational Halifax III of No. 420 Squadron, piloted by Flight Lieutenant R. A. Kalle which, having been damaged during a sortie over Normandy, overshot the runway and caught fire at White Waltham on the 30th July 1944.

The full list of those commended was:

pilots David Cotter (M.349), Reginald Davidson (M.918), Marvin Dunlavy (M.408), Albert Gardner, John Gulson, Francis Lees, Alan Murray, Donald Soutter;

Fire Officer D Baldwin, Senior Flight Engineer Kenneth Payne, and

Mr J.J. Thompson.

He was also awarded an MBE. The citation reads "An aircraft crashed on landing and burst into flames. Despite the fire and the bombs on board, which subsequently exploded, the crew, five of whom were seriously injured in the crash, were extricated ... First Officer Cotter gave invaluable help in getting the Rear-Gunner out of his turret, which had become jammed. The man was unconscious, lying partly in the turret and partly in the rear of the fuselage. While others worked on the turret from the outside, Cotter, finding the turret could not be swung back, entered the fuselage, after forcing the normal entrance. The starboard wing was blazing fiercely and the heat was so intense that the starboard elevator burst into flames. It was then found necessary to remove the gunner’s flying equipment before those outside could extricate him safely ... Cotter showed great courage without thought for his own safety."

d. 2003, Surrey

M.453

16 May 1941 to 19 Nov 1942

2nd Officer*

 

Philip de Walden Avery

ata philip de walden avery 1931 1931

flag england b. 5 May 1909, London

Educated at Harrow

Pre-WWII amateur aviator who had owned:

- a 1930 Comper CLA.7 Swift, G-AAZD; 

- a 1931 DH.60G Gipsy Moth, G-ABPT, and

- a 1933 Comper CLA.7 Swift, G-ACML

He also entered (the one and only) Comper Streak, G-ACNC, for the 1935 King's Cup Race, but withdrew before the start.

m. 1939 Ilona de Walyel

A Company Director (Minox Ltd)

Address in 1941: Old Mill Cottage, Wargrave, Berks

 

Postings: 1FPP

"An average pilot, with not too good a sense of discipline"

[* First Officer from 14 Aug-42 but demoted to 2nd Officer 2 weeks later for flying in bad weather, supposedly for a period of 3 months. However, his contract was terminated before this period ended.

The accident which caused him to be demoted was on the 15th August 1942, when he 'abandoned a Spitfire after running out of fuel through flying in bad weather'. The final straw was when, on the 16th November, he forgot to lower the undercarriage of a Hurricane when landing.]

In his defence, he did successfully force-land a Short Scion in September 1942 after engine failure; on the other hand, the Hurricane was the second aeroplane in which his cockpit drill had missed out this rather important item - he had also landed a Blenheim with its wheels up on the 30th August ...

[Contract Terminated by ATA 'due to the number of at-fault accidents' (actually, the Hurricane was his 5th)]

 

Address in 1967: The Garth, Wellingore, Lincoln and Kafue National Game Park, Zambia"

 

d. Mar 1985 - Lincoln

M.468

16 May 1941 to Oct-43

First Officer

 

John Close

ata john close 3 1936

ata john close 2

ata john close ATA

flag scotland b. 27 May 1902, Kelvin Side, Glasgow

m. Amy Clifford Florence

prev. a bus driver for London Transport;

Staff Sgt, Royal Artillery Sep-36 to Sep-38;

RAF Link Trainer Instructor Feb-40 to May-40

 

Address in 1941: 5 Fairway Terrrace, Muswell Hill, London N.10

 

Postings: 1FPP, 5FPP

"A difficult man to assess - proved himself equal to one emergency and yet has made silly mistakes when everything was going right."

"A careful pilot of average ability. His progress has been marred by a long period of sickness."

"Slow generally and judgement rather poor, but improved later and by working hard showed great progress ... somewhat underconfident."

M.531

18 May 1941 to Mar-42

First Officer

William Raymond Cooper

flag usa b. 6 Jun 1914, Prescott, AR

prev. New Orleans Private Police. Service as Private Patrolman;

National Guard - Army Sergeant

Ground Instructor Aviator

prev. exp. 380 hrs

Ferry Pools: 3, 15

M.436

20 May 1941 to 8 Dec 1944

First Officer

 

Lawrence Saville Dawson

ata lawrence dawson 1927 1927

ata lawrence dawson ATA

flag england b. 13 Jan 1908, Bradford

Father: Sir Benjamin Dawson, 1st Baronet (d. 1966)

Educated at Harrow

 

alice hudson dawson 1931

m. 1932 to Alice [Hudson], 1 child before 1941

 

A Wool Merchant, (Joseph Dawson Cashmere Works, Bradford)

Address in 1941: Park House, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Yorks

 

Postings: 6FPP, 7FPP, 782 Sqn RAF

"a safe and reliable pilot who carries out his work in a conscientious manner and has proved a useful Class 5 (4-engine) pilot to this Unit." C.O. 7FPP, Oct-44

He wrote to the ATA on 10 Jan 1945: "I am very sorry I had to resign from ATA at my firm's request, and would like to take this opportunity of thanking you and all your officers for the help and consideration I received all over the country during the course of my duties as a ferry pilot.

If a further emergency arises, and you require my services again, I shall be very pleased if you will let me know, in which case I would do everything possible to come back."

 

The Yorkshire Post reported on him thus, in November 1955:

"Flew too low over sports field, fined

Prosecution witnesses at Bradford City Court yesterday claimed that a twin-engined aircraft flew over a Dudley Hill sports ground at 100 feet, frightening young children.

To this, Lawrence Saville Dawson (47), company director, Park House, Pool-in-Wharfedale, the pilot of the plane, said: “I should have hit mill chimneys and all sorts of things at 150 feet.”

Dawson, a war-time ferry pilot with 30 years flying experience, and director of Yeadon Aviation Ltd., was accused of flying over an “assembly of persons” at less than 1,000 feet. He was fined £5O and ordered to pay £5 costs.

Dawson told the Court that he appreciated the folly of low flying. He had been asked to fly over the works field on their sports day and did so at about 1,000 feet."

 

He owned Taylor Auster AOP5 G-ANID, which was written off after he crashed it at Stonor, Oxfordshire on 13 Feb 1958.

Lawrence became 2nd Baronet on his father's death in 1966.

 

d. 14 Aug 1974

buried St John Churchyard, Acaster Selby

M.458

20 May 1941 to 28 Apr 1945

First Officer

 

Arthur Irving Drabble

ata arthur drabble 1933 1933

ata arthur drabble ATA

flag england b. 16 Feb 1901, Conisbrough, Yorks

Educated at Mexborough Secondary School

m. 1923 Phyliss [Akester]

Corporal in Home Guard 'B' Co, Hatfield, Sep-40 to Mar-41

A "Manufacturing Confectioner"

Address in 1941: North Cliffe House, North Cliffe Rd, Conisbrough, Nr Doncaster

 

Postings: 2FPP, 3, FPP, 14FPP

"A steady and conscientious pilot who has worked well. He is a little inclined to be forgetful at times."

"A very slow starter [on the Class 5 conversion course] due partially to complete lack of experience on 4+ aircraft and the fact that he was inclined to be somewhat nonchalant towards the whole course, showing little interest. After realising the high responsibility he was accepting he showed considerable improvement."

 

d. 1958  - Don Valley, Yorks

 

"A confectionery business was established in Conisbrough by Jos Drabble and brother-in-law John Maxfield during 1890. But after a while the two men parted company and established their own confectionery businesses. John’s firm was short-lived and a number of his staff joined Jos’s venture which by 1924 was a limited company.

Jos’s son, Arthur, succeeded his father and he was also well-known in motorcycling circles. He was in the first four in the 1924 Isle of Man TT Races and was a keen flyer. On Sunday afternoons during the 1930s he was frequently seen performing ‘loop-the-loops’ and other spectacular tricks in his aeroplane over Conisbrough.

In 1938 Drabble’s warehouse caught fire and residents said that this led to the road being covered in melted chocolate. Arthur Drabble died in 1958 and was succeeded in the business by daughter, Doreen. The company ceased trading after she retired in 1981."


http://www.southyorkshiretimes.co.uk/lifestyle/down-memory-lane-with-peter-tuffrey-conisbrough-traders-1-5476918

 

Evidence of his motor-cycling career comes from the 'Sheffield Independent' in 1923: "MOTORISTS' OFFENCES In the West Riding Police Court on Saturday, William S. Flower, dentist, and Arthur Drabble, confectioner, Conisborough, were fined £7 each for riding motor-cycles in a manner dangerous to the public on the Great North Road. The police evidence was that defendants were travelling at 60 miles per hour."

M.508

20 May 1941 to Nov-45

Captain

Francis Walter Bourne

flag british india b. 9 Dec 1904, Faizabad, India

prev. Lieut. in Royal Navy 1918-28; RAF F/O

Farming, Commercial Flying. Ambulance Driver 1941

"An experienced pilot, consistent and hard-working"

from May 1944, 2nd-in-command, No 14 FPP (Ringway)

d. 1967, Hove

M.530

22 May 1941 to Mar-42

2nd Officer

 

James Sollee 'Jimmy' Browne

 ata james sollee browne

http://www.cnac.org/jamesbrowne01.htm

flag usa b. 27 Jan 1921, Evanston IL

Promoted to First Officer, 15 Feb 1942;

Demoted to 2nd Officer, 6 Mar 1942 [Dangerous Flying and taking off on an unauthorised flight]

"Hardworking and capable but not always reliable - now and again indulges in low or dangerous flying"

[Contract Terminated 23 Mar 1942 by ATA - Disciplinary Reasons]

d. c.17 Nov 1942; his China National Air Corporation C-47 went missing flying between China and India.

In October 1945, his mother wrote to the ATA:

"Dear Sir,

We have today received the log book of our son, James S Browne, who was in your service '41-2 as First Officer. He was first stationed at Maidenhead and later at Ratcliffe Hall, Leicester. Perhaps you did not know him personally, or may not have been at White Waltham at the time he was in service - but, in any case, I wanted to let you know that after he returned to the States April 1942, he was engaged by the Pan American & China National Aviation Corporation to transport supplies over the 'Hump' from India to China.

He flew a DC-3 to Calcutta shortly after his return from England and shortly after his arrival there, was made Captain of a C-47. As you may know that is the most treacherous flying in the world, and the weather conditions are very bad.

Jim has been missing since Nov 17, 1942. and no trace of him, the plane, or the crew. Almost three years have passed and, of course, we are offered no hope from the China { } - the anxiety has been terrible. He was 21 and our only child.

It does not help to know that millions of others are also suffering. This is our own personal sorrow.

I shall be so very glad if you will be good enough to let us know if you happened to know Jim, or did anyone else in your station - it would be a comfort to us to hear from any of his friends. It seems so unreal to us now, that year he spent in England, so long ago - but it was only in 1941. We had not entered the war at the time and Jim did not have to go, but was anxious to try out for that job. He was so very young.

Hoping to hear from you again, which we shall very much appreciate.

Sincerely, 

Harriet S Browne (Mrs Herbert S Browne)

653 Hill Road, Winnetka, Illinois"

The wreckage was not discovered until 2011, 13,400 feet up a mountain in China's Yunnan province.

see http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=82970150

M.488

22 May 1941 to Aug-41

2nd Officer

 

Henry Edward Taylor

ata henry taylor 1936

1936

ata henry taylor

ATA

flag england b. 23 Apr 1904, London

prev. A Stockbroker, then with the Ministry of Economic Warfare

avro641 3

d. 17 Aug 1941 (Killed in ATA Service) - Avro Commodore stalled on approach and crashed at White Waltham aerodrome on the 10th August; Henry had multiple fractures and chemical burns, and died in hospital a week later.

28 Oct 1941 "Please let me know what has happened to P.O. H. E. Taylor who was with you on a 'course' in June and July last ... It is so unusual for him not to answer letters and we have become extremely anxious. He has no living relations and we are his oldest friends. Valerie Clemson-Young"

M.457

27 May 1941 to Jun-43

First Officer

 

Anthony Carpenter

ata anthony carpenter 1936 1936

ata anthony carpenter ATA

flag england b. 4 Sep 1913, London

Educated at Caterham School

m. 1940 Ruby Violet [Haines]

RAeC Certificates in 1936 (in an autogiro) and 1938

prev. A/C erection foreman, Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Ltd

Address in 1941: 289 Alleseley Old Rd, Coventry

Postings: 6FPP, 3FPP

"A keen and conscientious officer, inclined to be a little slow."

vickers wellington

d. 21 Jun 1943 (Killed in ATA Service) - Wellington XIV HF136 crashed and burnt out at Hawarden. Port engine lost power immediately after takeoff, due to an electrical short-circuit which caused the port propeller to feather.

M.445

28 May 1941 to 29 Nov 1942

First Officer

 

Richard Stanley Pavey

 [1939 RAeC photo missing]

flag england b. 21 Dec 1913, London

m. 1939 Vera Nora [Healey] in Brentford, Middx

prev. an instrument assembler for R&S, Shannon Corner, New Malden

Address in 1941: 7 Talbot Rd, Isleworth, Middx

 

"A good type of officer who works hard and well."

Off duty from 5 May 1942, after the accident in which John Burge Erickson and Thomas Walton (see below) were killed. His contract was suspended on medical grounds on 29 November.

 

As Stan or Stanley Pavey, a cinematographer involved in 38 films between 1944 and 1957, perhaps most famously as the Director of Photography on the 1954 version of 'The Belles of St. Trinian's'.  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0661391/

d. May 1984 - Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

  1941 Jun - Dec