Pauline Mary de Peauly Gower MBE

   1930

 

 

b. 22nd July 1910 in Tunbridge Wells; younger daughter of Sir Robert Gower, M.P for Gillingham, Kent.

5 feet 5 in height, in case you wondered.

The Bystander Special Aviation Edition, 1933

"In England you can count on one hand the women who are making a living directly from flying. Probably foremost among them are the two girl flyers, Pauline Gower and Dorothy Spicer, who work in partnership at joy-riding. Miss Gower is the pilot and Miss Spicer the mechanic." - Amy Mollison, writing in 1934

"Pauline Gower, one of the few women who has already achieved a successful commercial flying career, did joyriding last year in 185 different towns with a travelling air circus." - Mary Bertha de Bunsen

pauline gower with spartan 1932  1932

She was fined £222 in 1933, having taxied her Spartan into a stationary Moth at Cardiff while giving joy-rides in an air pageant (although she reckoned it had definitely moved since she checked where it was). Three years later, she was taken to hospital suffering from concussion and 'lacerations of the scalp' after she ... collided with another aeroplane on the ground, this time at Coventry airport.

During her air-taxi career, she was reckoned to have piloted more than 33,000 passengers.

In 1937 she, Amy Johnson and Dorothy Spicer invited "all women pilots interested in the idea of a central meeting-place for women aviators in London" to write to them, but I don't think it ever happened.

Founder and first Commandant of the Women's Section of the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1940; from 1943, a board member of BOAC. She had a narrow escape in August 1943 when 'Fortuna', an old Imperial Airways airliner, with her and 7 other BOAC officers aboard, made a forced landing near Shannon and was written off.

See here for more: Gower, Pauline Mary de Peauly (W.25) (ata-ferry-pilots.org)

 

Married Wing Commander William Cusack Fahie in June 1945, but died of a heart attack in March 1947 giving birth to twin boys, one of whom, Michael, later published 'A Harvest of Memories' about her.

She owned:

a 1929 Simmonds Spartan, G-AAGO, (the one which she wrote off in the taxying accident in Cardiff in August 1933), and then

a 1931 Spartan Three Seater, G-ABKK, the one which she wrote off in the taxying accident at Coventry in May 1936.

 

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