In an astonishing flying life, centenarian aviatrix Mary Ellis flew no less than four hundred Spitfire aircraft in the Air Transport Auxiliary, delivering these iconic fighters to RAF airfields. Melody Foreman takes up her story.

Flying with the Air Transport Auxiliary

Destiny was calling excited schoolgirl, Mary Wilkins, when she leapt into an aircraft to take her first flight aged just eight years old. Propped up with cushions in the cockpit of a DH60 Moth she couldn’t stop smiling as the great aviator and Royal Flying Corps hero, Sir Alan Cobham, taxied them across the grass. She watched avidly as the propeller blades sliced the air in front of her, faster, faster, faster until the aircraft had left the grass of Witney Airfield and they were sky-bound. Mary was hooked.


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