Tag Archives: Spitfire

Spitfire Pilot Captured, Then Returns with His Nazi Captors

One of the stranger tales from WWII.  Peter During, an RAF Spitfire Fighter Pilot during WWII was shot down by German flak over Italy near the end of hostilities in the war.  Although similar incidents were experienced during those closing war days by other captured Allied fighters, this story is unique because one of his Nazi captors had his personal camera along to record the events.  Knowing his camera would be confiscated, he handed his camera to Peter at the last minute, which has enabled us to actually see and share those events as they occurred long ago.  That was over 75 years ago!  Peter was interviewed for this video in his South African home eight years ago.  This wartime story is thanks to Tinus le Roux

The video story is only 11 minutes in length.

Mary Ellis, One of Britain’s WWII Ferry Pilots, Flies Into Sunset

Dateline Tuesday July 24, 2018 London UKMary Ellis (ne Wilkins) during WWII while on Flight Duty

Virg Hemphill

This story is thanks to FASF Aviation News Scout, Virg Hemphill (L)

One of the last few living British female World War II Ferry Service pilots, the legendary Mary Ellis, died peacefully at he home, at 101, on the Isle of Wight this past Tuesday evening, the 24th of July 2018.

Mrs. Ellis was a member of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and delivered Spitfires and bombers to the front lines during the conflict.

She said she had flown “about 1,000 aeroplanes” during the war, before moving to the Isle of Wight in 1950 to take charge of Sandown Airport.

ATA secretary John Webster described Mrs. Ellis as an “amazing” person.

While she was commonly known as the last-surviving female pilot from the war, in fact there are three others.

Mr. Webster said that one, Eleanor Wadsworth, lives in Bury St Edmunds, another, Nancy Stratford, lives in the US and the other, Jaye Edwards, lives in Canada.

 

The above short (1:19) Video is of interview with Mary Ellis about her WWII experiences.

Mary Ellis, then Mary Wilkins, joined the ATA in 1941 after hearing an advertisement for women pilots on BBC radio.

She said at the time they were known as the “Glamour Girls”, adding: “There were plenty of escorts around.”

                             Just last year, Mary posed by a restored WII Spitfire, 400 of which she successfully ferried.

                                  Mary chats with Prime Minister, Teresa May at 10 Downing Street, London

  Mary Ellis outside 10 Downing St., where she visited with UK’s PM, Teresa May, in celebration of her 100th birthday.

                                                     Mary Wilkins (Ellis) in formal ATA Portrait in 1941.

The following Spitfire Video is 7:46 in length.  Make sure your sound is on for both videos.

And this second Spitfire action video (below) is 3:48.