Monthly Meeting – Tuesday 14th April 2015
Talk by John C. Smith – Spitfires and Silk Stockings
John Smith gave an excellent talk called Spitfires and Silk Stockings at the April meeting. He used various archive film to illustrate his talk mainly concerning the extraordinary work of women pilots for the Air Transport Auxiliary during World War 2. He began with a brief survey of women aviators from the early days of powered flights including Amy Johnson who flew solo to Australia in 1930. They were all very brave women often flying very flimsy planes alone.
For many years after 1945 the women pilots were forgotten and recognition came very late with publicity in the media and a few books being produced.
He told us the story of a 93 yr old ex lady pilot on the Isle of Wight who was given the opportunity to take the controls of a Spitfires for about 20 mins which she loved.,/p.
There are very few Veterans left but there is a memorial to these women pilots of WW 2 locally at Hamble.
There is much information including a 10min BBC video about the women pilots of the ATA with original footage at www.military.com and interviews with some of the women who flew Spitfires and hurricanes during the 2nd WW.