A Spitfire Girl

One of the World's Greatest Female ATA Ferry Pilots Tells Her Story

Mary Ellis, Melody Foreman

Date Published :
July 2019
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Illustration :
16 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781473895362
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526756619
Pages : 248
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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We visualize dashing and daring young men as the epitome of the pilots of the Second World War, yet amongst that elite corps was one person who flew no less than 400 Spitfires and seventy-six different types of aircraft – and that person was Mary Wilkins.

Her story is one of the most remarkable and endearing of the war, as this young woman, serving as a ferry pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary, transported aircraft for the RAF, including fast fighter planes and huge four-engine bombers. On one occasion Mary delivered a Wellington bomber to an airfield, and as she climbed out of the aircraft the RAF ground crew ran over to her and demanded to know where the pilot was! Mary said simply: ‘I am the pilot!’ Unconvinced the men searched the aircraft before they realized a young woman had indeed flown the bomber all by herself.

After the war she accepted a secondment to the RAF, being chosen as one of the first pilots, and one of only three women, to take the controls of the new Meteor fast jet. By 1950 the farmer's daughter from Oxfordshire with a natural instinct to fly became Europe's first female air commandant.

In this authorized biography the woman who says she kept in the background during her ATA years and left all the glamour of publicity to her colleagues, finally reveals all about her action-packed career which spans almost a century of aviation, and her love for the skies which, even in her nineties, never falters.

She says: ‘I am passionate for anything fast and furious. I always have been since the age of three and I always knew I would fly. The day I stepped into a Spitfire was a complete joy and it was the most natural thing in the world for me.’

About The Author

MELODY FOREMAN is a journalist with experience in newspapers and television documentaries. She also works as a book sommelier and public speaker. Melody is the author of the best-selling Bomber Girls, A Spitfire Girl, the biography of Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Mary Wilkins Ellis, The Wreck Hunter: Battle of Britain and the Blitz, and two books about the history of Kent. Melody is a regular contributor to national publications including Britain at War magazine. She maintains an avid interest in the social history of both the First and Second World Wars, literature, art, film and theater studies. www.melodyforeman.co.uk


This is the remarkable story of a woman who was born to fly. Someone once said "There are no extraordinary people: only ordinary people who have done extraordinary things". I thoroughly recommend you read this book and see if you agree.

- The Spitfire Society

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