Air Transport Auxiliary

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by researchingreg, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. researchingreg

    researchingreg Well-Known Member

    Are topics allowed regarding the ATA as it was not a military organisation?
  2. spidge


    They certainly are as they made an enormous contribution.

    165 Men and Women died in the ATA

    There was a husband and wife killed within a few months of each other in 1944 and buried in the same grave at Dunure Cemetery.

    FAIRWEATHER, The Hon. MARGARET Flight Captain 04/08/1944 42 Air Transport Auxiliary United Kingdom Sec. E. (White) Joint grave 295. DUNURE CEMETERY

    FAIRWEATHER, DOUGLAS KEITH Captain 03/04/1944 53 Air Transport Auxiliary United Kingdom Sec. E. (White) Joint grave 295. DUNURE CEMETERY

    Also the first Siamese to give his life for the allied cause.


    Second Officer



    Air Transport Auxiliary

    United Kingdom

    Panel 3.



  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    please feel free to discuss
    links below for your ref

    also the panel from Golders Green for



    Second Officer

    Date of Death:





    Air Transport Auxiliary

    Grave Reference

    Panel 3.



    Additional Information:
    Adopted son of H R.H. The Prince and Princess of Sukhodaya; husband of H.H. Princess Mani Chirasakti, of Queen Camel, Somerset. The first Siamese in the British Isles to give his life for the Allied cause.


    Attached Files:

  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  5. spidge


    There are 165 on the CWGC database however an extra 14 on the database Clive posted.
  6. TimBornLnClinic

    TimBornLnClinic New Member

    As per user name, born in London Clinic where Liz Taylor had some surgeries, England, in WW II, went to Harrow School and could apply to be a British citizen in U.K., which is beautiful. But first I lived the fun life in the U.S. cheering my 2 colleges in football (both teams are in the Rose Bowl on Jan 2, '17) for 30 years before being recalled by (late) Mom, Mani, to take care of our lands in Bangkok.
    I want to state that my proud hero is my Dad, Prince Chirasakti Suprabhat, nickname "Jerry", a pilot of the ATA unit of the RAF. Jerry was a terrific pilot, going "solo" in 6hrs flying training, and sacrificed his life in active service for the Allies of Great Britain and the United States of America in 1942. Jerry was the grandson of Thai King Rama IV, whose role of Yul Brynner's portrayal in The King and I netted him 2 Tony's and 1 Academy awards; and importantly also was the adopted only son of the last absolute/first constitutional King Rama VII. Sadly we just lost the world longest reigning monarch King Rama IX, but now happily have proclaimed King Rama X.
    For 25 years, I've developed many real estate projects such as condos, offices and resorts, and own the Renaissance Bangkok Hotel. If your travels ever take you to Bangkok, contact me through the General Manager on
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  7. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    31032_A200004-01724.jpg 31032_A200004-01725.jpg
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  8. spidge


    I had forgot about this thread - Age creeping on!!:huh:
  9. researchingreg

    researchingreg Well-Known Member

    Edward Lynch ATA Flight Captain   1.jpg My Father-in-Law Edward Lynch joined the Army RASC TA (11th MAC) on 17 May 1939 at Didcot and was rapidly promoted to Sergeant, he then was discharged on 1 Sept 1939 to be appointed for a commission on a special RASC officers training course from 15 Nov to 5 Dec 1939 and embarked with the BEF as a Second Lieutenant on 10 Jan 1940 with 6th MAC saw a lot of action from 10 May until he was evacuated on 26 May 1940 from Dunkirk and was in various Hospitals until he was then invalided out 21 Mar 1941. He then joined the ATA 15 Apr 1941 and was based at White Waltham. He rose to the Rank of Flight Captain and stayed until the ATA was disbanded 30 Nov 1945.
    Deacs likes this.
  10. spidge


    Really love the way some of these threads come back to life after so many years and keep rolling along.

  11. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Close to where I live on the west coast of Cumbria, an American A.T.A. pilot, George Washington Holcomb, was accidentally killed when the aircraft he was flying crashed on Tomlin Head near St Bees (27 March 1941). He was laid to rest in the nearby Whitehaven Cemetery. His epitaph, "How sleep the brave, who sink to rest", is taken from a poem by William Collins.

    Details listed by CWGC:

    Name: Holcomb, George
    Rank: First Officer
    Date of Death: 27/03/1941
    Age: 32
    Regiment/Service: Air Transport Auxiliary
    Grave Reference: Ward 6. Sec. E. Grave 296.
    Cemetery: WHITEHAVEN CEMETERY, Cumbrerland
    Additional Information: Son of William Henry and Bessie Mae Holcomb; husband of Lena Holcomb, of Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
  12. spidge


    Gething, Margaret Helen (Mardi) (1920–2005)

    by Mary-Jane Gething

    MARDI Gething, the only Australian among about 80 women pilots who flew with the Air Transport Auxiliary in Britain during World War II, has died at Warringal Private Hospital in Heidelberg. She was 84.

    The wartime role of ATA pilots was to ferry military aircraft from British factories to RAF air bases around the country for use by operational squadrons. They flew in radio silence and often in bad weather, dodging balloon barrages and at risk of attack by enemy fighters.

    Between 1942 and 1944, Mardi ferried 42 different aircraft types, including fighters such as Spitfires (she is pictured in the cockpit of one of more than 300 Spitfires that she delivered), Hurricanes, Tempests, Typhoons and Mustangs, as well as Wellington and Blenheim bombers.

    Margaret "Mardi" Helen Gepp was born in Melbourne, the youngest child of Sir Herbert and Lady Jessie Gepp. Perhaps the 10 years separating Mardi from her next sibling contributed to the freedom of choice allowed her by her hitherto strict father. Light aircraft flights with him sparked her lifelong dedication to aviation.

    By her own account, Mardi was not a highly committed scholar at Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School and Merton Hall. However, despite her diminutive size she was a gifted sportswoman, excelling in events as diverse as diving (she was a schoolgirl champion) and dressage on her beloved 17-hand horse, Royal Archer.

    Soon after leaving school in late 1938, Mardi, with eldest sister Kathleen as companion and chaperone, embarked for Britain to be "finished" by a social season in London that was to culminate in her presentation at court. However, on the voyage she became close to RAE Flight Lieutenant Richard Gething, the navigator and relief pilot of a Wellesley bomber that had just set a new non-stop long-distance flight record of 11,526 kilometres from Ismalia in Egypt to Darwin.

    On arrival in Britain, Mardi switched her plans for a London season; with permission from her father, she enrolled in a flying school. After earning her A pilot's licence, Mardi's further training was interrupted by the approach of World War II.

    No passages to Australia were available via the Suez Canal or the Cape, so Mardi and Kathleen took a ship to New York, and then travel led by train to San Francisco, where they stayed for three months until berths across the Pacific became available.

    Mardi took advantage of this delay to enrol in night instrument flying and instructor's courses at the Boeing School of Aeronautics. Despite having gained all the necessary qualifications, she was too young to officially qualify for her B pilot's licence, commercial licence and instructor's rating until late that year, back in Australia, when she turned 19.

    Mardi's plans to train other young Australian women in fly ing and to organise a flying nurses' corps were cut short when Richard telephoned from Canada, where he was involved in setting up the Empire Air Training Scheme, to ask her father for her hand in marriage. Mardi and Lady Jessie soon were on their way to Toronto, where Mardi and Richard were married in May 1940.

    At the end of 1941, Richard was posted briefly to the Air Ministry in London, and then to Karachi. He spent the remainder of the war in the Far East, his last war posting involving army liaison in Burma.

    Left behind in Britain, Mardi applied to join the ATA but was initially rejected because she was considered too short. But her persistence won

    Towards the end of the air war, Mardi's ferry pool was disbanded and she returned to Australia, where in early 1945 she joined the crew of Lancaster bomber "G for George" (now on display at the Australian War Museum in Canberra) as public relations officer on its tour of Australia to raise money for the Third Victory Loan Appeal.

    In the 1940s, Mardi also worked briefly for The Age as a society reporter.

    When Richard returned to the Air Ministry in late 1945, Mardi joined him to resume life together in a small village south of London. Their two children were born there in 1947 and 1949, and Mardi continued her flying career as a member of the RAF Volunteer Reserve until Richard was posted for two years to Singapore.

    Later the family was stationed in Northern Ireland and then in Scotland before Richard, now an air commodore, worked a final stint at the Air Ministry in London.

    In 1959, the family returned to Australia, settling at Red Cliffs, near Mildura, where Mardi's and Richard's interests turned from powered aircraft to gliders. They became enthusiastic members of the Sunraysia Gliding Club, joined during school holidays by their children, who became solo pilots soon after their 15th birthdays.

    Mardi, a keen member of the Australian Women Pilots Association, became the first female licensed gliding instructor in Australia, and for a time held the women's altitude record for a glider flight (13,000 feet).

    Mardi and Richard both became nationally accredited gliding instructors and taught new club-level instructors around Australia.

    In 1966 they moved to the Gepp family property at Kangaroo Ground near Melbourne, from where they continued their Australia-wide gliding activities. In retirement they travel led widely overseas and in Australia, visiting war time and service friends and colleagues and dropping in on any gliding centre on their route.

    When Richard died in May last year, their wonderful partnership in aviation had lasted more than 64 years.

    Mardi is survived by her children Tim and Mary-Jane, their spouses Lindsay and Joe, and her grandchildren David and Honor Kathleen.

    Description Photo 1

    Acting Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Edward Arthur Hudson DFC and Bar, pilot of Rockhampton, Qld, First Officer Mardi Gething, Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and Flying Officer Wilfred Cyril Gordon DFC, of Raleigh, NSW, three members of the group which toured with the Avro Lancaster aircraft G for George on its tour of Australia The aircraft, formerly used by 460 Squadron RAAF, undertook the Third Victory Loan Tour around Australia following its arrival from England. The tour which ran from 13 March to 27 April 1945, was instigated to assist the Government raise 100 Million pounds for the war effort, by the purchase of war bonds. First Officer Mardi Gething was the publicity and press liaison for the Melbourne Age newspaper, an Australian who had learnt to fly in England in 1939, and, as a pilot with the ATA flew 42 different types of aircraft, not including Lancasters

    Gething_Mardi.JPG Gething_Mardi.JPG 2.JPG

    Description 2
    An improvised stage at an airfield (possibly in Queensland) where a speech is made to the public (not in view) during the Australian tour of Avro Lancaster G for George. Identified left to right: Captain Tom Steele MC, tour manager and loan coordinator; First Officer Mardi Gething, Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and publicity and press liaison for the Melbourne Age newspaper; Flying Officer Wilfred Cyril Gordon DFC, navigator of Raleigh, NSW; Acting Squadron Leader Edward Arthur Hudson DFC and Bar, pilot of Rockhampton, Qld, at the microphone; Flight Lieutenant Thomas Vyner McCarthy DFC and Bar, bomb aimer of Moss Vale, NSW (with moustache); 9399 Sergeant Harry Tickle, Senior fitter and engineer of Loxton, SA (standing at end of table hands in pockets). This aircraft, formerly flown by 460 Squadron RAAF, undertook the Third Victory Loan Tour around Australia following its arrival from England. The tour, which ran from 13 March to 27 April 1945, was instigated to assist the Government raise 100 Million pounds for the war effort, by the purchase of war bonds. Mardi Gething, one of four extra people who joined the crew for the tour, was an Australian who had learnt to fly in England in 1939 and who had piloted 42 different types of aircraft, although she had not flown Lancasters. The crew and tour members are all standing on a RAAF 7 ton semi-trailer serial 203197.

    Gething_Mardi.JPG 3.JPG

    Gething_Mardi 4.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
    CL1 likes this.
  13. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    There were a number of American ladies in the ATA. They had volunteered to ferry aircraft for the USAAF but were told they were not wonted - men only., so crossed the Atlantic in 1940 and joined the ATA When later the US did allow female ferry pilots many went back but some stayed on with the ATA

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