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Spitfire Women of World War II

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The story of the unsung heroines who flew the newest, fastest, aeroplanes in World War II - mostly in southern England where the RAF was desperately short of pilots.


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The story of the unsung heroines who flew the newest, fastest, aeroplanes in World War II - mostly in southern England where the RAF was desperately short of pilots.

30 review for Spitfire Women of World War II

  1. 4 out of 5

    Petra X is emotionally in a 14.5 year old state

    Women weren't allowed to fly combat planes in WWII, only deliver them, sometimes flying without instruments and under enemy fire. Doesn't make sense, but that's par for the course for sexism. I've read a few military books recently, notably The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, and the wonderful, if brutal, Brotherhood of Warriors, both very impressive books, so now its time to see what the women did when not on the 'home front'. I've given up on this book. It is a very boring book ab Women weren't allowed to fly combat planes in WWII, only deliver them, sometimes flying without instruments and under enemy fire. Doesn't make sense, but that's par for the course for sexism. I've read a few military books recently, notably The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, and the wonderful, if brutal, Brotherhood of Warriors, both very impressive books, so now its time to see what the women did when not on the 'home front'. I've given up on this book. It is a very boring book about extremely wealthy young ladies just before WWII who generally owned private planes (so that they could fly to social events) and mostly didn't work for a living who all signed up for the Auxillary Royal Air Force in WWII. Almost every story is similar to the next and I eventually got to the point where I just couldn't care less. They never saw combat anyway - no matter how well they could fly, they were stuck just delivering planes. I don't know how the author could have written such a dull book but I guess the research of socialising with these women and their families, who I'm sure were quite fascinating to talk to in person, must have been interesting. It just didn't translate to a book. I recommend it to people whose plane goes down in the jungle. Read some, use some, two stars!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Winter Sophia Rose

    Fascinating, Emotional, Engaging & Informative! An Amazing Read! I Loved It!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This book tells the stories of the women of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) and their amazing achievements not only in the face of war and death but in the face of institutional discimination, sexism and ridicule. While I knew that women had to fight for the opportunities to help defend their own countries I never realised how long that fight went on for and how hard fought it was, both via diplomatic means and by bending and breaking the rules. Not only that, Whittell had to battle to get the This book tells the stories of the women of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) and their amazing achievements not only in the face of war and death but in the face of institutional discimination, sexism and ridicule. While I knew that women had to fight for the opportunities to help defend their own countries I never realised how long that fight went on for and how hard fought it was, both via diplomatic means and by bending and breaking the rules. Not only that, Whittell had to battle to get them to tell their stories and allow him to publish them as, for them, what they did was not extraordinary, they simply played their part and did their bit, just as the menfolk were doing in the battlefields across and over Europe. Whittell also acknowledges the men that helped push the boundaries to get these women in the air, something that is often forgotten in feminist circles, men as well as women fight the prejudices that hold us back. The subject matter aside, Whittel writes brilliantly and captures the many varied events, people and emotions that run through the years before, during and after the war. He shows how different each of the Spitfire Women are and how they got through the war years together despite these differences, all because of their desire to fly and the strength of their characters to not take no for an answer. He doesn't shy away from their flaws either, but shows them to be human beings with good points and bad points all of which combine to create pilots willing to risk their lives to defend their countries. This is an excellent read, whether you're just interested in the war and the battles that were fought or whether you're a feminist and interested in those battles within society, this is the book for you. The people in this book are awe-inspiring.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heikki

    War is a bad thing by definition, but it does create unusual circumstances in which unusual things can happen. When Britain prepared for and then joined WW2, it had enough pilots to fight the war but not enough pilots to ferry aircraft to the squadrons. Hence the ATA (Air Tansport Auxiliary) was founded, and soon it was seen that more pilots would be needed for it than were readily available. This crack was forcefully hammered wide open by Pauline Gower in the UK and Jackie Cochran in the US, and War is a bad thing by definition, but it does create unusual circumstances in which unusual things can happen. When Britain prepared for and then joined WW2, it had enough pilots to fight the war but not enough pilots to ferry aircraft to the squadrons. Hence the ATA (Air Tansport Auxiliary) was founded, and soon it was seen that more pilots would be needed for it than were readily available. This crack was forcefully hammered wide open by Pauline Gower in the UK and Jackie Cochran in the US, and women entered the ATA. Originally they were allowed to fly docile aircraft such as the Avro Anson, but bit by bit Gower managed to grow the stable of airplanes her pilots were allowed to fly. Soon she had pilots taking to the skies in Hurricanes and Spitfires, and eventually gargantuan Lancasters and B-24 Liberators. This book brings us delightful stories of such classic aviation heroines as Diana Barnato Walker, who flew a Tempest when it shed its air scoop and much of the lower part of the plane with it. The squadron officer who was to receive the plane chided her for delivering just half of the plane. There's Maureen Dunlop, who exited a Barracuda just as the reporters from Picture Post took her picture (see [...] for that great shot) and who flew many a hazardous delivery. And of course, Ms Duhalde, known as Chile for her native land, who promised to knock a Polish woman pilot's teeth off for jumping the landing pattern. These ladies delivered thousands of airplanes but also died in the rapidly changing British weather, when they were surprised by a cloud, or flew into mountainsides when they became lost. The balance between a successful delivery and a fiery death in a crash is well told in this book. What is also well told is the incredible callousness of the all-male military aviation establishment, which refused to give the women pilots even rudimentary instrument flight training, which resulted in many deaths directly attributable to loss of spatial awareness. The author has done a good job in presenting the big picture, but it could be structured better. Now we often are led from one situation into another which has no other connection to the grand narrative than the person we started with, and that makes it a little hard to follow the action. Also, in the Kindle edition, quotes were not indicated: many times you'd start reading a fist person narrative right after a third person viewpoint and it takes some time to figure out who is talking. Nevertheless, these minor quibbles aside, these ladies deserved this book and all publicity they could possibly get. Now in their nineties, some of them still remember the ATA days as the best of their lives, and after reading this book, you will understand why.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ervin

    Very entertaining and informative read about a group of wartime pilots whom I had never even heard of prior to picking up this book. Writer's pedigree in newspaper writing is pretty evident from the way he writes and how he structures the book - his descriptions of events/characters are compelling and never in danger of going on, with successive chapters reading like a series of feature magazine articles. This treatment generally works quite well for the subject matter, but there are a few negat Very entertaining and informative read about a group of wartime pilots whom I had never even heard of prior to picking up this book. Writer's pedigree in newspaper writing is pretty evident from the way he writes and how he structures the book - his descriptions of events/characters are compelling and never in danger of going on, with successive chapters reading like a series of feature magazine articles. This treatment generally works quite well for the subject matter, but there are a few negatives. The chapters don't seem to fit together at times, and it can be a struggle to keep on top of the timeline. The main subjects and their achievements are all individually fascinating, in their daring, their audaciousness, and the breakthroughs they made - this is generally allowed to speak for itself in the work. It's very easy to dismiss the relevance of this book as just being about rich women swanning about in planes. However, Whittell's picture of the sheer obstacles of tradition and the hidebound establishment, the extent to which the women had to further prove themselves compared to the men, and the very real dangers of even non-combat wartime aviation, demonstrates the anomaly of success for these female pilots in a field where women remain vastly under-represented in today.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hermien

    I bought this book in a sale for my husband who is an aviation and World War II enthusiast. He enjoyed it so much he thought I should read it too. I loved it. There are lots of entertaining anecdotes and fascinating people and connections. I was also impressed and inspired by the courage of these women.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Judith Johnson

    Love this book. Met several of the women mentioned in it. Here's an update from VE Day remembrance this week - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/... Love this book. Met several of the women mentioned in it. Here's an update from VE Day remembrance this week - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kellyanne

    A very interesting read to say the least. The women really were hero's in their own individual ways. A very interesting read to say the least. The women really were hero's in their own individual ways.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tim Chaplin

    Although I was aware that female pilots had served in the Second World War, I did not know anything about the work that they did in ferrying aircraft in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). This book tells the story of the brave women who flew unarmed aircraft from the factory to RAF bases around the country. This was a time when there was a shortage of pilots and factories were mass producing aircraft to fight against invasion and ultimately for the D Day Normandy landings. Not only were the wome Although I was aware that female pilots had served in the Second World War, I did not know anything about the work that they did in ferrying aircraft in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). This book tells the story of the brave women who flew unarmed aircraft from the factory to RAF bases around the country. This was a time when there was a shortage of pilots and factories were mass producing aircraft to fight against invasion and ultimately for the D Day Normandy landings. Not only were the women pilots paid 20% less salary than their fellow male pilots, but they also had to face the sexist attitudes of Male officers, pilots and aircrew who didn’t believe that women would make good pilots and in heir view should stay in the kitchen. At first they only ferried trainer aircraft like the Miles Magister and Tiger Moths but eventually they flew Hurricanes, Spitfires and four engine bombers. Amy Johnson gets a lot of attention as she was the pioneering aviator who set records and was seen as a great inspiration for women aviators. She later tragically got lost in bad weather when ferrying a plane and bailed out over the sea. Before the War flying was the pursuit of wealthy men who could afford to buy their own aircraft, but women like the Olympic female skier Wendy (Audrey) Sale Barker loved flying and became the first ATA girl. Other women were breaking records and in the case of the MPs daughter Pauline Gower had gained 2000 hours of flying experience flying joyriders for 5 minutes in a flying circus. She was the first woman who proposed that women should fly aircraft in the war. Women like Freda Sharland were encouraged by members of their family who were already bomber pilots to join the ATA. She had many letters rejected but didn’t give up and eventually succeeded. At first the RAF insisted that the first women pilots should only be 8 and not the originally proposed 12. They became known as ‘the first eight’ and were mainly instructors. At first they flew trainers but they moved to Spitfires and Hurricanes after Pauline Gower argued why there was no reason why women should not be allowed to fly aircraft like Spitfires and Hurricanes. The women volunteered from different countries like Maureen Dunlop from South America. She became a Picture Post cover girl after being photographed getting out of a Spitfire. There was a lot of unwanted attention when the press got to hear of women flying aircraft. Characters like Diana Barnato Walker worked hard but liked to party hard too, going up to London and being ferried back to the air base afterwards. For most of the surviving women this was something that they were proud to do and most of the women interviewed did not wish to brag about their time in the War. The writer covers some of the glamour but prefers to concentrate on the danger and loss of life, Diana Barnato Walker lost her husband when his Mustang crashed. Many men and women lost their lives when their planes failed and they often had to fly aircraft to the scrapyard. Often they had to fly with no instruments in bad weather. They had no pre training instead they relied on a ferry pilot’s manual the bible of pilots often flying a particular aircraft for the first time. It was a dangerous job with no radar so pilots often used to crash into hills or would fly above the cloud cover and hope that they were above ground level when they emerged. Lettice Curtis flew from Prestwick to white Waltham in bad weather and was met by male pilots who could not imagine that a woman could fly in such weather. One in ten women lost their lives during the war. Hamble became one of two woman only crew bases. The American Jacqueline Cochran recruited 25 women pilots and took them to the UK. She was against the stuffiness of the British and was seen as abrasive, she later returned to the US to set up the Women’s Air Service Pilots (WASP). She had argued that women should be allowed to fight combat missions. Only Women in the Soviet Union were the first to be allowed to fly combat missions. Eventually women in the ATA got equal pay thanks again to Pauline Gower who convinced a woman MP in the House of Commons to ask Stafford Cripps about whether women would get equal pay to men, with the threat of a fuss if he wouldn’t. However, Men still wouldn’t believe that in the case of Mary Wilkins Ellis who was to pilot a Wellington bomber that ‘a little girl could fly a big aeroplane’. After the war this prejudice continued when demobbed male pilots blocked Women pilots ambitions to fly as pilots and not aircrew on commercial airlines. Eventually these forgotten women of the ATA got a Veterans badge in 2009 under then PM Gordon Brown. This book is a great history of the brave women of the ATA, and a testament to their selfless bravery and pioneering spirit,

  10. 4 out of 5

    J.

    This is an amazing book, not least because it’s nonfiction. Spitfire Women of World War II tells the story of the women pilots who flew ferry missions for the British as part of the Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II. Remember, in those days flying was still considered very much a male sport, Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson notwithstanding. When it was announced in 1940 that women pilots would help ferry military aircraft, both lightweight trainers and sexy, high-powered fighters (later This is an amazing book, not least because it’s nonfiction. Spitfire Women of World War II tells the story of the women pilots who flew ferry missions for the British as part of the Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II. Remember, in those days flying was still considered very much a male sport, Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson notwithstanding. When it was announced in 1940 that women pilots would help ferry military aircraft, both lightweight trainers and sexy, high-powered fighters (later including huge four-engine bombers), the public was divided. Some thought the women pilots were patriotic and brave, but another, outraged and vocal group considered them attention-seeking and selfish. All sorts of adventuresome women signed up to fly for the ATA. • Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from the U.K. to Australia, who lost her life in the Thames Estuary trying to get an Airspeed Oxford to RAF Kidlington in foul weather in 1941. • Diana Barnato Walker, who successfully landed a Hawker Typhoon after the bottom half disintegrated and who lost two loves, a fiance and a husband, in separate flying accidents. • Audrey Sale-Barker, model beautiful and an Olympic skier, such a natural pilot she looped and spun the aircraft during her first solo flight. • Mary de Bunsen, with a hole in her heart, lousy eyesight, and a polio limp, who preferred taking tea with Thomas Hardy or watching the London blitz from a central rooftop with her mother to the social life of dances and balls. • Joan Hughes, too small in stature to see over a four-engine bomber’s landing wheel, who liked to tell disbelieving men her height didn’t matter because she wanted the aircraft to carry her, not the other way around. • Margot Duhalde from Chile, who spoke no English when she arrived in Liverpool in May 1941 but was desperate to fly. • And Ann Wood, one of a handful of American women who volunteered to fly for Britain before the U.S. entered the war, who blasted beneath the Severn Railway Bridge in a Spitfire. Twice. Spitfire Women is narrative nonfiction at its best, easily comparable to The Perfect Storm and a great read. I heartily recommend it for anyone who enjoys history, engaging characters, and real emotions of heartbreak and triumph. Five stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dave Poole

    I have been fascinated by the role women played in the war ever since being taught to drive by a lady in her 80s. She was extremely petite and immense fun and was a good friend of my grandparents. One lesson saw the private road we were using blocked by an immense bulldozer. She got out of the car, climbed up the ladder to the cab, started it up and precision parked it in a tight space. "Well I did deliver tanks during the war dear"! The women in this book are cut from the same cloth and in some ca I have been fascinated by the role women played in the war ever since being taught to drive by a lady in her 80s. She was extremely petite and immense fun and was a good friend of my grandparents. One lesson saw the private road we were using blocked by an immense bulldozer. She got out of the car, climbed up the ladder to the cab, started it up and precision parked it in a tight space. "Well I did deliver tanks during the war dear"! The women in this book are cut from the same cloth and in some cases far tougher cloth. I felt that the book was a book of two halves. The early part is a bit of a catalogue of participants. The latter half has some hair raising stories such as the lady who landed a Hawker Tempest stuck on maximum throttle and maximum boost and going 400+mph! Or the lady flying a Typhoon who on hearing an almighty bang looked down to see nothing but control and fuel lines and 2000ft of empty space following catastrophic structural failure and still landed the plane! The bibliography has a number of books that are on my to-do list as I am keen to learn more about the lives of these incredible women. So many of the women lost their lives and some of them due to stupid, ignorant rules such as not training women to fly on instruments. Some of the Americans were shamefully treated but I put that down to the attitudes of the time. It's easy to make judgements on people's behaviour 70 years on with dispassion. Not so easy when societies rules and everything you know are being overturned

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stan Bebbington

    For the whole of WW2 there was a shortage of trained pilots, this was never more so than in the early years. Clearly, using these pilots to fly new and repaired planes from the factories was wasteful and this led to the setting-up of the Air Transport Auxiliary. It was staffed by retired former pilots, from commercial aviation and by women flyers who were not permitted to engage on active duty. “Spitfire Women” is the story of this latter group. Because flying before the war was expensive they t For the whole of WW2 there was a shortage of trained pilots, this was never more so than in the early years. Clearly, using these pilots to fly new and repaired planes from the factories was wasteful and this led to the setting-up of the Air Transport Auxiliary. It was staffed by retired former pilots, from commercial aviation and by women flyers who were not permitted to engage on active duty. “Spitfire Women” is the story of this latter group. Because flying before the war was expensive they tended to come from wealthy families. Some were famous as pioneers of flight, Amy Johnson for example, others were famous as celebrities such as Diana Barnato who managed to survive the war to be an early recruit to supersonic flight. They were flown to and from their destinations in Ansons, where they delivered or collected aircraft as required. Their versatility was really amazing, from Spitfires to four engines bombers and they provided a fund of stories, some apocryphal. The Americans joined in after Pearl Harbour, although a few joined the ATA before, following boyfriends in the Eagle Squadron. In all an inspiring and well written tale essential reading for chauvinists!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    An excellent look at a part of WWII that is often forgotten and absolutely fascinating to read and learn more about the women who didn't already have notability in history (Amy Johnson for example is well known outside of WWII but Lettice Curtis? Not so much.). The women of the ATA may not have been allowed to fly in combat situations but their bravery and understanding that they might die for their country - or the country they'd come to help in some cases - is as important, esp. considering th An excellent look at a part of WWII that is often forgotten and absolutely fascinating to read and learn more about the women who didn't already have notability in history (Amy Johnson for example is well known outside of WWII but Lettice Curtis? Not so much.). The women of the ATA may not have been allowed to fly in combat situations but their bravery and understanding that they might die for their country - or the country they'd come to help in some cases - is as important, esp. considering that the ATA pilots flew without radio, weapons or instrument training and that the female pilots were under considerably more scrutiny than the male pilots. It's also particularly interesting to to see the changes in class and gender, even if some of those changes did not last after the war. The book also has a reading list of books written by the women themselves about their experiences, which I am definitely going to seek out.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I enjoyed this immensely, mainly because so many of the stories included here I *hadn't* heard before (and I have done a lot of reading about the ATA). This was also my first real intro to Jackie Cochran, a fascinating and wonderful character. As always with such books, I find myself a little envious of the author's research--all the people he got to interview-- how I'd love to have an excuse and the introduction to meet them myself! This makes a really nice complement to Lettice Curtis's The For I enjoyed this immensely, mainly because so many of the stories included here I *hadn't* heard before (and I have done a lot of reading about the ATA). This was also my first real intro to Jackie Cochran, a fascinating and wonderful character. As always with such books, I find myself a little envious of the author's research--all the people he got to interview-- how I'd love to have an excuse and the introduction to meet them myself! This makes a really nice complement to Lettice Curtis's The Forgotten Pilots, which is more comprehensive in its history but a more difficult and less intimate read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Lennie

    “...My advice to all women will still be - “Learn to fly”... I feel confident that when this war is finally won, aviation will be considered as a normal and satisfying career for young girls leaving school as well as for older women.” This is what Pauline Gower, head of the female group of ATA pilots, told Women’s Journal in 1942, and it’s still a message that should be shouted from the rooftops even to this day. Although we’re not in the clutches of war anymore, flying is still such a wonderful “...My advice to all women will still be - “Learn to fly”... I feel confident that when this war is finally won, aviation will be considered as a normal and satisfying career for young girls leaving school as well as for older women.” This is what Pauline Gower, head of the female group of ATA pilots, told Women’s Journal in 1942, and it’s still a message that should be shouted from the rooftops even to this day. Although we’re not in the clutches of war anymore, flying is still such a wonderful experience to live through, and I highly recommend this book to any young woman or older woman who wishes to fly - whether it be with the RAF (coming from a Brit), airlines or as a private pilot. 5/5 ✈️

  16. 4 out of 5

    RebeccaLouise

    This was a very detailed and comprehensive account of Spitfire Women and their courageous contribution to the War. I initially watched the BBC4 documentary and was fascinated so when I saw this book in a charity shop, I had to pick it up. I’m glad I did although sometimes I felt it got too bogged down by the finer details and I continually got lost in the jumpy narrative. The book really shone though when we heard from the women – whether through Whitell’s interviews or their diary entries etc. This was a very detailed and comprehensive account of Spitfire Women and their courageous contribution to the War. I initially watched the BBC4 documentary and was fascinated so when I saw this book in a charity shop, I had to pick it up. I’m glad I did although sometimes I felt it got too bogged down by the finer details and I continually got lost in the jumpy narrative. The book really shone though when we heard from the women – whether through Whitell’s interviews or their diary entries etc. These accounts - in the women’s own words - were captivating. It is incredible they achieved what they did and that after the war ended their contribution was so long ignored.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Ingram

    Until I read this book I didn't know that women had such an incredible part in the war. What these women went through, accomplished and survived is astonishing! It's a remarkable account of their bravery, courage, and determination to serve during the war. They showed that a person can be so much more that what society or culture says they can be. They are true role models for every girl who dreams of adventure and being a part of something greater than ourselves! Until I read this book I didn't know that women had such an incredible part in the war. What these women went through, accomplished and survived is astonishing! It's a remarkable account of their bravery, courage, and determination to serve during the war. They showed that a person can be so much more that what society or culture says they can be. They are true role models for every girl who dreams of adventure and being a part of something greater than ourselves!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    What impressed me most was that some of those women delivered the brand new Spitfires from the factory to the front, or anywhere they were going to be used, practically without any proper instruction. Handed them over to male pilots who then where trained and instructed before using them. Talk about technically challenged women ;-) But for once; I preferred the BBC TV Show over the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Josie

    [Audiobook version] I saw a BBC4 documentary on this subject a few years ago, and was blown away by the courage and skill of the women featured -- who, despite rampant prejudice and misogyny, often outperformed the men in the airforce. Listening to this was even better, because it was longer and went into the women's stories in more depth. I didn't want it to end! [Audiobook version] I saw a BBC4 documentary on this subject a few years ago, and was blown away by the courage and skill of the women featured -- who, despite rampant prejudice and misogyny, often outperformed the men in the airforce. Listening to this was even better, because it was longer and went into the women's stories in more depth. I didn't want it to end!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Allan Jones

    This is an informative book on flying by women pilots in Britain during WWII, in part because the author has combined historical information on the Air Transport Auxiliary with current perspectives by a number of the pilots themselves. Some of these women have since 'flown on' and the book is a testament to the competence and courage of all within the ATA. This is well worth a read. This is an informative book on flying by women pilots in Britain during WWII, in part because the author has combined historical information on the Air Transport Auxiliary with current perspectives by a number of the pilots themselves. Some of these women have since 'flown on' and the book is a testament to the competence and courage of all within the ATA. This is well worth a read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jilly Rewse-Davies

    Totally loved reading all about those kick-ass women pilots who quietly blazed a trail for all those who now take equal pay, status and career choice for granted. Brilliant story, although the storytelling was sometimes hard to follow and didn't always flow in a predictable way. Totally loved reading all about those kick-ass women pilots who quietly blazed a trail for all those who now take equal pay, status and career choice for granted. Brilliant story, although the storytelling was sometimes hard to follow and didn't always flow in a predictable way.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael Cargill Cargill

    Fascinating stuff, especially for a WWII nut like myself! I simply had no idea that so many women were flying Spitfire, Lancasters, etc. around during WWII. The prejudice that they suffered with is shocking stuff.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Williams

    Sometimes the prose was a little dull but the writing style was more than made up for in this fascinating history of the very brave women of the ATA. A must read for anyone interested in aviation or Second World War history and a fascinating treatise on the role of women at the time.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    couldn't find the BBC documentary but heard it was very good couldn't find the BBC documentary but heard it was very good

  25. 5 out of 5

    Peter Jowers

    Anyone who gets the wind up when they hear a woman's voice from the flight deck on a commercial airliner should read this book and be very, very re-assured! Bless 'em all! Anyone who gets the wind up when they hear a woman's voice from the flight deck on a commercial airliner should read this book and be very, very re-assured! Bless 'em all!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gabriele Wills

    A fascinating look at the plucky women who did dangerous work during WW2 ferrying aircraft from factories to airfields across Britain.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marie Smith

    An enjoyable read that gives an insight into not only the work that this extraordinary woman did but also about the woman themselves, what made them tick.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Margery Walshaw

    This book opened up a new world that I was totally unaware of -- the women behind the lines of World War II who flew the spitfire planes. Heroics, sisterhood, and inspirational.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    A fascinating and worthy topic, muddled by messy writing.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bootheileen

    Great for history buffs especially women

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