Monday, March 28, 2011

Bigger and better?


Hello, chaps - Stella here. Evie's stuck out on a delivery to Lossiemouth, so she asked me to answer 'Vanity Fair's' question about the big bombers. She said 'frankly my dear, you are much better equipped to talk about the large planes anyway.' Which is true. A lot of the girls adore the fighter planes - they say the Spitfire fits you like a well tailored cocktail dress. I've always had my eye on the big bombers - the Lancasters and Stirlings.

Today's picture is of darling Joan Hughes - she was Britain's youngest pilot. The first woman to fly a four-engined bomber was Lettice Curtis. Only eleven ATA girls have flown these so far ... I'm planning to make it 12.

We've come a long way, but this quote from the Daily Mail may give you some idea of what we are up against:

"There were many other dangers. Scandalously, one woman's aircraft was even thought to have been sabotaged by male rivals, threatened by the sight of attractive, young and physically slight women emerging from the cockpits of huge heavy bombers.
"Women are not doing this job for the sake of doing something for their country," declared one outraged male authority figure.
"Women who want to serve their country should take on work more befitting their sex instead of encroaching on a man's occupation. Men have made aviation reach its present perfection."

Frankly, I can't wait. There is nothing like the look on the face of some RAF chap who thinks he's seen it all when a slight girl like Joan steps out of the cockpit. And as Jackie Cochran said - 'I may fly bombers, but I'm still feminine'. She should know - she was a beautician before she became of America's great women aviators.

If you're interested in finding out more about the inimitable Lettice Curtis, you might enjoy these video clips:

Right, it's market day and as Evie's not here to do the food shopping I'd better bicycle into town with our coupons and see what we can get for supper.


Stella x

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