Welcome to the ATA Association website! If you would like to join the ATA Association, please send an email to the secretary at ataassoc.secretary@gmail.com and an application form will be sent. See below our aims and objectives - and do help us keep the magnificent ATA story alive! This website was updated on 11th July 2018

ee Wikipedia and our Facebook page for more information!

11th July 2018: The ATA was thrilled to have been invited by the RAF to be represented at the marvellous RAF100 celebrations held in London yesterday, namely: Minnie Churchill (a daughter of the founder of ATA, Gerald d'Erlanger), Adrian Lead (son of First Officer Dennis Lead), Derek Smith (son of First Officer William Smith) and John Lumsden (nephew of Commander Marion Wilberforce). Reports are they had a marvellous day and we are truly grateful. Aetheris Avidi and Blue Skies to the men and women of ATA who are no longer with us.

4th July: John Cochrane It is again with sadness that we have to report the loss of another ATA veteran. Former Third Officer John Cochrane died in Devon on the 26th of June.

Having been treated to flights by ATA pilots at White Waltham whilst in the OTC/Air at Eton, John joined the RAF in 1942 and trained as a Radio Observer and Airfield Controller before being seconded into the ATA on 5-10-43 and taught to fly alongside some of the WAAF recruits. Initially posted to Kirkbride before conversion training at Thame and Class 2 clearance, there followed a period at Prestwick before further conversion to Class 3 at White Waltham. With a family home in Ireland he managed to obtain a posting to Belfast and enjoyed flying in that part of the country before being returned to the RAF on 15-4-45 as a Sgt, where he took up gliding and gained engineering skills prior to his demob in Oct 1946. John then joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company and, as an observer, participated in the test flying of the Brabazon, flew on proving flights in the Britannia and even acted as a navigator on a Bristol Freighter flight to Khartoum. There followed time at RAE Farnborough on weapons systems with a period spent in Australia. The love of gliding continued and he was once the manager at the Lasham club. He also had shares in a glider and later, in Devon, a motor glider. 

22nd June 2018: It is with great sadness we advise the passing away of Ivan Flynn.

Ivan served as a Fitter at White Waltham from 23-5-1941 to 19-9-1945 and was one of my interviewees in 2015 for the Maidenhead Heritage Centre's collection. He was the son of the renowned commercial pilot, J. J. Flynn, and was employed at Croydon from August 1939 before joining the ATA. Ivan spent time in the RAF from his call-up in November 1945 and served abroad in Egypt and Libya; working on aircraft instruments rather than engines! He married his ATA Fitter colleague, Lilian Pearson, in August 1946 and, following de-mob in April 1948, he first became a metal worker before embarking on a career in shopfitting.

16th May 2018: It is with great sadness we advise of the passing away of former First Officer Raymond Eric Roberts: 24-10-1916 / 29-04-2018. 

Ray was born in London and his World War II service began in the RAF. After injuring a leg baling out of a Miles Master trainer, he joined ATA in October 1941 and served until ATA was wound up at the end of November 1945. Ray flew an impressive 75 types, not including different marks, that included the Meteor jet!

His Flight Authorisation Card declared him to have up to Class 6 (Flying Boats) and I seem to recall him saying that he was undergoing training on 6 when War ended. However, whilst his card indicates 'Class 5 + 6 / 14-6-45', there's no mention of the Catalina or Sunderland in what I considered to be his last full list of types flown.

He spent time at a number of Ferry Pools and flew overseas with the Air Movements Flight. Unfortunately I don't know how many hours he amassed in powered aircraft but postwar he was an active glider pilot instructor with well over 5000 launches and 300+ hours by Oct 1976.

His funeral will be held Cremation at Margate Crematorium on Monday 21st May at 13:45 followed by a celebration of his long and active life at St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury Road, CT8 8NL. Members who may be able are welcome to attend and donations to his British Legion home are invited rather than flowers.


24th April 2018: On Friday 20th April the RAF Women’s Rugby team beat the Royal Navy Women’s team by 53 to 3 at the Twickenham Stoop becoming the first team to win the “Molly Rose Trophy”. Go to link Trophy at women’s rugby game and Oxford Mail Molly Rose Trophy

                              

19th April 2018: John Lumsden and Graham Rose attended a reception in London's Guildhall and mixed with hundreds of active servicemen and women of the RAF. John reported: "The mix of Air Force there was extraordinary - from very keen and ambitious Air Cadets, boisterous Corporals & Sergeants, young Flying Officers with no wings (yet) and no medals to the old, bold, gold braided and be-medaled who were young Squadron Leaders when I retired. All with interesting stories to tell and all aware of the ATA from the flurry of recent TV documentaries. The Lord Mayor and Chief of Air Staff, Sir Stephen Hillier, spoke well - the latter without notes and with many gentle references to the Lord Mayor’s speech that had mentioned many of CAS’s themes for the RAF’s 100th adding that his ‘Inspire' message was clearly being successful." John and Graham ensured the ATA story was told and concluded: "Mission accomplished"!

Joy Lofthouse

A "Celebrating the Life of Joy Lofthouse" event took place at Cirencester University on Monday 26th March 2018. Over 300 people assembled and were delighted by contributions from friends and Joy's son, Peter, and daughter Lyn. After refreshments there was a splendid flypast by a Spitfire! Many fond memories of Joy.

Martin Nicholson's Memorial Service

A Memorial Service was held for Martin Nicholson on Friday 16th February in a full Chapel in the complex of the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington with two splendid addresses delivered by his sons, Antony and Jonathan. Blue Skies Martin.

17th January 2018: Mary Ellis was awarded Freedom of the Isle of Wight. 

Joy Lofthouse: 16th November 2017: It is with great, great sadness we report the passing away of Joy Lofthouse. Please see a tribute http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/15665280.T... 

13th November 2017: Our thanks to Adrian Lead who laid the wreath at the Cenotaph and appreciation to over 20 people who attended evensong and the laying of the wreath in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral. Special thanks to Janet Mayberry who laid the wreath in the crypt. Her involvement was particularly poignant: her late father, First Officer Francis Robert Marsh, crashed into the sea whilst delivering an aircraft from Sherburn to Lossiemouth on 29th May 1944.

Do visit https://solentaviatrix.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/felicity-bragg-forgotten-ata-captain/ and read the piece about Felicity Bragg.

About ATA: The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), founded at the outbreak of World War II, was a civilian organisation which made an enormous contribution to the war effort by taking over from service pilots the task of ferrying RAF and Royal Naval warplanes between factories, maintenance units and front-line squadrons. During the war 1,245 men and women from 25 countries ferried over 309,000 aircraft of 147 different types, without radios, with no instrument flying instruction and at the mercy of the British weather. A remarkable story!

Aims & Objectives of the Air Transport Auxiliary Association (ATAA)

  • To keep alive the memory of all those who worked in ATA in WW2 and that their story is told accurately.
  • To assist journalists, and the media in general, in sourcing people and material.
  • To organise representation at the Annual Remembrance service held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, UK and lay the ATA wreath.
  • To encourage attendance at evensong in St Paul’s Cathedral held after the Cenotaph service in November.
  • To encourage attendance at the Drumhead Service held in July each year at East Farm, Fovant.
  • To circulate details of events, meetings, lectures
  • To ensure all the memorials are kept in good condition.
  • To encourage families of ATAers to leave ATA memorabilia to the Maidenhead Heritage Centre (MHC) and be a link with MHC.
  • To produce an ATAA Newsletter from time-to-time with news about ATA veterans and the ATAA organisation.
  • To act as a gateway to the website created by Ann Wood Kelly enabling those wanting to research ATA.
  • To encourage membership to ATAA – whether relations of ATAers or those who are supporters.
  • To hold an Annual General Meeting in order to review the activities of the ATAA, consider and accept the accounts, elect officers and committee members and to hold committee meetings from time to time. (Traditionally in early September and the day before West London Aero Club holds its Members' Day).
Officers email
Mary Ellis: Commodore
Graham Rose: Chairman ataassoc.chairman@gmail.com
Christopher Wood-Kelly

Vice Chairman with special responsibility for overseas members


John Webster: Secretary ataassoc.secretary@gmail.com
John Lumsden: Treasurer ataassoc.treasurer@gmail.com

Date & Events