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 28th June 2020

 Wikipedia and our Facebook page for more information!

28th June 2020: A brief Update to advise of another lockdown lecture with an ATA theme being offered by the Maidenhead Heritage Centre.

MHC volunteer Robert Cooper is to give a talk with the intriguing title:

‘The Admiral, the Walrus and the Poster Girl - a Tale of the ATA’

The heroine of the story is one of the Spitfire women who flew for the ATA during World War II and the ‘poster girl’ may give some clue as to the focus of Robert’s talk which he is scheduled to deliver at 7pm on Wednesday 1st July.

If you wish to join the audience for the lecture, which as before is to be delivered via Zoom, please email info@maidenheadheritage.org.uk

20th April 2020: The ATAA hopes all members are keeping safe during these testing times. We are probably giving thought at this time to our relations and friends who were with ATA - and often challenged in the air and on the ground.

6th March 2020: ATA Full-length feature film: There is the potential for a full-length feature film about the ATA! See www.attagirlsthemovie.com

10th January 2020: ATAA T-shirts - go to https://unarmouredworld.com/product/air-transport-auxiliary-top/

10th November 2019: Remembrance Sunday. This year the London Cenotaph memorial will be attended by Robin d'Erlanger, the son of the founder of ATA, who will lay the wreath. 

15th September. Westminster Abbey service remembering the Battle of Britain: A small number of ATAA members attended the 15th September event, together with the ATA Standard which was paraded by Derek Smith, son of COpsO Arthur K Smith. Following the service, the congregation was treated to a low-level flypast by a Spitfire and a Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

12th September 2019. West London Aero Club (WLAC) Members’ Day: This year’s event at White Waltham Airfield, held on Saturday 7th September was attended by several ATAA members.
The gathering around the memorial stone for our annual wreath laying was well attended by several members of the public and a group of Air Cadets. Derek Smith displayed the ATA Standard. Committee member Adrian Lead (son of Son of F/O (Inst.FP5) Dennis Lead & Nephew of F/O J P Billington) had, in his now customary role, lead the short service which as always ended with the moving words that begin with "They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old . . . we Will remember them". A wreath was laid by former ATC Cadet Larry Lambourne, who was the sole ATA veteran in attendance.

30th July 2019: Earlier this year Malcolm Neale successfully bid on a WW2 laminated wood Spitfire Spinner Lathe Block which was used to form the aluminium spinners for the MkIX/XIV models. 

Eleanor Wadsworth (ATA Third Officer) then kindly agreed to sign on the block on the understanding that it would be used as part of a Trophy Display, as proposed by Malcolm, to raise funds for the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust (RAFCT).

Justine Morton OBE, Director of RAFCT suggested that it should be used at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) Chief Executive Award for outstanding contribution. It was duly displayed in the VIP Patron’s Pavilion at RIAT earlier this month.

Trophy, Plinth and Graphics designed by Crimson Cat, a Nottingham creative agency

Nancy Jane Stratford: 12th June is the 100th birthday of former F/O Nancy Miller (9-7-1942 / 8-7-1945), one of the pilots from the USA recruited by Jackie Cochran. Nancy now joins three other known surviving members of ATA’s aircrew in becoming a centenarian and looking back on a truly memorable life in which time aloft played such a part. We send huge congratulations to Nancy and sending her our very best wishes on this her most special day.

6th June 2019. D-Day Remembered: yesterday saw an impressive commemoration event in Portsmouth and it may be of interest to see what some of the ATA’s pilots were engaged in seventy five years ago by taking a look at the Maidenhead Heritage Centre’s website: http://maidenheadheritage.org.uk/ata-news-events/

Hamble Remembers: Former ATC Cadet Anthony Rolls, who had been recruited into ATA’s Hamble Ferry Pool, was proud to represent the ATA as he participated in the D-Day parade and service in Hamble-le-Rice.

And another ATA Connection: The well-known Spitfire, ML407, now owned by the Grace family had been flown on D-Day by New Zealander Johnnie Houlton DFC, Flight Commander of 485 Squadron’s Blue Section, notably the first to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Prior to his combat success, his Spitfire had been delivered to him by ATA F/O Jackie Sorour (later Moggridge) who was given the opportunity by Carolyn Grace, in her by now two-seat mount, to repeat the encounter when she flew Jackie in to Duxford for a reunion during the 50th anniversary of D-Day in 1994.4th June 2019: It is with great sadness we have learnt of the passing away of Eric Viles at the age of 92. Eric and his wife Mary were the corner stones of the ATA Association for many years and we owe them a great debt of gratitude. Eric’s funeral is to take place on 26th June at 12:15 in the Woodland Chapel of Westerleigh Crematorium.  

29th May 2019 Newsletter

Ratcliffe Aerodrome, the site of ATA’s Ferry Pool Nr 6, retains several buildings that have been commendably preserved and given new uses. The two hangars in particular now look pristine. There is also a memorial plaque There is a memorial plaque and the late ATA F/O Peter George was involved in the unveiling in June 2004.

The Maidenhead Heritage Centre website https://atamuseum.org/ has been relaunched with the aim of refreshing the presentation and providing full online access to the archive. Access is free-of-charge, but registration is required in order to view the archive in detail and users are encouraged to join as Friends of Maidenhead Heritage Trust.

The key features are:

* 11,000 documents and photos, scanned to very high standards

* Imaging tools to enable users to pan-and-zoom to areas of detail

* A personnel database that includes both air and ground crew

* Links to external resources e.g. RAF Museum, Royal Aeronautical Soc, Solent Aviation etc.

By agreement with ATAA Vice-Chairman Chris ‘Woody’ Kelly, the whole of his mother’s website (the late Anne Wood Kelly) airtransportaux.com has been folded into the archive, and can be viewed at https://atamuseum.org/us-ata-veterans/.

Melody Foreman, the biographer of F/O Mary Ellis, will be delivering two more talks in Kent. The first, about the men and women of ATA, hosted by The Ladies Unlimited Club at The Royal Marine Association Hall in Deal at 7.30pm on July 7th and the second about 'A Spitfire Girl: Mary Wilkins Ellis' on September 11th to the Mersham Historical Society in Ashford.

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 on Remembrance Sunday and a short memorial service in the crypt afterwards.
  • 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 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
 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

Sunday 10th November 2019 Evensong at St Paul's Cathedral AT 3:15pm and afterwards in the Crypt for a short service to remember those nearly 180 men and women who lost their lives in the service of ATA.