May 5th at 7pm Candy Adkins' lecture "Spitfire Girl" about her mother.
June 16th "More Aircraft of ATA"
The details of both are on the website https://maidenheadheritage.org.uk/shop
“S.S. Nerissa, the Final Crossing”, by retired naval officer Bill Dziadyk, tells “The Amazing True Story of the Loss of a Canadian Troopship in the North Atlantic”. The embarked troops included fourteen American volunteers for the Air Transport Auxiliary. Eleven of the American pilots, perished during the sinking. The details were highly classified for almost 50 years. The First Edition was published on Remembrance Day in 2019. The Second Edition (about 70 more pages), both paperback (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1777378206 )and Kindle e-book (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X3Q84BK ) will be available via Amazon on the 80th anniversary of the sinking (30 April 2021). The Foreword to the second edition was provided by retired submariner Captain (RCN) Sherm Embree.
This second edition, is the result of feedback from readers … and additional research related to: Nerissa’s many wartime sailings prior to and including her final crossing of the North Atlantic; the resulting public relations dilemma in both Canada and the UK; and the inclusion of additional humanizing details to a tragic story. Also addressed is the significance of the sinking in the context of: Britain’s overall war efforts; and Bletchley Park’s significant advances in decrypting German naval Enigma encoded messages … in the few weeks before and after the sinking.
The troopship S.S. Nerissa departed Halifax (Pier 21) on 21 April 1941 in company with ships of Convoy HX-122. She maintained position in the convoy for about 3 hours before sailing independently for Liverpool, England via St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Embarked were: 105 Merchant Navy crew, 16 Royal Canadian Navy, 108 Canadian Army, 5 Royal Navy, 12 Royal Air Force, 7 British Army, 14 Air Transport Auxiliary (American pilots), 4 Royal Norwegian Air Force, 4 National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) auditors, and 16 civilians.The sinking of the Nerissa, about 12 hours from Liverpool, resulted in the third largest loss of life (207) for a ship sunk by U-boats in the approaches to the British Isles. The Maidenhead Heritage Centre website https://atamuseum.org/ provides full online access to the ATA 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.
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).
|Graham Rose: Chairmanemail@example.com
Vice Chairman with special responsibility for overseas members
|John Webster: Secretaryfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Caroline Speirs: Treasureremail@example.com|
|Date & Events|