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 20th April 2018

See Wikipedia and our Facebook page for more information!

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"!

Oxford Mail Molly Rose Trophy

Molly Rose, ATA Pilot, to be remembered at rugby final!

11th April 2018: Molly Rose, one of the “Spitfire Women” who flew with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during World War Two, will be remembered at the final of the Women’s inter-services rugby match to be held at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday 20th April 2018. The “Molly Rose” Trophy, a beautiful rose bowl, will be presented to the winner.


Graham Rose, Molly’s eldest son, commented: “My two brothers, Gregory, Nigel and I were approached by Air Commodore Steve Lushington and asked if we were happy if our mother’s name were to be used for this trophy. Our reaction was one of sheer delight. Whilst she was not in the habit of beating the drum of gender equality, she was always quietly working in the background, encouraging women to achieve their maximum potential.”

In 1938 Molly worked on the shop floor as an apprentice engineer in the hangars of her father’s business at Cambridge and obtained her pilot’s licence that year. She was invited to join the Air Transport Auxiliary in August 1942 and between 1942 and leaving ATA in March 1945 Molly was to fly 38 different aircraft and delivering 486 including Spitfires, Hurricanes and Wellington bombers.

Steve Lushington said: “The RAF is delighted the family agreed with the proposal to name this trophy “The Molly Rose Trophy” which will be presented to the winner of the women’s inter-services rugby final. After the War ended, Molly never flew again as a pilot, but she remained a good friend of the Royal Air Force and was a frequent visitor to RAF Brize Norton.”

Air Commodore S F Lushington CBE is Chairman of the Royal Air Force Rugby Union.

Molly Rose OBE, DL, JP, died aged 95 in October 2016 and her ashes are buried in St Mary the Virgin’s churchyard in Bampton Oxfordshire.

The women’s final, between the RAF Women versus the Royal Navy Women, will be held at The Twickenham Stoop at 3:15pm on Friday 20th April 2018 and Molly’s youngest son, Nigel, will represent the Rose family.  More information about the match can be found at www.navyrugbyunion.co.uk


Graham Rose: email ataassoc.chairman@gmail.com or mobile 07554 433160

Steve Lushington, RAF Rugby Union Chairman – 07717 175122

More information: -

Molly Rose Wikipedia

Molly Rose Guardian Obituary

RAF Rugby Union

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