“You Will Always Be Remembered”: One Of The Last Surviving Female World War II Pilots Dies At 101

Date July 26, 2018

The world has lost another incredible soul. World War II Spitfire pilot Mary Ellis, sadly, passed away at 101 years old.


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Mary was one of the last surviving pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary. When she turned 100, around 60 guests gathered at Sandown Airport to celebrate her incredible achievements.

Flying legend

In 1941, Mary Wilkins, later – Mary Ellis, became a part of the ATA. She heard an ad for women pilots on BBC radio and thought that it was her chance.

Women were allowed to fly military aircraft only a year before that, and many men were still against this idea. The 1941’s issue of Aeroplane magazine stated:

The menace is the woman who thinks that she ought to be flying in a high-speed bomber when she really has not the intelligence to scrub the floor of a hospital properly.

But Mary showed she is a professional in her field, flying about 1,000 airplanes during the war, including Spitfires and bombers.


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When the war ended, she was put in charge of Sandown Airport, which she ran for 20 years. She was also honored at the annual Festival of Remembrance in front of the British Royal Family and awarded the freedom of the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight’s council leader described Ellis as a “national, international and island heroine.”.

People paid tributes on Twitter

Mary was a hero in the heart of many people, and her legacy will never be forgotten.

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