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Thursday, 26 July 2018

The last survivor of the Spitfire pilot WW2 dies at the age of 101


 
The last surviving Spitfire pilot who stole 400 iconic planes during the Second World War died at the age of 101.

Mary Ellis was the last known surviving pilot of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which delivered Spitfires and bombers to the RAF airfields during the war.

At the beginning of the war, women were not allowed to fly military planes but that changed in 1940. Mary, whose maiden name was Wilkins, joined the ATA in 1941 after hearing an advertisement for women pilots on the radio.



By the end of the war, she had spent more than 1,100 hours flying 56 different aircraft types. She was one of the last six female pilots to fly for ATA in late 1945.

Mary married Donald Ellis in 1961, who shared his love of flying.

Earlier this year, she received 100 years of freedom from the Isle of Wight.



Announcing his death, Red Arrows pilot Mike Ling MBE said on Twitter: "More horrible news: Mary Ellis, a legendary Air Transport Auxiliary, more than 1,000 aircraft, 76 different types and more than 400 Spitfires. a well deserved sherry up there with Joy Lofthouse again, Blue Skies Ma'am #LestWeForget. "



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