Spitfire Women of World War Ii

Front Cover
HarperCollins Publishers Limited, Jul 1, 2008 - Women air pilots - 304 pages
16 Reviews

Why would the well-bred daughter of a New England factory-owner brave the U-boat blockades of the North Atlantic in the bitter winter of 1941? What made a South African diamond heiress give up her life of house parties and London balls to spend the war in a freezing barracks on the Solent? And why did young Margaret Frost start lying to her father during the Battle of Britain?

They - and scores of other women - weren't allowed to fly in combat, but what they did was nearly as dangerous. Unarmed and without instruments or radios, they delivered planes for the Air Transport Auxiliary to the RAF bases from which male pilots flew into battle. At the mercy of the weather and any long-range enemy aircraft that pounced on them, dozens of these women died, among them Amy Johnson, Britain's most famous flyer. But the survivors shared four unrepeatable years of life, adrenaline and love.

The story of this 'tough bunch of babes' (in the words of one of them) has never been told properly before. The author has interviewed all the surviving women pilots, who came not just from the shires of England, but also from the U.S.A, Chile, Australia, Poland and Argentina. Paid 6.00 a week, they flew - in skirts - up to 16 hours a day in 140 different types of aircraft, though most of them liked spitfires best.

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Review: Spitfire Women Of World War II

User Review  - Margery Walshaw - Goodreads

This book opened up a new world that I was totally unaware of -- the women behind the lines of World War II who flew the spitfire planes. Heroics, sisterhood, and inspirational. Read full review

Review: Spitfire Women Of World War II

User Review  - Paula - Goodreads

A very interesting story, messily and boringly told. Read full review

About the author (2008)

Giles Whittell is a leader- and feature-writer for 'The Times' and was previously the paper's correspondent in Los Angeles and Moscow. His other books include 'Lambada Country' and 'Extreme Continental', describing his travels by bike and motorbike through Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the collapse of the Soviet Union. He lives in London with his wife and three sons.

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