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Last surviving female WW2 Spitfire pilot dies aged 101

The last surviving female Spitfire pilot who flew 400 of the iconic planes during World War Two has died aged 101.

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

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

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

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

Earlier this year she was awarded the Freedom of the Isle of Wight, aged 100.

Announcing her death, Red Arrows pilot Mike Ling MBE said on Twitter: "More awful news. RIP Mary Ellis. A legend of the Air Transport Auxiliary. Over 1,000 aircraft; 76 different types and over 400 Spitfires alone. I hope you’re enjoying a well-earned sherry up there with Joy Lofthouse again. Blue skies Ma’am #LestWeForget."

 https://www.geezgo.com/sps/32404

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