WWII pilot Mary Ellis dies, aged 101

WWII pilot Mary Ellis has died at her home in the Isle of Wight, aged 101.

Mary delivered more than 1,000 aircraft including Spitfires and Lancaster bombers, to frontline squadrons during the war as a member of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA).

Mary Ellis
Mary Ellis during WWII when she was a pilot in the ATA. Top photo: Mary took part in the 2017 Project Propeller event.

After the war, Mary moved to the Isle of Wight to take charge of Sandown Airport from 1950-70. When she wasn’t flying, she took part in car rallies, racing an Allard sports car.

Mary married Don Ellis, also a pilot, in 1961. He died in 2009.

Graham Rose, chairman of the ATA Association, said, “Mary had been active until very recently including a visit to Number 10 Downing Street in May this year where she joined an RAF100 reception hosted by the Prime Minister. RAF cadets formed a guard of honour as Mary left Number 10.

“She also attended the London premiere of the film Spitfires only two weeks ago where she received a standing ovation. Mary was the Commodore of the ATA Association and was the last surviving UK female ATA pilot.”

Earlier this year, Mary was awarded the Freedom of the Isle of Wight. Isle of Wight Council leader Dave Stewart described her an “national, international and Island heroine”.

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