In a video from BBC, one of the last remaining women of WWII's Air Transport Auxiliary, Joy Lofthouse took to the sky 7 decades after her last flight. As a part of the Royal Air Force, the women of Air Transport Auxilary aka Attagirls "made an enormous contribution to the war effort by taking over from service pilots the task of ferrying Royal Air Force and Royal Navy warplanes between factories, maintenance units, and front-line squadrons. They are often described as the forgotten army of women who broke through male-dominated barriers to pilot the aircraft - and to deliver them for service in the front line and they became known as the Attagirls" according to Mirror.co.uk
The Spitfire was a particular favorite plane of Lofthouse, who flew 18 different RAF aircraft over her military career. In the video Lofthouse talks about the Spitfire, saying "it was the iconic plane... The Spitfire lasted so much longer because it's such a wonderful airplane. [It's the] The closest thing to having wings of your own."
"Attagirls were frequently only given half an hour to familiarize themselves with an unfamiliar aircraft before take-off, and ”losses were considerable, with one in six becoming a casualty at one stage," said LofthouseIn the interview withDailymail.com. "Once we were there, there was no sex discrimination. In fact, I don’t think those words had been invented back then. It really was the best job to have during the war because it was exciting, and we could help the war effort. In many ways, we were trailblazers for female pilots in the RAF.’"
Like many of the female pilots of the World War II, the ‘Spitfire Girls’ were overlooked until 2008 when they were honoured with commemorative badges by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Watch Joy soar in the video posted by BBC.
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Courtney Bissonette is a New York based writer and improv comedienne. She writes primarily about movies, pop cultures and feminist heroes. She gets along best with old people. She has seen more old movies than your grandma, probably. Salt from Salt n Pepa once took her Trick'r Treating. You can follow her on instagram at @gddamnitcourtney or twitter @courttette