Jackie Moggridge ‘Spitfire Girl’

Jackie Moggridge learned to fly just before the start of World War II.

Jackie Moggridge Woman Pilot 1957

Jackie Moggridge ‘Woman Pilot’ 1957

When the Air Transport Auxiliary women’s section was started, to ferry RAF aircraft from factories to operational bases, Pauline Gower who had been appointed Women’s Commandant, recruited Jackie as a pilot. Jackie was based at ATA Unit Hamble Airfield, Hampshire.

Just before the D-Day Landings, Jackie was transporting an aircraft along the Solent. In her autobiography, ‘Woman Pilot’, Jackie tells how below her she could see a massive build up of ships and men dotted in every inlet and harbour along the shores of the Solent.

Jackie’s full story is here. Post-war her achievements were even more impressive. Her book is being republished this year.

(Images of Jackie Moggridge courtesy of Candida Adkins, Jackie’s daughter.)


Life begins at 90 for Stella

With the publication in May of her biography ‘Tomorrow Is D-Day’, Stella Rutter is giving a series of talks:

Stella Rutter Tomorrow Is D-Day

Stella Rutter Age 90

7th May: The Square Tower, Portsmouth, as part of D-Day 70 Portsmouth. 

Mid May: Interviewed by French media for Euro News Television.

2nd June: Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent, as part of D-Day 70 Gosport Commemorations, 12:00 to 15:00. Stella will meet some of the Veterans. UK ITV attending.

5th June: Brookfield Hotel, Emsworth, 11:00am, as part of WEMSFEST.

More diary dates to follow.  Not bad for a nonagenarian.

Canadian D-Day Memorial Stokes Bay, Gosport. Isle of Wight visible across the Solent.

Canadian D-Day Memorial Stokes Bay, Gosport. Isle of Wight visible across the Solent. Copyright Anne Grant.


Stella Rutter was Hostess to 60 D-Day Commanders on eve of Operation Overload

Stella Rutter – D-Day Hostess

Stella Rutter at 20

Stella Rutter age 20. Image courtesy of Stella Rutter.

Stella Rutter was never a pilot but she was the next best thing, a draughtswoman for the Spitfire. Now in 2014 her autobiography, ‘Tomorrow Is D-Day’, is being published.It includes the unique role she played on the eve of D-Day. She acted as Hostess to the 60 Commanders from Britain, America and Canada, who were in charge of all the combined invasion forces. As they gathered for a ‘Farewell Party’, timed for the night before the Normandy Landings, Stella shook hands with them all. For some of them, she was possibly the last woman they ever spoke to, for they never survived.

Read Stella’s story here.