'Spitfire Lady' Joy Lofthouse Dies Aged 94

'Spitfire Lady' Joy Lofthouse Dies Aged 94

'Spitfire Lady' Joy Lofthouse Dies Aged 94

One of the unsung heroines of WW2 who flew in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) above the skies of Britain has died aged 94.

Joy Lofthouse was only a teenager when war was declared in 1939 and she joined the other 165 women in the Air Transport Auxiliary.

She flew Spitfires and Hurricanes around the world with her sister, delivering the aircraft to the front lines.

They were trained to fly all single and twin-engine aircrafts, and were nicknamed the Attagirls'


The interview above was filmed just a couple of months ago.

Joy joined the ATA in 1943 with her sister after spotting an advert in a flying magazine.

She was one of the only women who were allowed to fly with the ATA during the war.

Joy and the other women of the ATA would wait for good weather before being handed a chitty, which would tell them where they were flying to, what they were flying and who they were linking up with, but the jet they all wanted to fly was the Spitfire.

In an interview with Forces News, Joy described flying as easy, but it was the taking off and landing that was the tricky part, especially in the Spitfire:

“It’s quite the most powerful thing you ever flew.”

The job was a dangerous one, something which Joy found that out during one flight she went to shut the canopy as it flew away in her hand.

Upon inspection of the aircraft logbook, there was evidence of the jet having a history of canopy trouble and that it hadn’t been fixed properly.


Joy described joining the war effort as an exciting feeling because she didn’t appreciate what war was, but it was something interesting happening in her life, especially when coming from a mundane day to day experience in a small town in Gloucestershire.

She had a motto for life which was:

“Try anything, it might work!”

Figures from around the forces world have taken to social media to pay their respects.

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