WW2 Spitfire pilot Joy Lofthouse

Second World War Spitfire pilot Joy Lofthouse has been remembered in a special ceremony celebrating her amazing life.

Lofthouse, who was only a teenager when the war was declared in 1939 before joining 165 other women in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), died last year aged 94.

Forces Radio BFBS presenter Amy Casey spoke at the ceremony last month about her experience producing a documentary alongside Joy.

You can watch her speech in full below...

Amy recalls first speaking to Joy Lofthouse while she was producing a documentary about the Spitfire. She said:

"I spoke to Joy on the phone for our first interview as part of a five-part series on the Air Transport Auxiliary and we chatted away like old friends, as if we had known each other for years." She added:

"I was so blown away by this incredible person. I knew I had to record her story for everyone to hear."

When Amy asked if Joy could come to visit her when she got back from Cyprus in three months, Joy joked...

"Why don't you call again when you're back. I'm 92 years old my dear, I don't even buy green bananas!" 

You can listen to Tea With A National Treasure - The Joy Lofthouse Story in full here.

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 was allowed to fly with the ATA during the war.

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

They were trained to fly all single and twin-engine aircraft and were nicknamed the 'Attagirls'.

Joy Lofthouse

Her job was a dangerous one, something which Joy found out during one flight when 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.

Listen to Forces Radio BFBS on FM, online or via the free app - Apple > http://apple.co/1NPLjVw or Android > http://bit.ly/1TZFixd

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