Britain's last surviving female WW2 pilot Eleanor Wadsworth dies aged 103

Britain's last surviving female WW2 pilot Eleanor Wadsworth dies aged 103

01/08/2021

BRITAIN’S last surviving woman who flew fighters during World War Two has died aged 103.

Eleanor Wadsworth was one of 166 Spitfire Women, who flew planes from factories to airfields as part of the allied war effort.


She piloted 22 types of aircraft including Spitfires, Mustangs, Swordfish and Hawker Hurricanes with the Air Transport Auxiliary.

Speaking a few months before she died, Eleanor said the Spitfire was her favourite.

She said: “It was a beautiful aircraft, great to handle and I was fortunate to be able to fly 132 of them.”

The Nottingham-born great-grandmother, who died in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, last month, worked as an architect’s assistant before joining the ATA in 1943.

After the war ended, she married, had two sons and never flew again.

Retired Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot called Eleanor and her colleagues “pioneers of their time”.

She said: “It was an unusual job for a woman, and they were the unsung heroes of the Second World War, selflessly flying into danger.”


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