Saturday, 5 November 2016
Women Warriors - Molly Rose, ATA Pilot
My Young Man shared an obituary from the Telegraph with me - of Molly Rose, who has just died aged 95.
She joined the ATA during the Second World War. Women were not allowed to be fighter pilots, but they were needed to deliver planes to airfields as part of the Air Transport Auxiliary. For much of her service - she joined up in 1942 - she was based at Hamble near Southampton, in an all-female unit.
She delivered 273 Spitfires to airfields, and many other types of aircraft including Wellington bombers, Beaufighters and Mosquitos. Later in the War she flew Tempests and Typhoons, which were higher powered Spitfire variants. Sometimes the ATA pilots flew four different types of aircraft in a single day. They flew without radio, and often to airfields which were camouflaged and difficult to find. In all, she flew 486 aircraft of 38 different types - and after the War, she never flew again. She spent the rest of her working life as a magistrate.
She married Bernard Rose, who was a Captain in the 4th City of London Yeomanry during the War, in 1939. After the War he became a Lecturer in Music at Queen's College Oxford. They had three sons. They met while she was an apprentice engineer in the family business - her father was David Marshall of Marshall Aviation in Cambridge - and she learned to fly on a Tiger Moth belonging to her brother, gaining her flying licence at the age of 17.