92-Year-Old World War II Pilot and IRL Peggy Carter Flies a Spitfire for the First Time in 70 Years
Just a spitfire in her Spitfire.
Last month 92-year-old Joy Lofthouse, one of the few surviving female pilots to fly a Spitfire during World War II, took to the skies again with the aid of a co-pilot at the Boultbee Flight Academy in Chichester.
Lofthouse and her sister joined the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1943, and became 2 of the 164 female pilots (or “Attagirls”) who contributed to the war effort by transporting planes back and forth from the front lines. According to The Daily Mail, Attagirls were frequently only given half an hour to familiarize themselves with an unfamiliar aircraft before take-off, and ”losses were considerable, with one in six becoming a casualty at one stage.”
In a 2009 interview, Lofthouse explained the treatment Attagirls received on the frontline:
When the war broke out all our boyfriends would talk about was flying.
So when we saw the advert we both decided to apply. Once we were there, there was no sex discrimination.
In fact, I don’t think those words had been invented back then. It really was the best job to have during the war because it was exciting, and we could help the war effort. In many ways we were trailblazers for female pilots in the RAF.
The 92-year-old described her recent flight as “lovely” and “the nearest things to having wings of your own that I’ve known.”
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]