Spitfire Women

Radio Times
Review by:
Gill Crawford

It took a well-connected MP’s daughter some time to persuade the powers that be to allow eight women to ferry training aircraft around the country as part of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in early 1940. The press got wind of it, and the ATA women became the glamour girls of the war effort.

It’s clear from this documentary (first shown two years ago) that for some, their experiences in the ATA were the highlight of their lives before and since. There were casualties, but there was also a huge sense of camaraderie and achievement.

The documentary is followed by John Sergeant’s paean to the Spitfire, the “sexiest aircraft in the world”.

About this programme

The story of the 168 female pilots who served in Britain's Air Transport Auxiliary - an organisation responsible for delivering aircraft to the RAF on the front lines of battle during the Second World War. Despite having no radio or navigation equipment, ATA pilots were expected to fly any kind of aircraft to the destinations where they were most needed, often risking their lives in the process. The film also features interviews with the last surviving female veterans, who speak about the dangers they encountered in the skies and the discrimination they faced back home.

Cast and crew


Tracy-Ann Oberman


Harvey Lilley
Executive Producer
Kieran Smith
Harvey Lilley