Monday, June 18, 2012

Maureen Dunlop de Popp R.I.P.

Another incredible and unsung heroine has died. Maureen Dunlop de Popp was an aviatrix par excellence. During the Second World War she was one of a pioneering group of women who flew the latest fighter and bomber aircraft with the Air Transport Auxiliary. The Telegraph obituary notes:

"With all ATA pilots flying the same aircraft and facing the same risks, Sir Stafford Cripps arranged that the female pilots should receive equal pay with their male colleagues and this small group of women rightly considered themselves as pioneers of sex equality. Many, including Maureen Dunlop, wished that they could have flown in combat, but this was considered a step too far and was forbidden. 'I thought it was the only fair thing,' she remarked. 'Why should only men be killed?'

She was one of 164 female pilots and, during her 3 years with the ATA, she flew 38 different types of aircraft, among them the Spitfire, Mustang, Typhoon and the Wellington bomber."

The rest of the obituary may be found here.

There are and were so many unknown female flyers. Most people may have heard of Amelia Earhart. Some might have heard of Amy Johnson. I know my friend Emily's mother Carla. However, the only way interest in their lives might be engendered is if a major tv network created a smash hit series based on their lives. Any takers?

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