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Jackie's Story

Look out for these speech bubbles to read Jackie's own words from her book Spitfire Girl my Life in the Sky.

Jackie Moggridge learned to fly at age 16 in Pretoria South Africa where she met Doreen Hooper, the first woman to pass her Commercial licence. Jackie was inspired so she came over from South Africa at age 18 to study to be a commercial pilot at Witney Aeronautical College Oxford. A year into her course war broke out. She offered her services to the RAF who didn’t want women so she became a WAAF and was trained at Rye on RADAR until Pauline Gower requested her release to join the ATA on 29th July 1940. Stationed at Hamble, she was Pilot No. 15 at No.15 Ferry Pool.  She flew her first Spitfire 13/10/1941 from Cowley to Ternhill.  She went on to make 1438 deliveries for the ATA  and flew 83 different types of plane in her lifetime (more if you include the variations of each type)  and she flew 396 Spits during the war and 104 Spits after the war making 500 Spitfires in her lifetime, This is not counting her last flight in ML407 which she flew again, 50 years to the day she flew it,, at age 74 - she still had her pilot's licence.

Time Line

  • 1 Jan 1946 received the King’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air.

  • August 1949  joined the WRAF(VR) she flew for the WRAF(VR) for five years until it was disbanded.

  • June 1951 received the Queen’s Coronation Medal

  • 26 Aug 1953 received her RAF Full Wings  at Wellesbourne Mountford after doing her Wings test in an Airspeed Oxford, one of only five women - Jean Lennox Bird, Benadetta Willis, Joan Hughes, Freydis Leaf, Jackie Moggridge - all ex ATA.

  • 1955 She did six dangerous trips flying Spitfires to Burma,. Three men and herself flew 4 Spits at a time (30 in all )from Israel to Burma 6000 miles stopping 9 times on route.

  • 1957 wrote her autobiography Woman Pilot now reprinted as Spitfire Girl My Life in the Sky.

  • 1957 became the first woman airline captain to fly passengers on scheduled flights.

  • 26 May 1959 first recipient of the Jean Lennox Bird Trophy for Outstanding Woman Pilot of the Year.

  • Worked commercially for many years in the 60‘s and 70’s.

  • Largest plane she flew she said was a Viscount.

  • Dies Jan 7th 2004 Ashes scattered by Carolyn Grace from Spitfire ML407 over Dunkeswell Aerodrome, Taunton. She had been married for 52 years having met husband Lt Col Reg Moggridge during the war. They had two girls Veronica Jill and Candida Helen and two grandchildren Ashleigh and Lara.

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Candy found this French comic last year?  It is from 1959 and tells Jackie's life story including her husband Reg and daughter Veronica Jill. It goes beyond her book to her flying as an Airline Captain in Channel Airways and shows the prejudice she met from men and women on the way.

See it translated into English in Comic Strip under Gallery tabs
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