Wednesday 13 June 2012
Further to your obituary of Maureen Popp, née Dunlop (11 June), as a close friend of Maureen – and, like her, a former pilot – I was honoured to be asked to escort her to an investiture meeting of the Guild of Air Pilots, writes Richard Gregory.
There, along with Diana Barnato and Lettice Curtiss, she was made an honorary Master Pilot in recognition of wartime service in the Air Transport Auxiliary. Maureen was made First Officer, which authorised her to fly any aircraft in use by either the RAF or United States Air Force.
All the information considered necessary for the ATA to perform their very demanding duties was constrained on one side of an ordinary postcard "filed" on a couple of ordinary key rings! By contrast, Pilots' Notes for the contemporary Spitfire ran to 65 pages. When I asked her to name her favourite aircraft of them all, she replied unhesitatingly, "The Mosquito – but they were so fast [only the North American Mustang was faster] that I didn't get many hours in my logbook on that type!"
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