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Page last updated at 08:14 GMT, Wednesday, 26 September 2012 09:14 UK

Female WWII Spitfire Joy Lofthouse: Nothing was scary

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It is often presumed that the pilots of Spitfires and Lancaster bombers in World War II were men. But there was also a small group of women pilots.

They did not fly into battle - their role was to fly the planes within Britain between factories, maintenance units and then to pilots at the front line.

Jacky Hyams has spoken to some of them for her book The Female Few: Spitfire Heroines of the Air Transport Auxilaiary.

Former Spitfire pilot Joy Lofthouse, one of the subjects of the book, told the Today programme: "We were so young, nothing was scary in those days, compared with what the youngsters do today.

"It was just part of the war effort. I felt very lucky that I was allowed to do something so rewarding. I would love to have gone on more and more and flying bigger aircraft but the war ended before I could."


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