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on 21 May 2017
Simply told but an interesting chapter of a vanished age. Jacky hyams is not literary - there are better written memoirs- but that is not the point of this book. It is her story.
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on 12 March 2017
Book was new and arrived early.
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on 6 November 2012
I read this book in 3 days. Could not put it down. It is a story of the brave, resilient female pilots of world war 2 who ferried fighter and bomber aircraft across the country whilst serving in the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary). These ladies showed unstinting courage in their duties particularly when one considers the circumstances in which they operated. The planes often had no instrumentation or armaments and they were not therefore able to "fly by wire". Few know of their story which was recently made subject of a TV documentary.

5 out of their small number were killed undertaking their duties. The book centres of the lives of 5 of these pilots who survive to this day. The strength is that Jacky has allowed the ladies to tell their own life stories in full not restricting them to wartime experiences.They often lead very productive lives post war which are interesting to read about. The fortitude of these people is amazing. Their stories are told in a most readable way. Congratulations to Jacky for bringing this story to our attention in such an enjoyable style.
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on 2 October 2012
During The Second World War, aircraft were ferried from factories in the UK, or from maintenance units, to frontline squadrons by The Air Transport Auxiliary, whose pilots were usually too old to join the RAF or who had some physical limitation which kept them out of uniform. But not all of the pilots were male. Flying alongside them were a significant number of women pilots who were fit and healthy, and who flew everything, from Tiger Moths to Lancaster bombers, in all kinds of weather. These were the ATA girls, whose contribution to the war effort was heroic but are almost forgotten today. Fortunately, Jacky Hyams has written a terrific book about these airwomen, and has based it on interviews with five of the surviving pilots.

The interviews are revealing in that none of the five thought they were doing anything heroic, but all loved flying, especially if flying a Spitfire. Also, all five spend as much time discussing their relationships, marriages, divorces and the various deaths of loved ones as they do about their ATA work. I devoured this wonderful book in an afternoon, and strongly recommend it to anyone who wonders what women did in the war.
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on 19 January 2013
This is a short book and actually not very informative - a thin veneer of information over some short biographical chapters of five women who flew planes for the Air Transport Auxiliary during WWII. Even the title is misleading as they flew many different planes from open cockpit planes to Wellington bombers. These women deserve a better book and for anyone who is interested there are better books out there: autobiographies of some of those pilots & Virgina Nicholson's Millions Like Us have much more substance, and in fiction Marge Piercy's magnificent Gone to Soldiers. These books give a much better feel for the lives of these brave women (& men) who flew planes all around Britain and into Europe with no communications equipment and no armaments throughout the war.
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on 26 October 2012
So pleased I read this book...I never knew that women had transported planes around the country during the Second World War. It must have been hard to track down the few remaining women in order to get this book together, but I'm glad the author did. Their lively stories really kept me gripped and it makes you think about how cushy we've got it today!
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on 22 September 2014
An inspiring story of little recognised courage and commitment. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Female Few".
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on 24 April 2013
A brilliant read!Gives an insight into what had to go on 'back home' in order to supply planes for the front line war effort. These women quietly got on and did what they felt was necessary at a time of national crisis, some of them losing loved ones or paying the ultimate sacrifice with their own lives. All of these pilots stand out as self less examples of woman hood achieving something worthwhile and meaningful unlike our modern age of fame and instant celebrity just for marrying an overrated pop or sports star.
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on 25 January 2013
Having known nothing about the role of the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War, I was very interested in this account of the part played by a group of spirited and courageous women pilots who ferried planes from factories and repair centres to the bases from which male pilots would be flying them into battle.
Based on interviews with five ATA survivors, the book not only creates a vivid picture of the work done by these long-lived women during the war. Their stories, as told to Jack Hyams, provide a fascinating record of changes in life-styles and attitudes over the past seventy years; and this was, for me, the most interesting aspect of The Female Few.
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on 26 January 2013
I knew nothing of the Air Transport Auxiliary and was so impressed with the stories these brave women told of their lives during WW11. What pioneers they were; they make 21 century ladies look pretty tame. I loved the stories of their lives during the war and how accepting they were of all the difficulties life threw at them. My interest in spitfires had been none existent until I read this book but the ladies were so impressed with this plane that I will now have to view it in a different light. I am so glad that I read it.
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