“I don’t believe I was particularly well gifted for a career in flying. I was not well educated in so far as formal education was concerned. Neither did I have any particular talent for flying. I have always had a strong dislike for high places—swings, roller coasters, and diving boards. In spite of these shortcomings or handicaps, I have been able to fly, to teach others to fly, and to gain the respect of many wonderful people. Perhaps the experiences I have related on these pages will encourage others to reach out for a goal that seems to them at first to be far beyond their grasp.”—Vera Dowling
Vera Dowling qualified for her pilot’s license in England in 1937. She worked extensively in the area of test flying until she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary as a Ferry Pilot. After WWII, she was a flight instructor with the RAF. Immigrating to Canada in 1952, she was the first female flight instructor in Alberta and upon retirement in 1987 her logbook totaled over 30, 000 hours.
“Vera Dowling’s extraordinary enthusiasm for and life long dedication to aviation, in wartime and peace, particularly her dedication to flight instruction have been of great benefit to Canada.”—Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame
“Through Vera Dowling’s exciting story, history has been opened to me in a most informative and interesting way. What an exciting story. Awesome, truly awesome!”—Anne Makarus
“I have known Vera Dowling for over 40 years. Reading this book is like sitting in her living room, listening to her tell her stories of flying during World War II. The author has captured her personality expertly.”—Rosella Bjornson
Warren Hathaway served in the United States Marine Corps as a radar instructor during the Korean War and following that he worked as an engineer for a large electronics company doing research on military defense systems. He later pursued a career in education, earning a doctorate from the University of Alberta. Though now retired, he continues to be involved in a variety of roles: writer, teacher, and missions worker.