ATA query

ATA query

Joined: October 19th, 2003, 6:40 pm

November 18th, 2005, 9:51 am #1

Posting this on behalf of a friend who is interested in the ATA.

These uniforms are hard to get hold of, but does anyone have any source or ideas for conversions of existing uniforms - or even better a source of repro items?
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Joined: December 17th, 2003, 10:09 pm

November 18th, 2005, 9:08 pm #2

Hi,

My friend Franky has both her BD and SD complete, both replica.
I made her BD (seriously converted from CD), but she got the SD from a tailor-lady who specialises in WW2 stuff.
I will notify her about this query, and ask her to respond.

Martin.
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Joined: November 25th, 2005, 1:25 pm

November 25th, 2005, 1:29 pm #3

Posting this on behalf of a friend who is interested in the ATA.

These uniforms are hard to get hold of, but does anyone have any source or ideas for conversions of existing uniforms - or even better a source of repro items?
Check out my Ebay shop - Biggles Badges - for High quality repro ATA Pilot and Engineers wings

Cheers
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Joined: November 28th, 2005, 3:12 am

November 28th, 2005, 3:36 am #4

Posting this on behalf of a friend who is interested in the ATA.

These uniforms are hard to get hold of, but does anyone have any source or ideas for conversions of existing uniforms - or even better a source of repro items?
Hello there,

I am currently trying to gather info on the uniform from all sources. I have had amazing feedback, so I will keep you posted if you are still interested.

I have found a site called replicaters - does anyone recommend them??
They have said that they would make an SD and BD for £125 each within 36 days, incuding postage...

Does anyone have any pics (detailed) of an ATA uniform at all please, as this would really really help.

Thanks,

Sophie


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Joined: November 27th, 2005, 7:24 pm

November 28th, 2005, 4:25 am #5

Hi Sophie,

I'm also working on putting together an ATA impression. Did Sanjay quote you 125 pounds? I emailed him and he told me 175 pounds for SD! I haven't made a final decision on if I'll have him do a repro uniform for me. Unfortunately Della, who I've heard is good, is out of my price range.

I've been gathering pics of the ATA while doing research and put them in my Photobucket account. Have a look, they might be helpful for you...
http://photobucket.com/albums/b60/fifin ... /?start=20

Also, a question for those who can recognise flight gear more expertly than I- what kind of flight helmets did the ATA use? In some pics they are clearly B helmets, but in others they look like pre-war helmets? Are the goggles in some of the pics MkII's? I can handle AAF flight gear but British stuff is relatively new to me! I want to make sure I look for the appropriate flight gear so any help is appreciated. I will probably end up borrowing my husband's 40 pattern boots until I find my own, so the correct flight helmet and goggles are on my shopping list now.

Thanks!
Denise
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Joined: November 28th, 2005, 3:12 am

November 28th, 2005, 1:22 pm #6

Hello Denise,

It is nice to here that there are more of us trying get the ATA kit together.

Thank you so very much for the photographs there were some that i hadn't seen before.

It is nice to see colour pics of the actual uniform - I have been stuck with the accuracy of the colour as I have been given different accounts.

I was looking at the picture of some on the girls, with there names on the right of the page and I noticed an Ann Wood - I am correspoding with her and I didn't know she was in the ATA!

Sanjay said that it would be £125 each for a BD and SD, including delivery. This may depend on sizes...?

Are you in England??

Concerning the flight gear - I was going to get anything relatively good condition and as early war as possible; looking at the pictures it looks like they varied there gear quite considerably - perhaps private purchase before they joined the ATA (they were budding pilots afterall).

Thanks once again,

I will keep you posted.

Sophie
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Joined: August 4th, 2004, 3:23 am

November 29th, 2005, 2:27 am #7

Hi Sophie,

There is another reference book with a chapter dedicated to the ATA. The book is called "Little Friends" by Phillip Kaplan. It has a chapter titled "Very Special Delivery", pages 154-165. Nice brief history of the ATA and many photos about half in color. Several woman's photos in uniform but none in color. The color uniform photo is of a veteran, Mr. Len Biggs. Its a 1990 color photo, but he is wearing his wartime ATA uniform. I'm guessing the the men's and woman's uniforms were the same style, just like WAAF/RAF, just cut to a woman's form. Although purely an eyeball guess, the uniform color looks very similar to the dark blue of the RAAF. Page 160 has two great photos. The 1st shows Diana Barnato-Walker entering a cockpit wearing what appears to be an Irvin style jacket. The reason I say "style" is that it appears to fasten with buttons not a zipper! Also on the same page is a nice photo of 5 ATA pilots (all male) deplaneing from an Avro Anson. They are all wearing a variety of flight gear and flight helmets. One is in his ATA SD tunic, one with a long dark trench/overcoat and the other 3 in Sidcot flight suits. One can probably surmise from photo evidence that ATA pilots wore a variety of flight gear along the lines of "whatever was available". I'm guessing again, but not being a frontline unit they probably had to make due with kit not given as 1st priority to frontline fighter/bomber units. Much like the pilots of the RAF Ferry/Transport Command. Many US woman pilots served in the ATA, originally recruited by Jacqueline Cochran of later WASP fame. Hope this info helps.

Paul O.
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Joined: November 28th, 2005, 3:12 am

November 29th, 2005, 5:30 pm #8

Hello Paul,

Sorry for the delay in reply. Thanks very much for the info; that has been an enormous help.

If anyone is interested in portraying ATA (male or female) and they are in England, perhaps we can get together and go out in force??

Regards,

Sophie
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Joined: December 17th, 2003, 10:09 pm

November 29th, 2005, 7:27 pm #9

Hello Ladies,

Good to hear this subject is getting some more attention.
I mentioned earlier that i remodeled some CD BD's to realise an impression of what ATA BD could have looked like. Here's a picture:



Based on the information found these were of the same pattern as standard RAF BD. The most complex alteration was completely removing the flat breast pockets with pointed flaps, and replace them with new pleaded pockets and wavy flaps, made from a second jacket (tiny size) in maching colour.



If you are any good on a sewing machine, this could save you serious money!

About items such as flying helmets, most (if not all!) items were private purchase anyway, so I would say you are relatively free in your choice of wartime or pre-war helmet.

Interesting fact b.t.w, I recently discovered there even was a Dutch female pilot in the ATA! Her name was (she died in 2000) Ida Laura Veldhuyzen van Zanten, an there are even pictures:







If you need any help in making your own uniforms, drop me a line.
Good luck with the uniforms,

Martin.
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