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Pauline Gower: Wikis

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Pauline Mary de Peauly Gower (1910–1947), married name Pauline Fahie, was a British pilot and writer who headed the female branch of the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War.

Daughter of MP Sir Robert Gower, she first flew with Alan Cobham and was fascinated by flying. In August 1931 she established a joy-riding and air taxi service in Kent. As well as flying, she wrote for Girl's Own Paper and Chatterbox and published a collection of poetry, Piffling Poems for Pilots, in 1934. As a writer she was acquainted with W. E. Johns whose character Worrals was based on Pauline Gower and Amy Johnson.

In 1938 she was appointed a civil defence commissioner in London with the Civil Air Guard. That year her work on women in aviation—Women with Wings—was published. On the outbreak of the Second World War, Gower made use of her high-level connections to propose the establishment of a women's section in the new Air Transport Auxiliary —the ATA would be responsible for ferrying military aircraft from factory or repair facility to storage unit or operational unit—to the authorities.

Gower was appointed as the head of the women's branch, and commenced the selection and testing of women pilots, the first eight being appointed by the ATA on 1 January 1940. Early members included ice-hockey international Mona Friedlander and former ballet dancer Rona Rees. Later members included Amy Johnson and Lord Runciman's daughter Margaret Fairweather. She received the MBE for her services and received a Harmon Trophy award posthumously in 1950.

Gower married Wing Commander Bill Fahie in 1944. She died in 1947 giving birth to twin sons.

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