"From Oliy rags to London society"
Began her career as a trainee mechanic in the RAF during World War II. She served at RAF St Davids (West Wales) where she serviced the Halifax bombers station there.
Being the only female mechanic she found lodgings at the nearby hamlet of Caerfarchell, where she befriended the local landlady and her two grandsons, who had been evacuated from London.
After hearing their stories of how exciting London was, she managed to obtain a transfer to RAF Hendon where she was to assist Sir Frank Whittle on his newly invented Jet engine.
During one of Sir Frank’s soirees, she was introduced to sir Damien Gen, where he complained of his frustration at not being able to find a travelling mechanic for his Berlin airlift.
After much persuasion, he talked Sir Frank into releasing Katie from her duties and to assist with the airlift.
Katie subsequently stayed with Sir Damien when he set up Airsupport international Airways, where she requested to “leave the oil and grease behind and suffer the life of glamour”. Little did she know that her mechanical knowledge would save both her crew, passengers and herself after the constellation she was working on had to make an emergency landing in the Sahara desert.
In the late 1950s she returned to West Wales and purchased her beloved Spring Cottage in the small hamlet of St Nicholas (Tremarchog) over looking the Church with the same name. Spring cottage is now a luxury holiday let. www.springcottage.wales
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