Eleanor Wadsworth, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, was part of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which was tasked with the delivery of new and repaired aircraft to squadrons of the RAF and Royal Navy.
Eleanor, originally from Nottingham, initially went to work for the ATA at White Waltham in Berkshire in 1941 as an assistant architect, but after seeing a notice saying the civilian organisation needed more pilots, she put her name down.
In June 1943, she began her initial training and was one of the first six people on the course.
“Before we even got into a plane, we had to do a course in meteorology, navigation, which was very important, and the internal combustion engine,” she said.
“Most days, weather permitting of course, we had two half hour lessons a day, in between which we studied books and manuals and drank cups of tea and so forth.”
Flying solo after just 12 hours of training, the then 26-year-old went on to pilot 22 different types of aircraft in the war effort, including 132 Spitfires, 28 Hurricanes, two Hellcats and one Mustang.
But she is in no doubt over her favourite plane to fly.
“I think most people who have ever flown a Spitfire will say that it was a gem,” she said.