Round-the-World Flights

Richarda Morrow-Tait Becomes the 1st Woman to Pilot a Plane RTW

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Richarda Morrow-Tait Dikki's Autograph Thursday's Child Next Thursday's Child Book
Pix #1 Pix #2 Pix #3 Pix #4 Pix #5

	Prudence Richarda Evelyn Routh was born on November 22, 1923 in Ickleton, 
Cambridgeshire, England.  From 1932 through 1940, Prudence attended the Perse
School for Girls in Cambridge. Shortly after the formal defeat of Nazi Germany 
and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich on May 8, 1945 Prudence married 
Norman Robert Morrow-Tait on July 21, 1945. She began to use her middle name, 
Richarda and affectionately became known as Dikki. When the wartime ban on 
civil aviation was lifted Richarda joined the Cambridge Aero Club earning her 
private pilot's licence. 
	When daydreams became reality, Richarda dreamed of the impossible and 
made it come true. She read up on the wartime ferrying activities where 
aircraft crossed the oceans and studied weather patterns. Richarda became 
enthusiastic for an attempt for a woman to pilot a plane round-the-world.  
With their good friend, Michael Townsend, the Morrow-Taits shopped for a 
aircraft that could fly round-the-world. They selected a Percival Aircraft, 
a Proctor IV (G-AJMU) which had evolved from a wartime derivative with a 
history of record flights. Richarda remembered her daughter Anna's favorite 
nursery rhyme, Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of 
grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe, Thursday's child has far to go, and 
named her new plane, "Thursday's Child."
	On August 18, 1948 Richarda with her navigator, Michael Townsend left 
Cambridge and began their flight eastward round-the-world.  Her flight became 
a series of adventures and it progressed driven by Richarda's sheer 
determination.  She had two minor crashes and a six week enforced stay in 
India for aircraft repairs and the installation of extra fuel tanks.  After an 
illegal escape from India, an unplanned stop in Indo-China (Viet Nam) and a 
crossing of the North Pacific in winter (instead of late summer as originally 
planned) they survived a forced landing near Tanacross AK in sub-zero 
temperatures due to carburetor icing.  Efforts to get the Proctor repaired 
failed and Richarda was left almost penniless.  Navigator, Townsend returned 
to England.
	Richarda spent Christmas 1948 in Edmonton Canada and made a side trip to 
Seattle WA.  She met Jack Ellis who agreed to become her navigator for the 
balance of her round-the-world trip if she was able to acquire another 
aircraft. Soon thereafter she purchased a BT-13 Vultee Valiant (NX-54084) and 
after some up-grade and repair was ready to fly "Next Thursday's Child" across 
Canada and the US returning to England.  
	Upon completing her journey Richarda Morrow-Tait became the first woman to 
pilot an aircraft round-the-world.  She received little acclaim for her feat 
and even a bit of ridicule from a public that felt she had abandoned her 
motherly duties for an unnecessary adventurous undertaking.  Richarda 
lamented, "I had more trouble on the ground than I ever had in the air."  She 
faded from publicity maintaining her pilot's licence into 1960.  She passed 
away on December 17, 1982 from an incurable blood disease.   

Departed Cambridge England             08/18/48
         Croydon England                   
         Marseilles France          
         Nicosia Cyprus
         Al Habbaniya Iraq
         Sharja UAE
         Karachi Pakistan	
         Delhi India
         Calcutta India
         Rangoon Burma
         Vientiane Viet Nam	
         Hong Kong
         Itazuke Japan
         Tokyo Japan
         Chitose Japan
         Kuril Islands
         Aleutian Islands         
         Shemya AK
         Adak AK
         Cold Bay AK
         Anchorage AK 
         Forced landing (near Tanacross AK - G-AJMU damaged) 11/21/48
         Seattle WA
         Vancouver British Columbia Canada
         Edmonton Canada
         Tanacross AK
         Edmonton Canada
         Minneapolis MN
         Chicago IL
         Buffalo NY
         Montreal Canada
         Burlington VT
         Montreal Canada
         Old Town ME
         Goose Bay Labrador
         Bluie West One, Narsarsuaq Greenland
         Keflavik Iceland
         Prestwick Scotland		
Arrived in Croydon England             08/19/49

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