Canadian Aviatrix #55 – Doris Manewell (1918-1992)

Doris was born around 1918 in Toronto, Ontario, to Albert Manewell (a window trimmer) and Myrtle Irene Chittenden.

1921 census

1931 census

Hamilton ON

Vancouver BC














On 14 May 1937, Doris passed her flying test and received her PPL, making her the 55th female pilot in Canada. She was 19 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #55 – Doris Manewell (born 1918) 

She was a member of the Toronto Flying Club – attending teas held by the Women’s Wing.

In 1940, Doris was a clerk and living at home with her parents. In 1941, she was one of a group of women pilots who announced that they were ready, willing and able to ferry planes for the RCAF, just as soon as they were allowed to do so. She was working towards her commercial license too. However, by August, she was spending time with William Bruce Armstrong (an air engineer) and it looks her priorities changed.

The couple married in 1942. Sadly, William had bowel cancer and died in 1947 when he was only 30 years old. After Albert died, Myrtle and Doris lived together (at least in 1957, 1965, and 1968) and Doris was an artist.

Doris was in a relationship with George H Welton, although it’s unclear if they ever married. The couple owned property in Castleton and Doris was a keen gardener.

Doris died in 1992, aged 74.

Note: Doris was listed with an asterisk in No Place for a Lady – meaning the author hadn’t been able to find her. I just had her name and the date of her PPL.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots 



  • Doris worked on her property in Canada spraying herbicides a lot, which the family attributed as the probable cause of her getting the cancer that killed her. Her older sister Florence, born in 1917, was the mother of my former husband Fred Todd as well as his sisters Diane (now Anthony, living in Florida) and Tamora. She had another son, Christopher, who died of an aortal aneurysm around age 19. Florence passed away at the age of 94 in 2011.

    Kathe Todd
  • I found her grave in Castleton cemetery. Castleton Ontario
    See Confirmed relationship by great nephew.

    Jannene McConnell

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