Canadian Aviatrix #55 – Doris Manewell (born 1918)

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

1921 census

Hamilton ON










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.

It’s unclear when the couple married, but by 1945, Doris wasn’t living with her parents anymore. 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.

I haven’t been able to find out what happened to Doris. She may have died in 1992, but I haven’t found a source to confirm that yet.

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