Mary Webb Nicholson was instrumental in helping Jacqueline Cochran set up a group of American women pilots to ferry airplanes for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in England during World War II. She herself was thrilled to join the last group of women pilots who went over to participate in the war effort. After initial flight training in Canada, Mary traveled by barge with several other women pilots to England. She was stationed at Maidenhead, in Berkshire, England. In May of 1943, shortly after being promoted to Second Officer, Mary was ferrying a Miles Master when, due to mechanical difficulties, the propeller flew off her plane over Worcestershire County. In poor weather conditions, she made an emergency landing in a farm field. Unable to avoid hitting a farm building, Mary's plane crashed and burst into flames. A nearby farmer attempted, unsuccessfully, to rescue her. Mary was the only American woman in the ATA to lose her life in the war.