In 1945, a young woman named Clara was working at the Royal Air Force’s Aberdeen base.
Her boss, Major John Mackenzie, told her that she would be promoted to second lieutenant when she was done and that she was on a mission to save the aircraft carrier HMS Princess Anne.
As a result, Clara decided to join the Royal Flying Corps, an elite unit of the Royal Navy, which was also known as the “Flying Tigers”.
After spending the war in the UK and returning to the US, Clara became a pilot and went on to fly more than 20 missions in the war.
As well as being the wife of the commanding officer of HMS Princess Ann, she was also a member of the Flying Tigers’ “flying team”, which was a specialised group of pilots who were trained in aeroplanes, aircraft carriers and submarines.
Clara had to endure the horrors of being on the frontline with the British in the Korean War.
The women of the flying team had to be extremely careful with their own personal weapons, as they were required to be on their feet in order to safely navigate the aircraft carriers.
At the height of the war, Clara was shot in the face by a Japanese soldier who was trying to blow up the aircraft.
The Japanese had her shot and left her for dead.
“It was a terrible experience,” Clara recalled to the BBC’s Barbara Walters in 2015.
“But she never stopped fighting and it’s in my blood to do it again.
It’s the feeling of seeing someone die and then seeing them come back alive.”
Clara returned to the RAF, but her love for her job and her flying career were not what they used to be.
“In the RAF you’re allowed to do a lot of things.
You can fly boats, but you can’t do any sort of flying,” she said.
“And there was a lot more to flying than that.”
Clara was given a new job as an aircraft mechanic in the US and became an expert in aircraft mechanics.
She became a mentor to many of the pilots she worked with, including a young airman named Robert “Buzz” Hill.
Hill became friends with Clara’s family when they were stationed at a US base in California, where Hill was stationed during the Korean conflict.
Clara’s life was saved after Hill, a pilot himself, volunteered to be a pilot in her aircraft.
They became fast friends, and in 1940, Clara and Hill flew together on missions to Australia.
“I was the best friend of this guy,” Hill recalled.
“So when he was a pilot I was the only one with him, and he was my best friend.”
Hill had flown in the battles over Japan, where he helped to defend the Pacific islands from Japanese invasion.
“He was my hero,” Hill said.
Hill recalled that Clara was “very intelligent and extremely well-read”.
“She was a great pilot and she was the most wonderful person that I ever met,” he said.
Clara became one of Hill’s first flying buddies.
They both liked the planes and flying and often flew together.
But, as the war went on, the relationship began to crumble.
“When we first went out on missions we’d be in the aircraft, flying the aircraft,” Hill told Walters.
And then we’d get to the ground, and I’d be, ‘Hey, I just have a bad headache, Buzz.’ “
She said, ‘I’m not having a good time.’
And I’d say ‘No, no, we’re on a flight, you’ve got to go home, you’re the only person who can fly.’ “
Then she’d say, ‘We should go back to the airbase.’
And I’d say ‘No, no, we’re on a flight, you’ve got to go home, you’re the only person who can fly.’
And she’d just get angrier and angrier.”
Clara eventually decided to leave the RAF and take up a job with a company called the American Aviation Corporation (AAA), which she described as “a very nice place to work”.
But after two years she was forced to resign after a medical crisis.
She was never heard from again.
“They didn’t do anything for me,” she told Walters in an interview.
“My mother died and they didn’t care.
I was a young girl who was in love with the aircraft.”
When Clara returned home, she and Hill became “one of the most amazing people in the world”.
Hill said Clara’s death changed him forever.
“She changed me,” Hill wrote in his memoir, “the man who could never go to war again.”
“I will always remember Clara Hill,” Hill, the former pilot, said in a 2015 interview with the US documentary series The American Way.
“That’s a very special moment for me.
Clara Hill is my friend.”
The truth about Clara’s love story is not the only thing that has been revealed in the documentary.
During the war time, the BBC recorded a series of recordings made by members of