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Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. Amelia Earhart

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Introduction Why a resource book on Women & Minorities in Aviation

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Chapter One ~ Time Lines and Aviation Firsts A timeline of women in aviation history


A Time line of the Flight Attendant


Chapter Two ~ Spot Lights Women who paved the way


African American Men & Women in Aviation History


The men behind the woman


Chapter Three ~ Organizations & Themes The Tuskegee Airmen


The Golden Age of Aviation


The Powder Puff Girls


The WASP‘s


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Chapter Four ~ Resources Minorities in Aviation Organizations


Museums & Libraries

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Novelty Items

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Introduction It has been 100 years since Raymonde de Laroche of France became the first woman in the world to earn a pilot license. Additionally, on June 15, 2021, it will be 100 years since Bessie Coleman became not only the first AfricanAmerican woman to earn an international aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, but the first African American woman in the world to earn an aviation pilot's license. Moreover, it was not until June 16, 1963 Valentina Tereshkova, became the first woman to travel into space. In the following chapters, you will read about many of aviation /aerospace firsts; the women, the minorities, and even the men behind these people that have helped to open the doors to an industry that once belonged to ―White Men‖ only! Today, we still celebrate these heroic firsts and yet accumulating more firsts to add to the list. Although, the aviation/ aerospace industry is no longer the closed to women and people of color; it is still a predominantly white man‘s industry. It is now One hundred years later; women still only make up approximately 6% of the pilot population in most western countries. With so few women pilots, it is not difficult to understand why firsts are still being made. Additionally, even though today, nearly 6,000 women holding an Airline Transport Pilot license in the United States alone. Woman pilots are still required to wear uniforms geared towards male attire. You still see advertisements depicting men as pilots and women on the sidelines or as only attendants in flight. Still, 100 years later: women are not treated as equals in the aviation / aerospace industry! I have taken the time to compile this research manual for the minority and woman aviation/ aerospace enthusiasts. In the pages to follow this

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introduction you will find everything you need to read about our histories pioneers who have paved the way for minorities and women in aviation. I have not only given you the history and time lines, but the where-to-goes for organizations, museums, books, movies, novelties, and more. All of them geared towards minorities and women in the aviation/aerospace industry. When asked to comment about the first spacewalk by a woman in 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Dzanibekov said: "Without women, we stood in space on one leg only." I dare to declare that, for the last one hundred years, aviation has been standing on one leg only.

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Women in Aviation – A Timeline 1784 Elisabeth Thible becomes first woman to fly in a hot air balloon 1798 Jeanne Labrosse is first woman to solo in a balloon. 1809 Marie Madeleine Sopie Blanchard becomes first woman to lose her life while flying -- she was watching fireworks in her hydrogen balloon. 1880 Mary Myers is first American woman to solo in a balloon. 1903 Aida de Acosta is first woman to solo in a dirigible. 1906 E. Lillian Todd is first woman to design and build an airplane, though it never flew. 1908 Madame Therese Peltier is first woman to fly an airplane solo. 1910 Baroness Raymonde de Laroche obtains a license from Aero Club of France, first woman licensed in the world. 1910 Blanche Stuart Scott, without permission or knowledge of Glenn Curtiss, the airplane‘s owner and builder, removes a small wood wedge and is able to get the airplane airborne -- without any flying lessons -- thus becoming first American woman to pilot an airplane. 1910 Bessica Raiche's flight qualifies her, for some, as first woman pilot in America because some discount the flight of Scott as accidental and therefore deny her this credit. 1910 Baroness Raymonde de la Roche becomes first woman in world to earn a pilot's license. 1911 Harriet Quimby becomes first American woman licensed pilot. 1911 Harriet Quimby becomes first woman to fly at night. 1912 Harriet Quimby becomes first woman to pilot her own aircraft across English Channel. 1913 Alys McKey Bryant is first woman pilot in Canada. 1916 Ruth Law sets two American records flying from Chicago to New York. 1918 U.S. postmaster general approves appointment of Marjorie Stinson as first female airmail pilot.

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1919 Ruth Law becomes first person to fly air mail in Philippines. 1921 Adrienne Bolland is first woman to fly over the Andes. 1921 Bessie Coleman becomes first African American, male or female, to earn a pilot's license. 1922 Lillian Gatlin is first woman to fly across America as a passenger. 1928 Amelia Earhart is first woman to fly across the Atlantic -- Lou Gordon and Wilmer Stultz did most of the flying. 1929 First Women's Air Derby is held. Louise Thaden wins, Gladys O'Donnell takes second place and Amelia Earhart takes third. 1929 Florence Lowe ―Pancho‖ Barnes becomes first woman stunt pilot in motion pictures (in Hell's Angels). 1929 Amelia Earhart becomes first president of the Ninety-Nines, an organization of women pilots. 1930 Amy Johnson becomes first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. 1930 Anne Morrow Lindbergh becomes first woman to earn a glider pilot license. 1931 Ruth Nichols fails in her attempt to fly solo across the Atlantic, but she breaks world distance record flying from California to Kentucky. 1931 Katherine Cheung becomes first woman of Chinese ancestry to earn a pilot's license. 1932 Amelia Earhart is first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. 1932 Ruthy Tu becomes first woman pilot in the Chinese Army. 1934 Helen Richey becomes first woman pilot hired by a regularly scheduled airline, Central Airlines. 1934 Jean Batten is first woman to fly round trip England to Australia. 1935 Amelia Earhart is first person to fly solo from Hawaii to American mainland. 1936 Beryl Markham becomes first woman to fly across the Atlantic east to west.

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1936 Louise Thaden and Blance Noyes beat male pilots also entered in the Bendix Trophy Race, first victory of women over men in a race in which both men and women could enter. The next year, they would not let women compete. 1937 Amelia Earhart lost over Pacific. 1938 Hanna Reitsch becomes first woman to fly a helicopter and first woman to be licensed as a helicopter pilot. 1939 Willa Brown, first African-American commercial pilot and first African American woman officer in the Civil Air Patrol, helps form the National Airmen's Association of America to help open up the U.S. Armed Forces to African American men. 1939 Jacqueline Cochran sets international speed record; the same year, she is first woman to make a blind landing. 1941 - July 1 - Jacqueline Cochrane is the first woman to ferry a bomber across the Atlantic 1941 - Marina Raskova appointed by Soviet Union high command to organize regiments of women pilots 1942 - Nancy Harkness Love and Jackie Cochran organize women flying units and training detachment 1943 - Women make up more than 30% of the work force in the aviation industry 1943 - Love's and Cochran's units are merged into the Women Airforce Service Pilots and Jackie Cochran becomes the Director of Women Pilots -- WASPs flew more than 60 million miles before the program ended in December 1944, with only 38 lives lost of 1830 volunteers and 1074 graduates -- these pilots were seen as civilians and were only recognized as military personnel in 1977 1945 - Melitta Schiller is awarded the Iron Cross and Military Flight Badge in Germany 1953 - Jacqueline (Jackie) Cochran becomes first woman to break the sound barrier

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1964 - March 19 - Geraldine (Jerri) Mock is the first woman to pilot a plane around the world 1973 - January 29 - Emily Howell Warner is the first woman working as a pilot for a commercial airline (Frontier Airlines) 1973 - U.S. Navy announces pilot training for women 1974 - Mary Barr becomes the first woman pilot with the Forest Service 1974 - June 4 - Sally Murphy is the first woman to qualify as an aviator with the U.S. Army 1977 - November - Congress passes a bill recognizing WASP pilots of World War II as military personnel, and President Jimmy Carter signs the bill into law 1978 - International Society of Women Airline pilots formed 1980 - Lynn Rippelmeyer becomes the first woman to pilot a Boeing 747 1984 - on July 18, Beverly Burns becomes the first woman to captain a 747 cross country, and Lynn Rippelmeyer becomes the first woman to captain a 747 across the Atlantic -- sharing the honor, thereby, of being the first female 747 captains 1994 - Vicki Van Meter is the youngest pilot (to that date) to fly across the Atlantic in a Cessna 210 - she is 12 years old at the time of the flight 1994 - April 21 - Jackie Parker becomes the first woman to qualify to fly an F16 combat plane 2001 - Polly Vacher becomes the first woman to fly around the world in a small plane - she flies from England to England on a route that includes Australia Info taken from:

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TIMELINE OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS' FIGHT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION Mid-1930s Only a few years after a corporate predecessor of United Airlines hired the world's first stewardesses, that same carrier instituted the first formal policy of refusing to employ married women for cabin service. Single-women-only hiring and termination upon marriage became industry-wide policies. The male flight attendants employed by some carriers were never subject to such restrictions. November 1953 American Airlines instituted the first age restriction on stewardesses‘ continuing employment. The policy called for stewardesses to retire from passenger service upon reaching their 32nd birthday. The national flight attendant union, the Air Line Stewards and Stewardesses Association (ALSSA), protested and limited application of the policy to new hires, setting a precedent of ―grandmother rights‖ for stewardesses hired before age ceilings were introduced. 1954-1964 Other airlines gradually followed American‘s lead in instituting age limits of 32 or 35 applied only to stewardesses, who were terminated or transferred to ground jobs when they reached the age ceiling. By 1965, fourteen of the thirtyeight carriers in the U.S. with government-certified routes had age restrictions of 32 or 35 on stewardesses‘ continued employment. Because age ceilings were typically imposed, as at American, only on women hired after the effective dates of the policies, a handful of ―aged‖ stewardesses remained employed as living proof of how arbitrary it was to claim that reaching 32 meant charm and grace, not to mention competence, suddenly ended. Flight attendants sporadically protested airline age ceilings and marriage bans in collective bargaining and union grievance proceedings, but to no avail.

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1960-1962 Growing tensions between the national flight attendant union, ALSSA, and its parent union, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), as well as conflicts among flight attendant unionists, sparked intra- and inter-union battles. Because flight attendants lacked the power to secure their ultimate goal, a fully autonomous union, they ended up splitting into two, rival unions by 1962 that were still subordinate to male-dominated parent unions: the new Steward & Stewardess Division of ALPA, and ALSSA, which had become a local of the Transport Workers Union of America. April 17, 1963 Eight ALSSA stewardesses held a press conference to indict American Airlines‘ policy of retiring them at age 32. Thirty-five-year-old Barbara ―Dusty‖ Roads, veteran union lobbyist, even asked, ―Do I look like an old bag?‖ The women‘s protest captured national media attention and sparked debate on the narrowness of airlines‘ ideal of feminine allure. July 2, 1964 President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Act barred private employers of twenty-five or more workers from discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of sex, race, national origin, or religion. The act, however, provided a potential loophole in the ―BFOQ‖ clause, which allowed employers to discriminate in ―those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.‖ The mere fact of Title VII‘s existence as of mid-1964 provided an opening wedge for flight attendants to press for changes to age and marriage rules in collective bargaining. Union negotiators found airlines newly willing to cede some ground on the long-disputed issues. Some, for instance, granted six-month grace periods to stewardesses after marriage or revised age ceilings from 32 to 35. Still, many airlines remained committed to basic age and/or marital restrictions. December 17, 1964

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At the urging of ALSSA, the New York State Commission on Human Rights (NYSCHR) launched an informal investigation into age discrimination in airline policies covering initial hires and continued employment. The NYSCHR‘s subsequent probe represented the most promising of stewardesses‘ attempts to use state anti-discrimination laws to challenge age and marriage rules. July 2, 1965 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) began its work of interpreting and implementing Title VII. Stewardesses were among the very first working women to file charges of sex discrimination with the Commission, specifically targeting airline age ceilings and marriage bans. In so doing, they joined other aggrieved women in ensuring that the EEOC would pay attention to sex bias as well as racial discrimination, its foremost priority initially.

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September 2, 1965 Flight attendant union president Colleen Boland, accompanied by several stewardesses, testified at hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives on the problems of older workers. Boland charged several airlines with extreme age discrimination for terminating stewardesses at age 32 or 35. Stewardesses‘ day at Congress and Representatives‘ chivalrous and witty remarks on the injustice of airline age ceilings garnered national headlines and inspired lively media debate on airlines‘ marketing of nubile, youthful femininity. While media and congressional commentary on the plight of ―aging‖ stewardesses was largely irreverent, stewardesses‘ protest to Congress generated widespread evidence of public disfavor with airline age discrimination. September 14, 1965 The Steward & Stewardess Division of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPASSD) won a landmark grievance award against Braniff‘s no-marriage rule, the first successful challenge to an airline age ceiling or marriage ban. The neutral referee who ruled on the grievance cited Title VII as a factor in his finding against Braniff. Late September 1965 The EEOC issued general guidelines on sex discrimination, including the finding that firing female employees for marriage when the policy was not applied to male co-workers was discriminatory. December 16, 1965 The EEOC issued its first ruling on a complaint brought by a flight attendant against an airline for sex discrimination, in Evenson v. Northwest. Commissioner Aileen Hernandez, the foremost champion of women‘s rights at the early EEOC, found ―reasonable cause‖ to believe that Northwest had illegally discriminated against Evenson in firing her for marrying because it did not apply a marriage ban to its male flight attendants.

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January 20, 1966 Northwest flight attendant Judith Evenson filed the first Title VII civil action against an airline in a Virginia federal court, charging that her termination for marriage was illegal sex discrimination. (Evenson would never receive a ruling on the merits of her case, however; apparently she settled with the carrier eventually.) March 23, 1966 The NYSCHR issued a blanket finding against airline age rules, denying that age represented a ―bona fide occupation qualification‖ for the flight attendant occupation. The ruling defined individual inability to perform duties as the only proper motivation for termination of stewardesses before the standard retirement age for other airline employees. March 1966 As a result of Judith Evenson‘s Title VII civil action, Northwest Airlines and the airline industry‘s lobbying group, the Air Transport Association (ATA),requested a general finding from the EEOC on whether airline age and marriage restrictions categorically violated Title VII. The EEOC obliged and began a comprehensive study of airline policies in questions. May 10, 1966 At a five-hour public hearing before the EEOC, flight attendant representatives and airline legal counsel respectively denied and affirmed that sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the flight attendant occupation. November 9, 1966 The EEOC issued the general ruling requested by Northwest and the ATA, declaring categorically that sex is not a bona fide occupational qualification for the flight attendant occupation. The EEOC‘s ruling effectively rendered illegal a range of discriminatory hiring and employment practices in flight attendant employment, beyond the original policies in question concerning stewardesses‘ age and marital status. Many airlines refused to hire any men for cabin service, and the few that did employ male flight attendants typically offered them preferential treatment in benefits and promotions.

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Within a few days, the airlines secured a temporary injunction from a federal court barring release of the EEOC ruling and any resultant action by the Commission on stewardesses‘ charges of discrimination. The airlines charged a conflict of interest in the ruling: outgoing Commissioner Aileen Hernandez voted on the airline case while she was alleged to be Executive Vice President of the new National Organization for Women, a group that only weeks earlier had issued a public statement in support of stewardesses‘ anti-discrimination efforts. Ironically, Hernandez was leaving the EEOC in protest of the Commission‘s (and the Johnson administration‘s) laxity in combating sex discrimination. She also had not formally commenced her work for NOW when she voted on the airline case. But the airlines successfully used her barely overlapping involvement with NOW and the EEOC to paint the Commission as too influenced by feminism to rule impartially. February 24, 1967 The airlines‘ conflict of interest charge against the EEOC, based on Commissioner Hernandez‘s alleged feminist bias, persuaded a federal district court judge to enjoin the EEOC permanently from releasing its ruling on airline policies and Title VII. The court directed the EEOC either to rehear the case on airline policies and issue a new finding or drop the matter altogether. March & August 1967 The U.S. Senate and House held hearings on proposed federal legislation to ban age discrimination in employment against workers from the age of 40 to 65. Flight attendant union leaders testified in favor of a specific clause concerning stewardesses‘ forced retirement at 32 or 35, renewing public debate on airline discrimination. ALSSA president Colleen Boland warned that flight attendants might be forced to strike en masse over the age issue, a threat that never materialized but which indicated flight attendants‘ growing militancy as progress on ending discriminatory work rules eluded them. Marge Cooper, head of the other flight attendant union, proclaimed that airlines‘ only legitimate purpose and goal was to sell safe air transport and that sex-obsessed employment policies and marketing were at best a distraction from and at

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worst a hindrance to passenger safety. April 1967 Despite the growing number of grievance cases in which flight attendant successfully challenged terminations for marriage, Terry Van Horn Baker lost her marriage grievance against United. The loss was a major setback for flight attendants, because of United‘s size and its particularly staunch resistance to changing discriminatory policies in the face of growing legal and labor relations challenges. May 1967 Nancy Wheelock won her marriage grievance against American Airlines. Because American was, like United, among the largest employers of stewardesses and resistant to their anti-discrimination efforts, Wheelock‘s victory was an important step forward for flight attendants after the failed grievance at United the month before. September 12, 1967 The EEOC held another public hearing on airline employment restrictions and whether sex was a bona fide occupational qualification for airline passenger service. Flight attendants and airline counsel presented the same basic arguments as in the May 1966 hearing. October 19, 1967 Cooper v. Delta, the first Title VII lawsuit to produce a federal court ruling on airline sex discrimination, ended in a disheartening defeat for flight attendants. The federal court in Louisiana denied that Delta‘s marriage ban was discriminatory under Title VII. The presiding judge not only found that Delta could restrict its all-female flight attendants‘ employment on nearly any basis without engaging in sex discrimination, since the employees in question were all women. The judge also questioned whether sex discrimination itself was a concern of public policy. December 15, 1967 Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, but declined to include any specific provisions to address stewardesses‘

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anomalous situation. The act protected workers from age discrimination only between the ages of 40 to 65, so much for flight attendants‘ lobbying efforts over the past two years. January 25, 1968 In American Airlines v. State Commission for Human Rights, the New York State Appellate Court rejected stewardess Eloise Soots‘s charge of age discrimination against American Airlines. Soots‘s was the first case to test whether the state‘s anti-discrimination law could serve as a legal remedy for stewardesses against airline policies of forced early retirement. The appellate court found that the age policy could not be legally overturned because the state law on age discrimination only protected workers from 40 to 65 years of age. February 24, 1968 The EEOC released a new blanket ruling denying sex as a bona fide occupational qualification for the flight attendant occupation. The ruling went unchallenged by the airline industry. The ruling established a general guideline for the Commission to proceed in processing individual stewardesses‘ charges of discrimination under Title VII. June 20, 1968 The EEOC issued three individual rulings, setting permanent precedents, on airline age and marriage policies: Neal v. American, Dodd v. American, and Colvin v.Piedmont. With these three cases, the EEOC declared age and marital restrictions on stewardesses‘ employment to be illegal sex discrimination under Title VII, whether or not a carrier also employed men as flight attendants and treated them differently. August 1968 The Air Line Stewards and Stewardesses Association and American Airlines ended a protracted contract dispute. The carrier‘s no-marriage rule had been a major sticking point. The dispute was finally settled just before the stewardesses were scheduled to go on strike. Under the new contract of August 1968, American‘s all-female flight attendants finally won the right to

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marry without forfeiting their jobs. November 1968 United and the Steward & Stewardess Division of the Air Line Pilots Association signed a new contract that granted stewardesses the right to marry and remain employed. The new United stewardess contract effectively brought an end to airlines‘ enforcement of single-women-only policies. December 2, 1969 In Lansdale v. United, flight attendants received another discouraging blow in the federal courts. As in Cooper v. Delta (1967), the federal court denied that stewardess Marian Lansdale had suffered illegal sex discrimination in being terminated upon marrying. In this case, the court used a ―sex-plus‖ interpretation of Title VII: it reasoned that Lansdale was fired not just because of her sex, but because of her sex and the ―plus‖ factor of marital status. Because Title VII did not specifically address the ―plus‖ factor, the court determined that the marriage ban did not violate the federal civil rights law. (In 1971, in Phillips v. Martin Marietta, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed ―sex- plus‖ interpretations as a legal rationale for allowing sex-related employment policies to escape scrutiny under Title VII.) January 21, 1970 In Sprogis v. United, a federal trial court finally ruled in a stewardess‘s favor on whether airline marriage bans were illegal under Title VII. The court dismissed the logic of ―sex-plus‖ and found that neither sex nor marital status was a bona fide occupational qualification for the flight attendant occupation. The ruling was upheld on appeal. The Sprogis rulings established firm precedents outlawing airline marriage bans, and by implication, age restrictions as well. April 8, 1971 The most historically important of Title VII lawsuits concerning sex discrimination in flight attendant employment, Diaz v. Pan American, received a trial court ruling in Florida. Diaz, a class action suit initiated by a male applicant denied employment in passenger service by Pan Am, turned exclusively on whether sex was a bona fide occupational qualification for the flight attendant

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occupation. The carrier offered historical experience, customer preference, expert psychological testimony, and practical concerns in hiring procedures as justifications for its policy of hiring only women for passenger service. The trial judge accepted the carrier‘s arguments as sufficient to meet the BFOQ standard as defined in Title VII, that is, an instance where was sex was ―a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.‖ Had the Diaz trial ruling stood on appeal, it would have set a precedent suggesting sex discrimination was legal as long as employers could show that it was better for business than treating applicants or employees equally. April 6, 1972 The appellate court reversed in Diaz v. Pan Am, setting an important precedent restricting employers‘ ability to claim BFOQ exceptions to Title VII. The appellate court read the BFOQ clause to require a strict business necessity test. To be legal, the Fifth Circuit reasoned, sex discrimination had to be necessary to the essential business of an employer. In Pan Am‘s case, the court found that sex discrimination was merely a convenience, not a necessity, and the sex of flight attendants mattered only in tangential concerns, not in the carrier‘s basic business of transporting passengers safely. Later that year, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down Pan Am‘s request for a higher appeal. As a result of the Diaz appellate ruling, men abruptly began to enter the flight attendant occupation in greater numbers, though the occupation would continue to be largely female. November 12, 1973 Laffey v. Northwest resulted in a sweeping finding of sex discrimination at Northwest in differential treatment of male and female cabin attendants in pay, promotions, benefits, and weight monitoring. The federal court ruling, which stood on appeal, enjoined the carrier from any unequal treatment of flight attendants thereafter other than on the basis of seniority. 1978 Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act as an amendment to Title

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VII, clarifying working women‘s right to maternity leaves and benefits. The Act required employers to treat pregnancy on the same basis as other temporary worker disabilities. Flight attendants would nonetheless continue to struggle with airlines over pregnancy policies, especially over whether companies could automatically ground pregnant attendants as soon as they gave notice of their condition or whether the women could fly as long as their personal physicians approved. After 1978... Flight attendants continued efforts to end strict weight policies. Title VII cases regarding weight; however, would drag on into the 1990s, with mixed results. Flight attendants argued that their weight should only matter in terms of their physical capacity to perform their duties. Several courts ruled that airlines could impose weight rules as ―appearance standards,‖ which, as such, are not subject to Title VII scrutiny. Some courts required airlines to subject male flight attendants also to weight monitoring programs if they were imposed on women, but others found that airlines could apply weight standards to men and women unequally. Despite a few major victories and a loosening of weight rules on many carriers, many flight attendants remained subject to the embarrassing rituals of weight monitoring by supervisors and the threat of termination for being ―overweight.‖ Info taken from:

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Chapter Two Women Who Have Paved the Way

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Some of the First Women Making their Mark in Aviation History……..

Marie Elisabeth Thible

The first free flight by a woman was made by Marie Elisabeth Thible, a French opera singer, on 4 June 1784. Madame Thible made her ascent in a Montgolfier balloon, named 'Le Gustave' in honor of the Swedish King, Gustav III, who witnessed the ascent. The balloon reached a height of 8500 feet (2591m) in a flight lasting 45 minutes. Illustration from 'Histoire des balloons et des aeronauts célèbre: 1783-1800' (History of balloons and famous aeronauts), by Gaston Tisandier (1843-1899), published in 1887. Info & image taken from: idth=1215

Raymonde De Laroche Raymonde De Laroche (1882 – 1919), an experienced French balloonist, was the first woman to earn a pilot license worldwide on March 8, 1910.

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Born Elise Raymonde Deroche, daughter of a plumber, Elise became an actress and used the stage name "Raymonde de Laroche". After riding in an airplane, she decided to add ―pilot‖ to her list of accomplishments and jumped at French aviator Charles Voisin‘s offer to teach her to fly. On October 29, 1909, just after her twenty-third birthday, Raymond met Voisin at the Chalons airfield where he and his brother, Gabriel, built and flew their own planes. The Voisin was a one-seater with no room for both student and instructor. The pupil had to sit in the plane and listen to the instructor shout orders from the ground. Raymonde was instructed to drive the plane down the open field. She was not, under any circumstances, allowed to lift off. However, she had a mind of her own. After her first taxi around the field, she knew she was ready for take-off. Against her instructor‘s orders, she opened up the throttle, raced down the airstrip and rose about fifteen feet in the air. Info & image taken from:

Sophie Blanchard In the 1960s, The 5th Dimension sang, ―Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?‖ When Sophie Blanchard‘s husband said that to her, she said, ―Yes,‖ and they were up, up and away. Sophie felt most comfortable in the air, but what goes up must come down. Marie Madeleine-Sophie Armant came to the world‘s attention when she married Jean-Pierre Blanchard, an inventor and

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pioneer in French aviation, specifically ballooning. Other than the fact that she was born to Protestant parents in western France, almost nothing is known about her young life. Blanchard was about 16 years old when she married, 35 years younger than her husband, becoming his second wife. She was described as a small, nervous woman who startled easily when she heard loud noises. When she started flying with Jean-Pierre, she felt more at home in the quiet, peaceful sky than on terra firma. Info &image taken from:

Mary Meyers Mary Meyers began making balloon ascents at fairs and other public events as ―Carlotta the Lady Aeronaut‖ and making her first ascension in Little Falls, New York on July 4, 1880 in front of 15,000 spectators, being the first woman balloonist in the country. She continued her flights till her retirement in 1891. Info & picture taken from:

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Aida de Acosta Even before Wilbur and Orville Wright‘s epochal flight in December 1903, Aida de Acosta became the first woman to pilot a gasoline-powered airship. Born in Elberton, New Jersey on July 28, 1884, de Acosta grew up in New York City, the daughter of a prominent immigrant family. Her Cuban-born father was raised in Spain, and then subsequently returned to Cuba to help drive out the Spanish during the Spanish-American War of 1898. A daughter of privilege, Ms. Acosta became fascinated with Santos-Dumont‘s airship while traveling in Paris in the summer of 1903. After striking up a friendship with the airman, she convinced Santos-Dumont to allow her to pilot his dirigible "IX." Because the basket was so small, she would have to fly solo. After three lessons, on June 29, 1903 de Acosta became the first woman to pilot a powered aircraft, nearly six months before the Wright brothers‘ flights at Kitty Hawk. Santos-Dumont‘s "handy little runabout" traveled at about 15 miles per hour, and the Brazilian tracked the dirigible while riding a bicycle. The flight lasted "considerably over a half mile." We do not know if the wealthy young woman ever flew again. Info & image taken from:

Miss E. L. Todd, Corona Del Mar Miss E. L. Todd, Corona del Mar, Orange County---the first woman in the world, so far as is known, to build a heavier-than-air machine, (1906),the first woman to apply for a license to fly and the organizer of America's first Junior Aero Club, 1908. She was also

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the first person to induce the State of New York to accept an airplane as a gift, and this state's Signal Corps was the first state troop to be so equipped. Her airplane, built by the Wittemann Brothers, was exhibited in the aero show of 1906 in Madison Square Garden. In 1909 the Richmond Borough Commissioner of Public Works denied her request to make a flying test on Southfield Boulevard as "the charter does not in its present form contemplate any such use of the public street." Info & Image taken from:

Madame Therese Peltier Within a few years of the epic flight of the Wright brothers, a woman had taken to the air. She was Madame Therese Peltier who on July 8, 1908, at Turin in Italy became the first woman to be an aero plane passenger. A short while later she became the first woman to fly solo but she never became a licensed pilot until March 8, 1910. Info taken from:

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Elise Raymonde Deroche The first woman to win her fixed wing pilot's license was the self-styled Baroness de la Roche (real name Elise Raymonde Deroche). She is described in contemporary reports as a "young and pretty" comedienne (which probably means she was an actress, in the jargon of the time, though she is also described as a "lyrical artist‖ or singer). Previously a balloonist, she won license # 36 of the International Aeronautics Federation (F.A.I.) on 8 March 1910, at the age of 24. She participated in the aviation meetings at Heliopolis, Budapest, Rouen, and Saint Petersburg (at the latter of which the Tsar himself praised her for her bravery and audacity. Info taken from:

1910 Blanche Stuart Scott Jerome Fanciulli and Glenn Curtiss (aiplane designers and pilots) agreed to provide Blanche with flying lessons in Hammondsport, New York. She was the only woman to receive instruction directly from Curtiss - but he had no intention of letting her actually fly. He fitted a limiter on the throttle of her fixed-wing aircraft to prevent it gaining enough speed to become airborne, while she practiced taxiing on her own. On September 6, either the limiter moved accidently (or she removed it) or a gust of wind lifted the biplane and she flew to an altitude of forty feet before executing a gentle landing.

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Her first flight took place between September 2nd and September 12, 1910, but there is no verifiable evidence for an exact date so the Early Birds of Aviation certified her achievement as occurring on the averaged date of September 6. Some U.S. institutions, such as the Smithsonian, prefer to give the earliest possible date of September 2. Her flight was short and possibly unintentional but Scott is credited by the Early Birds of Aviation as the first woman to pilot and solo in an airplane in the United States, although Bessica Raiche's flight on September 16 was accredited as first by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale at the time. Thereafter, Blanche became a professional pilot (although she never applied for a license). On October 24, 1910 she made her debut as a member of the Curtiss exhibition team at an air meet in Fort Wayne, Indiana, thus becoming the first woman to fly at a public event in America. Her exhibition flying earned her the nickname "Tomboy of the Air". She became an accomplished stunt pilot known for flying upside down and performing "death dives", diving from an altitude of 4000 feet and suddenly pulling up only 200 feet from the ground. In 1911 she became the first woman in America to fly long distance when she flew 60 miles non-stop from Mineola, New York. In 1912, she contracted to fly for Glenn Luther Martin and became the first female test pilot when she flew Martin prototypes before the final blueprints for the aircraft had been made. In 1913 she joined the Ward exhibition team. She retired from flying in 1916 because she was disgusted by the public's interest in air crashes, as well as an aviation industry which allowed no opportunity for women to become mechanics or engineers. Info taken from:

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Harriet Quimby

Harriet Quimby was an early American aviatrix. In 1911 she became the first woman to gain a United States pilot‘s license. Harriet was born in 1875 in Arcadia, Michigan. She became a journalist in San Francisco and later worked as a theatre critic in New

York. She also wrote five romantic screenplays,

which were made into silent film shorts, directed by D W Griffith. Harriet had a small acting part in one of the films. Her interest in aviation began in 1910 when she attended the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament on Long Island, New York and met aviation pioneer John Moisant and his sister, Matilde, who went on to become the second female licensed pilot in the United States. Moisant knew the Dover area. Photographs and newspaper reports exist recording his landing at Tilmanstone.

Less than a year after gaining her license Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. Early on 16 April 1912, wearing her trademark purple flying suit, Harriet took off from Whitfield Aerodrome and landed some 59 minutes later on the beach at Hardelot, 25 miles from Calais. Her recollections of the event were:

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It was five-thirty A.M. when my machine got off the ground. The preliminaries were brief. Hearty handshakes were quickly given, the motor began to make its twelve hundred revolutions a minute, and I put up my hand to give the signal of release. Then I was off. The noise of the motor drowned the shouts and cheers of friends below. In a moment I was in the air, climbing steadily . . . In an instant I was beyond the cliffs and over the channel. Her achievement, however, went largely unreported and unnoticed at the time as the newspapers were full of reports of the tragic events of the previous day – the sinking of RMS Titanic. She later received accolades in Paris and London before being welcomed home a heroine the following month. Harriet Quimby‘s aviation career was to be short one. Just a few months later, on 1 July 1912, she was flying at the Annual Boston Aviation Meet when. at an altitude of 1500ft, her brand new Bleriot monoplane unexpectedly pitched forward and she and her passenger, William Willard, the event organizer, were ejected from their seats and fell to their deaths while the plane glided down into thick mud. In 1991 a US airmail postage stamp featuring Quimby was produced. A monument marking her life and achievements can be found near the ruins of the house in which she was born in Michigan. Locally, there is no record of her flight. Although she only lived to the age of 37, Harriet Quimby had a major influence upon the role of women in aviation and could well have been the inspiration for much better known pioneers such as Amy Johnson and Amelia Earhart. Info& image taken from: d=3455

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Ruth Law Ruth Law enjoyed one of the longest and most colorful careers of early female aviators. She was so successful that, in 1917, she earned as much as $9,000 a week for exhibition flights. Law enrolled in the Burgess Flying School in June 1912, made her first flight on July 5, and soloed on August 12. She bought her first aircraft from Orville Wright in 1912 in which she became the first woman to fly at night. Later she purchased a Curtiss Pusher.

In 1916, Law set three records on a flight from Chicago to New York, and she had the honor of carrying the first official air mail to the Philippine Islands in 1919. In 1917, she was the first woman authorized to wear a military uniform, but she was denied permission to fly in combat. Instead, she raised money for the Red Cross and Liberty Loan drives with exhibition flights. After the war, she formed "Ruth Law's Flying Circus," a threeplane troupe that amazed spectators at state and county fairs by racing against cars, flying through fireworks, and setting altitude and distance records. One morning in 1922, however, Law read the announcement of her retirement in the newspaper--her husband, Charles Oliver, could no longer bear his wife's hazardous occupation and simply put an end to her flying career. Chicago, c. March, 1922 ---"It's my husband's turn now, I've been on the limelight long enough, I'm going to let him run things hereafter and me, too." The speaker was Ruth law Oliver, daring woman aviatrix, who for 10 years

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has been courting death and defying it as a stunt flier both in America and Europe. She has quit aviation. Retired forever. "Why?" "Because I'm a normal woman and want a home, a baby, and everything else that goes with married life," she says. "Why, I've been married for almost 10 years to Charlie Oliver, the man who has managed my exhibitions, and scarcely anyone knew who he was. "And the poor boy was so worried about me all that time that every time I went up he lost a pound." "He was a matter of choosing between love and profession. Of course, I'm just crazy about flying, but one's husband is more important." Info & image taken from:

Amelia Earhart Amelia Earhart lived in Atchison, Kansas. Her parents were Amy and Edwin. She had a sister named Muriel who was called Pidge after a blue pigeon in her favorite song. She didn't have a very happy childhood, for her father was an alcoholic. When she became a teenager in World War One, she served as a volunteer nurse. After the war, she enrolled as a pre-med student at Columbia University. Although she was doing well in school, she went back to California to be with her parents. One day she went with her father to an "aerial meet" and went on a 10 minute flight over Los Angeles. At that moment, she knew that flying was what she wanted to do. Amelia had heard of a woman aviation teacher, Anita Snook, and took flying lessons with her at Kinner Field near Long Beach, California. In July, Amelia purchased a plane and named it "The Canary." In October, 1922, Amelia began breaking world records and set a women's highest altitude record at

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14,000 feet, which was broken by Ruth Nichols a few weeks later. She then sold her airplane and bought a car. On April 27, 1926, Mr. H. H. Railey called Amelia and asked, "How would you like to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic?" Mr. Railey had been asked by George Putman, a New York Publisher, to find a woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. No woman had ever flown this far across the Atlantic. Since Earhart had no experience with more than one-engine planes, or instruments on a plane, Amelia went on the flight as a passenger. Two men, Wilmer Stultz and Slim Gordon, were actually going to fly the plane. On Sunday, June 3, 1928, Amelia went to Nova Scotia to start her flight. Some bad weather held the flight back until June 18, though. They flew through dense fog most of the way and landed in South Wales instead of Ireland with only a little bit of fuel left. Amelia got all the attention as the first "girl" to fly across the Atlantic. She was upset that the two men who had actually flown the plane didn't get any attention. Info & image taken from:

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African American‘s in Aviation History

Bessie Coleman Born in Texas, Bessie Coleman (1893-1926) was one of 13 children. As a teenager she moved to Chicago where she worked as a manicurist and fell in love with the planes always buzzing above the city. Denied entrance to American flight schools because of her race and gender, she learned French and moved to France in 1920, where she became the first African American woman to earn a pilot‘s license from the Federation Aéronautique Internationale. When she returned to the United States, she was quickly sought after as a talented barnstormer and lecturer. Bessie Coleman was killed in 1926 when she fell out of her plane, which malfunctioned when a wrench jammed the gears, while scouting locations for an upcoming air show in Florida. Her mechanic was piloting the plane and he also died in the accident. Each year on the anniversary of her death, African American aviators fly over her grave in Chicago to drop flowers in her honor. Info & image taken from:

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Willa Brown Chappell After she heard about Bessie‘s tragic death, Willa Brown Chappell (1906-1992) decided to learn to fly. Willa was the first African American woman to earn her pilot‘s license in the United States (1937), the first African American woman flight instructor (at the Coffey School of Aviation in Chicago, 1939), and the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol (1941). She was instrumental in training more than 200 students who went on to become Tuskegee pilots. In 1972, she was appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration‘s Women‘s Advisory Board. She continued teaching until her retirement in the mid 1970s and took her last flight in June of 1992 at the age of 86. The Willa Brown Aviation Program at the College of Alameda in California continues her work. Info & image taken from:

Janet Harmon Bragg In the 1930s, Janet Harmon Bragg (19121993) used the money she earned as a nurse to buy the first airplane for The Challenger Aero Club near Chicago. She was the club‘s first president. In 1943, she became the first African American woman to receive a full commercial

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pilot‘s license. Janet Bragg and Willa Brown were in the group of black aviators who worked for acceptance of African Americans into government and industry sponsored flight training programs. She once said, ―It‘s sad, but back then people did not believe blacks had the mental capacity to fly an aircraft and for a woman to be a pilot then, why, that was even more unheard of.‖ Flying her own plane provided an outlet for her anger about the discrimination she faced. She retired from flying in 1965 and from nursing in 1972. Her autobiography is titled, Soaring above Setbacks. Info & image taken from:

Dorothy Layne McIntyre Raised in a small town near Rochester, NY, Dorothy Layne McIntyre received her pilot‘s license at West Virginia State College in 1940 in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. The CPT program was set up in 1938 by the U.S. government to create pilots who would be needed in the pending war through already existing flying venues. Six Negro Colleges were in the program. A quota was set up for each class of 8 men and 2 women students. Dorothy Layne volunteered for the first class at WVSC, where she was studying bookkeeping. During the war she taught aviation mechanics to airplane factory workers in Baltimore. She moved to Cleveland, Ohio and became a teacher. She never could afford her own plane, but flew with anyone who had an empty seat in their plane. Her daughter choreographed a dance/play based on her mother‘s experiences entitled, ―Take-off From a Forced Landing‖, which opened off-Broadway in 1984.

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Ida Van Smith Ida Van Smith was born in 1917 in Lumberton, North Carolina. She graduated from Shaw University with a Bachelor‘s Degree and later earned her Master‘s from Queens College. She went on to become a teacher in the New York City Public Schools. At the age of 50 she fulfilled her personal dream to learn to fly. Smith became one of the first black women flight instructors in the world and established more than 20 flight clubs across the United States. As a result, thousands of children were exposed to aviation and many pursued careers in aviation. Ida Van Smith died in 2003. Info & image taken from:

Eleanor J. Williams In 1971, Eleanor J. Williams became the first African American woman to be certified as an air traffic control specialist. She was based at

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the Anchorage, Alaska ARTCC. In 1994, she was selected to become the first African American woman manager of an reroute air traffic control center, at the Cleveland ARTCC in Oberlin, Ohio, the nation‘s second busiest ARTCC facility. Info & image taken from:

Shirley Tyus While working as a flight attendant for United Airlines, Shirley Tyus earned her pilot‘s license. She then worked part-time for the black-owned Wheeler Airlines. In 1987, after flying cargo for 2000 hours, she was hired as a pilot for United Airlines. Info & image taken from:

Patrice Clark-Washington In 1994, Patrice Clark-Washington, a graduate of Embry Riddle University, was the first African American woman to become a captain for a commercial airline (UPS). Her husband Ray is a pilot for American Airlines, making them the only African American flying couple.

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Captain Betty Payne Born in Clinton, Mississippi, Captain Betty Payne graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Criminology. She joined the U.S. Air Force while she was in graduate school. She completed the Squadron Officer School by correspondence. She received her commission in 1973 and served as a Quality Assurance Specialist in Thailand and Korea. When she learned that the Air Force planned to admit women to pilot and navigation training, she joined the first class of navigators that included women and received her navigator‘s wings on October 12, 1977. Info & image taken from:

Lt. Colonel Marcella Hayes Ng (Ret.) At the age of 23, Lt. Colonel Marcella Hayes Ng (Ret.) became the first African American woman to receive her USAF aviator wings when, in 1979, she completed Army helicopter training. Info & image taken from:

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Major General Marcelite Jordan Harris (Ret.) Major General Marcelite Jordan Harris (Ret.) graduated from Spellman College with a degree in drama. After going on a USO tour, she found little acting work and joined the USAF in 1964. After that she followed a steady path of training and promotions until in 1995 she became the first African American woman general in the Air Force. Info & image taken from:

Dr. Mae Jemison In 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman astronaut and Mission Specialist aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on STS-47. She is a doctor of medicine and served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. She once told her kindergarten teacher that she wanted to be a ―scientist‖. She now explains, ―I passed through the fields of chemical engineering, medicine, African Studies and human space flight while seeking to become the professional scientist I imagined in kindergarten.‖ Dr. Jemison has said that, ―(Bessie Coleman) knew it was important not to limit yourself even if someone else is trying to put a limit on you.‖ Info & image taken from:

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Ensign Jesse Leroy Brown, USN, (1926-1950) Jesse Leroy Brown was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on 13 October 1926. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1946 and was appointed a Midshipman, USN, the following year. Brown became the first African-American to be trained by the Navy as an aviator. After attending pre-flight school and flight training, he was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1948. Midshipman Brown was then assigned to Fighter Squadron 32. He received his commission as Ensign in April 1949. During the Korean War, Brown also became the first African-American Naval Aviator to see combat when his squadron operated from USS Leyte (CV-32), flying F4U-4 Corsair fighters in support of United Nations forces. On 4 December 1950, while on a close air support mission near the Chosin Reservoir, Ensign Brown's plane was hit by enemy fire and crashed. Despite heroic efforts by other aviators, he could not be rescued and died in his aircraft. Ensign Jesse L. Brown was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his Korean War combat service. Info taken from:

Chauncey Spencer During the mid 1930‘s and prior to World War II a group of foresighted, concerned, and dedicated individuals came together in the Chicago area to form an organization that actively pursued and set the stage for the participation of

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African-Americans in the realms of aviation and aeronautics. Under the leadership of Cornelius R. Coffey, Willa B, Brown, and Enoc P. Waters, the National Negro Airmen Association of American was formed with the express further stimulate interest in aviation, and to bring about a better understanding in the field of aeronautics. Shortly thereafter Claude Barnett, director of the Association of Negro Press (ANP), with strong backing from Chauncey Spencer and Dale White, suggested that the word Negro be dropped and the organization renamed the National Airmen Association of America. The proposal was adopted maintaining the original objectives. Info taken from:

C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson was born in 1906 and had his first airplane ride in 1928. In 1933, he became the first African American to earn a transport, or commercial, pilot's license, and with Dr. Albert E. Forsythe completed a series of longdistance flights in 1933 and 1934 to promote black aviation. In 1940, Anderson instructed students from Howard University for the Civilian Pilots Training Program (CPTP) until he was recruited by Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to act as its chief primary flight instructor. In 1946, he organized Tuskegee Aviation, Inc., to service aircraft until he was forced out of business by the state's attorney general in the late 1950s. He has continued to fly and

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co-founded Negro Airmen International in 1970 to encourage others to enter the field of aviation. Info taken from:

Eugene Bullard Of more than 200 Americans who flew for France during WWI, one of particular uniqueness was Eugene Bullard, the only Black pilot of WWI. A great tribute to Bullard is found in the famous book by Nordhoff and Hall, The Lafayette Flying Corps, published in 1920. "The writer will never forget one occasion when he was waiting at 23 Avenue du Bois to see Dr. Gros. Suddenly the door opened to admit a vision of military splendor such as one does not see twice in a lifetime. It was Eugene Bullard. His jolly black face shone with a grin of greeting and justifiable vanity. He wore a pair of tan aviator's boots which gleamed with a mirror-like luster. His black tunic, excellently cut and set off by a fine figure, was decorated with a pilot's badge, a Croix de Guerre, the forager of the Foreign Legion, and a pair of enormous wings, which left no possible doubt, even at a distance of fifty feet, as to which arm of the Service he adorned. The eleces-pilotes gasped, the eyes of the neophytes stood out from their heads, and I repressed a strong instinct to stand at attention. There was scarcely an American at Atord who did not know and like Bullard. He was a brave, loyal, and thoroughly likable fellow, and when a quarrel with one of his superiors caused his withdrawal from the Aviation, there was scarcely an American who did not regret the fact. He was sent to the 170th French Infantry Regiment in January, 1918..."

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Following WWI, Bullard remained in France until the German occupation of Paris in 1940, at which time he had to flee the country because of his previous activities of spying against the Nazis. He returned to the U.S. and lived in New York City until his death in 1961, thus passed from the scene the first black pilot in the history of military aviation. Info& image taken from:

Cornelius Coffey was born in 1903 and had his first airplane ride in 1919. He graduated from an automotive engineering school in 1925 and an aviation mechanics school in Chicago, Illinois, in 1931. He co-organized the Challenger Air Pilots Association with John Robinson to promote flying among blacks in the Chicago area, built an airport in Robbins, Illinois, and opened an aeronautics school. In 1937 he earned his transport license and opened the Coffey School of Aeronautics. In 1939 the African-American communities in Chicago and Washington, D.C. successfully lobbied to have Coffey's school included in the CPT Program; Coffey trained black pilots and flight instructors throughout World War II. After the war, Coffey joined the Chicago Board of Education and established an aircraft mechanics training and licensing program in the city's high schools. Coffey retired in 1969 and has since acted as a licensed mechanic examiner and aircraft inspector. Info taken from:

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Harold Hurd first saw a black man fly an airplane at an air show in 1929. Three years later, he was one of the first class of all black graduates from Aeronautical University in Chicago. After graduation Hurd helped organize the Challenger Air Pilots Association and its 1937 successor organization, the National Airmen's Association of America, in efforts to expand black interest in flying. He underwrote his aviation interests by working at the Chicago Defender newspaper. He later worked for several local papers on Chicago's Southside. Info& image taken from:

General Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr., was the first USAF African-American 4-star general. Upon being promoted to 4star grade on Sept. 1, 1975, General James was assigned as Commander in Chief North American Air Defense Command and Aerospace Defense Command, a position he held until his retirement on Feb. 1, 1978. He died 24 days later. General James, who served in WWII and the Korean and Southeast Asian Conflicts, summed up his thoughts on his role as an American serviceman:

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"I've fought in three wars and three more wouldn't be too many to defend my country. I love America and as she has weaknesses or ills, I'll hold her hand." Info taken from:

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The Men behind the Women Major Robert Love~ Nancy Harkness Love In early 1942, her husband Robert Love was called to active duty in the Munitions Building, Washington, D. C. as the deputy chief of staff of the Ferrying Command. Nancy Love accompanied him to Washington and on March 11 took a civil service position in Baltimore, Maryland with the Operations Office of the Ferrying Command's Northeast Sector (soon redesignated 2nd Ferrying Group), and Domestic Division. The Domestic Division, commanded by Col. William H. Tunner, was designated Ferrying Division, Air Transport Command (ATC) a few months later. She piloted her own airplane on her daily commute from the couple's home in Washington, D. C. The offices of Major Love and Col. Tunner were near each other, and during a conversation between them, her piloting skills caught the attention of Tunner, who was scouring the country for skilled pilots to deliver aircraft from factories to fields. Major Love suggested Tunner speak to his wife directly. Nancy Love convinced Tunner that the idea of using experienced women pilots to supplement the existing pilot force was a good one. He then asked her to write up a proposal for a women's ferrying division. When his recommendation that she (and the other female pilots) be commissioned into the WAACs was denied, he appointed her to his staff as Executive of Women's Pilots. Within a few months, she had recruited 29 experienced female pilots to join the newly created Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron(WAFS). Nancy Love became their Commander. In September, 1942, the women pilots began flying at New Castle Army Air Field, Wilmington, Delaware, under the 2nd Ferrying Group Info taken from:

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Olive Ann and Walter H. Beech: Partners in Aviation Walter Beech, among others, is regarded as a founder of the aircraft industry in Wichita. Born January 30, 1891, on a farm near Pulaski, Tennessee, Beech built a glider at the age of 14. He gained flight experience in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War I, and later spent three years barnstorming over the Midwest. In 1921 Beech settled in Wichita to accept a job with Swallow Airplane Corporation. During his two-and-a-half years there he was a test pilot, salesman, designer, and general manager of the corporation. Four years later he founded his own company, Travel Air Manufacturing Company. Beech married Olive Ann Mellor in 1930, who also would become his business partner. In 1931 Curtiss-Wright Airplane Company absorbed Travel Air and Beech became vice president of the reorganized company. By the end of 1931 he was president of Curtiss-Wright and was spending most of his time in New York, away from the production plant in St. Louis. Because he desired more input into the design of his aircraft, he resigned from CurtissWright. In 1932 he opened Beech Aircraft Company, and began to set standards considered unattainable by others. Beech was familiar with every aspect of the aircraft industry from the drawing board—to the test field—to the boardroom. Walter was president of the company; Olive Ann was secretary-treasurer. The company's first objective was to build a five-seat biplane having the interior luxury of a fine sedan, top speed of 200 m.p.h., landing speed no higher than 60 m.p.h., non-stop range of 1, 000 miles, easy control, and sound aerodynamic characteristics. The competition considered these specifications unattainable. On November 14,

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1932, Model 17R made its initial test flight and the impossible standards set by Beech had been met. Model 17R evolved into production model B17L. Almost every part for this model had been redesigned before it was put on the production line in 1934. The major innovation of the B17L was a negative staggered wing design, which improved control at all speeds, provided high visibility for pilots, and quick ground servicing. The other innovation of the B17L was its retractable landing gear, which reduced wind resistance and made emergency belly landings an added safety feature. A testimony to the high standards of the aircraft that Beech created is that many well-kept B17L biplanes continued to fly for many years. Beech left a legacy not measured in dollars, but in the commitment of his former employees to build an aircraft that would meet his high standards for reliability, durability, and marketability. He died November 29, 1950. After his death, Olive Ann served as president and Beech Aircraft Corporation continued to grow to more than one million square feet of production space, consisting of 17 subsidiaries and 10 production plants that produced aircraft for personal, business, and military use. During her nearly 20 years at the helm, sales tripled. Beech supplied products for NASA's Gemini, Apollo, and space shuttle programs. Info taken from:

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George Palmer Putnam lived in Oregon between 1910 and 1919 where he edited and published the Bend Bulletin and was mayor of Bend from 1912 to 1913. He married Dorothy Binney in 1911, and their first son, David, was born in Bend in 1913. In 1915, the Putnams moved to Salem where he was the private secretary of Oregon Governor James Withycombe. He served in the field artillery in World War I.

The Putnams moved back to the East Coast ca. 1919,

ending their link with Oregon. His career in publishing flourished, he led three successful exploring expeditions to the Arctic and Galapagos Islands, and after publishing the Lindbergh autobiography, began to promote the career of Amelia Earhart. Dorothy Putnam divorced her husband in 1929 and in 1931 Putnam married Earhart. Info taken from:

General Hap Arnold & Jackie Cochran During the early months of 1942, General Arnold, encountering a severe shortage of male pilots due to heavy losses of combat pilots, approved a plan, submitted by Jacqueline Cochran, to train young women pilots to fly military aircraft within the U.S. to relieve the male pilots for combat duty. On 14 Sept 1942, the Women‘s Flying Training

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Detachment was established at the Houston Municipal Airport, with Jacqueline Cochran as its Director. Three months later, because of a lack of military training facilities and housing in Houston, Gen. Arnold approved moving the training program to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. General Arnold had but one theme: ‘It‗s got to be done and done quickly, so let‘s get it done.‗ Let not there be any doubt of the WASP‘ pride in General Henry ‗Hap‘ Arnold, the man who, among his many accomplishments, authorized the creation and naming of the WASP-a man who ‗had the imagination to see success and the confidence to create it‘. Info taken from:

Charles Lindbergh 1902- behind Anne Morrow Lindbergh Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001) was the daughter of diplomat Dwight Morrow whom he met in Mexico City in December 1927, where her father was serving as the U.S. Ambassador. According to a Biography Channel profile on Lindbergh, she was the only woman that he had ever asked out on a date. In Lindbergh's autobiography, he derides womanizing pilots he met as "barnstormers", and Army cadets for their "facile" approach to relationships. For Lindbergh, the ideal romance was stable and long term, with a woman with keen intellect, good health and strong genes. Lindbergh said his "experience in breeding animals on our farm had taught me the importance of good heredity." The couple was married on May 27, 1929, and eventually had six children: Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. (1930–1932); Jon Morrow Lindbergh

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(b. August 16, 1932); Land Morrow Lindbergh (b. 1937), who studied anthropology at Stanford University and married Susan Miller in San Diego; Anne Lindbergh (1940–1993); Scott Lindbergh (b. 1942); and Reeve Lindbergh (b. 1945), a writer. Lindbergh also taught his wife how to fly and did much of his exploring and charting of air routes with her. Info & Image taken from:

Dr. Lewis A. Jackson- 1940s Dr. Jackson was captivated by airplanes as a child. By his twenties, he was barnstorming across Indiana and Ohio to earn money for college. In 1939, Jackson earned his commercial license with instructor rating. Within a year he had joined forces with Cornelius Coffey to open Coffey and Jackson Flying School in Chicago. Later that year, Jackson completed advanced aerobatic training and moved to Tuskegee where he received additional aircraft training. Jackson became director of training at the Army Air Force 66th Flight Training Detachment, where, under his guidance, three groups of Tuskegee Airmen ranked first among the 22 schools in the Southeast Army Air Corps Training Command. After the war, Jackson moved to Ohio where he worked as an FAA Flight examiner for 13 years. Info& image taken from:

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Chapter Three Organizations & Themes

Back to Index

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The Tuskegee Airmen 332nd Fighter Group

The Mustang pilot spotted the string of Bf-109's heading toward the crippled B-24. The pilot, a Lt. Weathers, dropped his wing tanks, and turned into the German formation. He gave the leader a burst with his .50 calibers and it nosed up, smoking, and soon went hurtling down to the ground. The pilot radioed the others in his flight and heard "I'm right behind you." But when Weathers looked back for himself, all he could see was the nose cannon of another Bf-109, pointing right at him. He dropped flaps and chopped throttle, instantly slowing his Mustang, and the Bf-109 overran him. A few bursts, and Lt. Weathers had his second kill of the day. Two more e/a were still in view and seemed like easy pickings, but the voice of the Group CO echoed in the pilot's mind, "Your job is to protect the bombers and not chase enemy aircraft for personal glory." Weathers returned to the bomber. Two things were unusual about this American fighter pilot. First, he had foregone a sure kill. Second, he was Black. He flew with the332nd Fighter Group, "The Redtails," the famous all-Black outfit that fought both American prejudice and Nazi militarism. Under the leadership and iron discipline of Col. Benjamin O. Davis, the Redtails had learned that their mission in life was to protect the bombers.

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Prior to World War Two, the U.S. Army Air Corps did not employ Negroes (the respectful term in that era) in any role, a policy which found its justification in a racist and inaccurate report written in the 1920's. However in 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the Air Corps to build an all-Negro flying unit. The presidential order caused the Army to create the 99th Pursuit Squadron. To develop the Negro pilots needed for the new squadron, the Air Corps opened a new training base in central Alabama, at the Tuskegee Institute. Mrs. Roosevelt Goes for a Ride March 29, 1941 - Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt visited Tuskegee and met Charles "Chief" Anderson, the head of the program, Mrs. Roosevelt asked, "Can Negroes really fly airplanes?" He replied: "Certainly we can; as a matter of fact, would you like to take an airplane ride?" Over the objections of her Secret Service agents, Mrs. Roosevelt accepted. The agent called President Roosevelt, who replied, "Well, if she wants to do it, there's nothing we can do to stop her." With Mrs. Roosevelt in the back seat of his Piper J-3 Cub, Chief Anderson took off and flew her around for half an hour. Upon landing, Mrs. Roosevelt turned to the Chief and said, "I guess Negroes can fly," and they posed togeher for an historic photo. Not long after Mrs. Roosevelt's return to Washington, it was announced that the first Negro Air Corps pilots would be trained at Tuskegee Institute. Some sources report the date of Mrs. Roosevelt's flight as April 19. But the 29 March date is based on Alabama newspaper microfilm from that period and correspondence with an archivist (Bob Clark) at the FDR presidential library in Hyde Park, NY. Stories in two Alabama newspapers -- the Montgomery Advertiser and the Birmingham News -- place Mrs. Roosevelt in Tuskegee, Alabama, on Friday/Saturday, 28-29 March 1941, where she attended a trustee's meeting of the Julius Rosenwald Fund. A newspaper column written by Mrs. Roosevelt,

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dated 1 April 1941, refers to the previous Saturday (29 March) and her impromptu flight. Strangely enough, Mrs. Roosevelt's now-famous flight did not generate any publicity at the time. At least major newspapers, including the NY Times and the Atlanta Constitution made no mention of her flight in March/April 1941. the Montgomery Advertiser is the closest daily newspaper to Tuskegee, but even it did not have a flight story, though it did have a couple of stories about Mrs. Roosevelt being in Tuskegee. In the spring of 1941, the first African-American enlisted men began training to become maintainers and the first thirteen pilot candidates entered training. Progress was slow; it was not until September 2, that Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., became the first Negro to solo an aircraft as a U.S. Army Air Corps officer. On March 7, 1942, young black pilots stood at attention on Tuskegee's airstrip, for induction into the U.S. Army Air Corps. Eight days later the 100th Fighter Squadron was established as a part of the 332nd Fighter Group. The 99th Gets Started May 31, 1943: the 99th Fighter Squadron arrived at Farjouna in Tunisia, attached to the 33rd Fighter Group, flying P-40s. Three days later, Lt. William A. Campbell, Charles B. Hall, Clarence C. Jamison and James R. Wiley, flew the squadron's first mission, a 'milk run' over Pantelleria. On June 9, six pilots of the 99th FS became the first U.S. Negro pilots to engage in aerial combat. Led by Lt. Charles Dryden, Lt. Willie Ashley, Sidney P. Brooks, Lee Rayford, Leon Roberts and Spann Watson, exchanged fire with German fighter planes, with no losses to either side. The Italian garrison on Pantelleria surrendered on June 11, 1943, in large part due to the powerful air attacks it had been subjected to. The 99th was a key part of the air assault. Sicily

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The 99th joined the 324th Fighter Group in El Haouria on June 29, 1943. At first they flew escort missions over the Sicilian coast. Within a few days, Lt Charles B. Hall got the 99th on the scoreboard when he downed an Fw-190. Sadly, this triumphant occasion was marred by the death of Lieutenants White and McCullin, victims of an operational accident. Escort missions over Sicily continued through the summer of 1943. One Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Richard Bolling, was forced to bail out and floated in the Mediterranean for a full day before he was recovered. On July 19, the 99th moved over to Licata, on the coast. The Critic Despite their achievements and accomplishments, the 99th found continued resistance and prejudice here in the Mediterranean. The CO of the 33rd Fighter Group, Col. William Momyer, complained about the performance of the 99th FS, compared their combat record to White squadrons, alluded to lack of air discipline, and hinted at a lack of aggressiveness. His comparisons overlooked the fact that the 99th did not operate at the front, but was stationed hundreds of miles to the rear. Nor did he mention his exclusion of 99th FS pilots from briefing sessions. But in those days, Blacks were easy targets, and in September of 1943, TIME magazine ran an article that repeated Momyer's accusations. About all the pilots could do was perform their jobs perfectly, and answer their critics with deeds, not words. Italy The 99th was scheduled to provide air support for the September 9 invasion of Salerno on the Italian peninsula. After the German counter-attack forced an Allied retreat, members of the 99th flew into Paestum, an airfield near Salerno, to provide air cover for the beachhead. In early October, the 99th started flying with the 79th Fighter Group based at Foggia, commanded by Col. Earl Bates, who fully involved the men of the 99th in combat missions. As the Germans retreated northward, the fliers of the 79th and 99th flew fighter-bomber

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missions on railroad, bridges, and communication centers to hamper their mobility. These were grinding, demanding missions; pilots often flew more than 5 sorties a day. This activity continued through January, 1944, culminating in a large multi-Group strike on Naples' Capodichino Airdrome. But so far, the 99th only had the one aerial victory to their credit, while the 79th has destroyed or damaged almost 20 German aircraft. But on January 24, 1944, the Negro pilots broke out in a big way, downing five German planes in a morning mission led by Capt. Clarence Jamison, and three more that afternoon when Lt. Wiley's flight mixed it up with the enemy. And the next day, the 99th continued its combat success, claiming four e/a destroyed. On February 5, Lt. Driver got another. On the 7th, they got three more; they also received an official commendation from General Hap Arnold at this time. In April, the 99th was transferred from its partnership with the 79th FG to work with the 324th FG. As part of this Group, thay participated in Operation Strangle, the aerial campaign in May, 1944 to isolate the German garrison at Monte Casino. Operation Strangle marked the end of the 99th Fighter Squadron's independent existence. The 332nd On July 4, 1944, the 99th was joined with three other Squadrons: the 100th, 301st and the 302nd to form the 332nd Fighter Group. These were all-Negro squadrons, all trained at Tuskegee. The veterans of the 99th resented the newcomers somewhat, but those issues soon worked themselves out. The Group transitioned to Mustangs at this time, decorating them with bright red spinners and tails, thus earning their nickname, 'Red tails'. A week later the 332nd escorted bombers on a mission against rail yards, and Capt. Joseph Elsberry shot down three Fw-190s, the first black pilot to achieve this feat. The next day, July 13, the Group flew its first mission to Ploesti. On

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the 16th, they met some Italian Macchis (from Mussolini's short-lived, rump state in the North, the Italian Social Republic), and downed two of them. Two days later, July 18, Lt. Clarence 'Lucky' Lester destroyed three German airplanes, and earned a DFC for himself in recognition. This was a big day for the Group, as they claimed 11 e/a destroyed. Throughout July, and through October of 1944, the Red tails flew countless missions, usually bomber escorts. Sometimes they shot down German aircraft, and began to build a respectable Group tally. Less often, they lost one of their own; but they never lost a bomber. (That last claim, which circulated for years, was eventually discredited. The 332nd lost 25 bombers.) At least 25 bombers being escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen over Europe during World War II were shot down by enemy aircraft, according to a new Air Force report. The report contradicts the legend that the famed black aviators never lost a plane to fire from enemy aircraft. But historian William Holton said the discovery of lost bombers doesn't tarnish the unit's record. "It's impossible not to lose bombers," said Holton, national historian for Tuskegee Airmen Inc. The report released March 28, 2007 was based on aftermission reports filed by both the bomber units and Tuskegee fighter groups, as well as missing air crew records and witness testimony, said Daniel Haulman, a historian at the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. The tally includes only cases where planes were shot down by enemy aircraft, Haulman said. No one disputed the airmen lost some planes to anti-aircraft guns and other fire from the ground. The 25 planes were shot down on five days: June 9, July 12, July 18 and July 20, 1944 and March 24, 1945, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. Lee Archer scored his first in late July and three on October 12. October was a rough month for the 332nd, losing 15 pilots.

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The bomber pilots began to appreciate the Red tails. In Mustang Aces of the 9th and 15th Air Forces, one B-24 pilot recalled "The P-38s always stayed too far out. Some of the Mustang group stayed in too close ... Other groups, we got the feeling that they just wanted to go and shoot down 109s ... The Red Tails were always out there where we wanted them to be ... We had no idea they were Black; it was the Army's best kept secret." Luke Weathers' escort mission described above provided the group's only aerial victories for the month of November. They flew 22 missions in December, running the group tally to 62 confirmed air-to-air victories by year's end. Bad weather in January limited them to 11 missions, picking up to 39 in February, but without many aerial victories. On March 24, 1945, Col. Davis led the Group on the longest escort mission ever flown by the Fifteenth Air Force, a 1600-mile round trip to the Daimler-Benz tank works in Berlin. On this mission, Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., Charles Brantly and Earl Lane, each shot down a German Me-262 jet fighter aircraft. The Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for their achievements this day. The Tuskegee Airmen continued flying and fighting, killing and dying, until the end of the war in Europe in May, 1945. Info taken from:

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The Golden Years

Ruth Elder A scant five months after Lindbergh's flight, Ruth Elder and her instructor, George Haldeman, set out from Lakeland, Florida toward Portugal. That was eighteen percent further than Lindberg's flight, but it passed over the Azores along the way. Good thing it did; Haldeman and Elder suffered an oil pressure failure and had to ditch in the ocean near the islands. A passing Dutch tanker found them floating in special inflatable rubber suits they'd taken along. So they both lived to tell of it. And Elder had been the first woman to fly most (if not all) of the Atlantic. America took notice of her. She was given the female lead in the 1928 silent movie, Moran of the Marines. She played opposite Richard Dix. He acted for thirty years and was nominated for an Oscar. Jean Harlow was also in the movie -- doing her first bit part. But Elder wanted to fly and, in 1929, she was back in the air. This time, she and twenty other women took part in the first Women's Air Derby -- a nine-day race, in nine segments, from Santa Monica to Cleveland. Amelia Earhart also competed, but Louise Thaden won the race. Elder was among fourteen finishers. She'd had to make one forced landing in a field of cattle. "Oh God, please let them be cows," she prayed as she touched down.

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Another flier, Marvel Crosson, was killed trying to bail out of a crash, and a prominent Texas oilman named Haliburton said, "Women have been dependent on men for guidance for so long that when they are put on their resources they are handicapped." The women saw it differently. Two-and-a-half months after the Derby, they formed a group called the Ninety-Nines. They went to all 117 licensed women fliers in America and managed to recruit ninety-nine of them. They've pushed women's involvement in flying ever since. And Ruth Elder was a member until her death in 1977. Info taken from:

Edith Magalis Foltz Stearns She participated in the first Powder Puff Derby in 1929, and was a charter member of the Ninety-nines... Before World War II, Edith became operations manager for Oregon Airways, a new feeder airline in Portland, Oregon. Her husband was president. She taught primary CPT (Civilian Pilot Training) and was the first Northwest Section Governor of the Ninety-Nines. When WWII started, she applied for the Air Transport Auxiliary. At the time, she held a Commercial license with a flight instructor's rating and had logged over 4000 hours of flight time. Foltz traveled to England with the fourth group of American women arriving in England in June 1942. She served with the ATA until June of 1945. Info taken from:

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Opal Kunz Opal Kunz was a New York society woman and wife of a vice president at Tiffany's. She was active in promoting equality for women pilots. Info taken from:

Poncho Barnes Poncho Barnes was the granddaughter of pioneer aeronaut Thaddeus S.C. Lowe. Besides flying, Barnes was famous for her swearing, cigar smoking and

outspoken ways. She was a champion of individual

and personal rights including fighting stereotypes women faced. Barnes was said to provide the fly-by airplane noises for Howard Hughes' film Hell's Angels when it was decided the film should have sound. Info taken from: l

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The Powder Puff Derbies The first Women's Air Derby on August 13-20, 1929, was a transcontinental race as part of the National Air Races at Cleveland that was entered by 20 women flyers. While at the time there were 70 US-licensed women pilots, only 40 met the race requirements of having 100 hours of solo flight, including 25 hours of solo cross-country, a license from the Federation AĂŠronautique Internationale (FAI), and an annual sporting license issued by the National Aeronautics Association (NAA). Of that group, there were 20 entrants in the Derby. It took eight days to fly and navigate the route using only dead reckoning and road maps. Louise Thaden came in first, and 14 others who completed the race in one of the two aircraft categories were Amelia Earhart, Ruth Elder, Edith Foltz, Mary Haizlip, Jessie Keith-Miller, Opal Kunz, Blanche Noyes, Gladys O'Donnell, Phoebe Omlie, Neva Paris, Thea Rasche, Bobbi Trout (out of the competition with two forced landings), Mary von March, and Vera Dawn Walker. 1929 was also the year the Ninety-Nines women's aviation organization was born, which would enter this picture 18 years later. Although women were not allowed to compete in major air races until the 1930s, many events created separate divisions for them which were identical to the men's divisions, and it was soon noted that the women's times and speeds were very close to those of the men's. Women were encouraged to hold their own competitions, such as the Women's International Free-For-All, the 1934 Dixie Derby from Washington DC through the southern states up to Chicago, and the Women's National Air Meet held in August 1934 at Dayton.

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Occasionally women were allowed to compete with men, like the National Air Races' Transcontinental Handicap Air Derby, but any accident gave race officials one more excuse to exclude women, as in the case of Florence Klingensmith's fatal crash in a Gee Bee Y during the 1933 Phillips Race in Chicago—it was the reason given for excluding women from the 1934 Bendix Race. However, women finally gained deserved headlines when Louise Thaden and Blanche Noyes won the prestigious 1936 Bendix Race in their Beechcraft C-17R. Then Laura Ingalls crossed the finish line 45 minutes later in her Lockheed Orion to take second place, and Amelia Earhart and Helen Richey finished fifth. After World War 2, one focus of the Ninety-Nines was a revival of the women's air races. 1947 saw the first of the All-Woman Air Races, from Palm Springs CA to Tampa FL. That year the race had only two contestants; the next year there were seven. The 1948 and 1949 Jacqueline Cochran All-Woman Transcontinental Air Races (AWTAR) were the formal beginning of what would become popularly known as the Powder Puff Derby, a reference to the 1929 Women's Air Derby by humorist and aviation advocate Will Rogers. The AWTAR became a major event with its own office and a nine-woman board of directors that spent a year preparing for each race. Safety was always a priority and, gradually over the years, the message was clear... women are good pilots. During the '60s, the Ninety-Nines also embraced the All-Woman's International Air Race, or "Angel Derby." The final AWTAR was held in 1977, ended because of rising costs, diminished corporate sponsorship, and air traffic congestion. Info taken from:

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The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII Women weren't doctors, lawyers, engineers. I could be a nurse, a librarian or a teacher. Those were my choices. And if it wasn't for the war and the fact that they were so short of pilots that they condescended to let us enter the sanctum sanctorum. And they let us know that. They let us in because they needed us. They needed pilots. -- Kaddy Steele, WASP 1942-1944 In the early 1940s, the US Air force faced a dilemma. Thousands of new airplanes were coming off assembly lines and needed to be delivered to military bases nationwide, yet most of America's pilots were overseas fighting the war. To deal with the backlog, the government launched an experimental program to train women pilots to fly military aircraft.

Photo courtesy of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

It was a unique time in history. For the most part, women still stayed at home and tended to their families. Few people imagined women could ‚ or should ‚ fly. But the wartime emergency took precedence over traditional male-female roles. As many former Women Air force Service Pilots (WASPs) describe it, a bubble of opportunity formed, one they knew would be unique in their lifetimes.

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I knew in my lifetime that I would never ever get another opportunity like that. I was old enough to know that. And of course I never did. It was the only chance we had to fly anything more than a Cub or a Cesna or a little sports airplane. We would never get back in the military. -- Kaddy Steele, WASP 1942-1944

From 1942 to 1944, more than 1,000 women were trained to ferry aircraft, test planes, instruct male pilots, and tow targets for anti-aircraft artillery practice. The women came from all socioeconomic backgrounds: teachers, nurses, secretaries, factory workers, waitresses, students, housewives, debutantes, actresses, even a Ziegfield chorus girl. On the surface, their differences seemed vast, but knew they all shared one commonality ‚ a passion for flying. "We thought we'd died and gone to heaven," WASP Caro Bayley Bosca said. "We would have done it for free. It was hot, we were tired, we were sticky half Margaret Callihan gets out of a plane at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX. Photo courtesy of The Woman's Collection, Texas Woman's University.

the time, but we were having a ball because we had those airplanes and we all loved to fly." They were pioneers, and as such they often faced disbelief and resentment

from male officers. Nonetheless, the female pilots were fearless and committed. Thirty-eight women would be killed in the line of duty. The WASP program was the brainchild of Jacqueline Cochran, a successful businesswoman and legendary aviator, and General Hap Arnold, Chief of the

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Army Air Forces. More than 25,000 women applied; to qualify, each applicant needed 200 hours of certified flight time (later downscaled to 35 hours). The 1,830 women who were accepted received pilot training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, where it was hot, dusty and dry, and the threat of finding a rattlesnake in your cockpit was real. It was the first ‚ and only ‚ allfemale Air Force base in history, and the women nicknamed it ìCochran's Conventî. They slept six to a barrack. At night, they stuffed socks in the urinals and used them to wash their underwear. On the hottest days, they took showers with all their clothes on to cool off. Their olive drab uniforms, called ìzoot suitsî, were sized for men, so they rolled up the cuffs and tied belts around their waists. Training was rigorous, and just over 50 percent of trainees made it to graduation. They moved on to ferry aircraft from factories and airfields to military bases nationwide. As the program proved successful, WASP assignments expanded beyond ferrying. Nell "Mickey" Bright towed targets in

Photo courtesy of The Woman's

antiaircraft training. The male trainees on

Collection, Texas Woman's

the ground would shoot live ammunition

University. WASPs study

at a large target being dragged 25 feet

navigational maps at Avenger

behind the plane.

Field in Sweetwater, Texas.

"They came pretty close to us every once in a while," she remembered. So close, in fact, that one night Bright found herself flying into artillery; the trainees were supposed to be aiming for the target trailing the plane. "Their job was to shoot the target," Bright said. "If they did not shoot the target, we were in

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charge. We could roll in the target and go home." That night, she did just that. Women pilots were also used to ease fears over airplanes with bad reputations. The B-29, for example, was thought to be a dangerous plane after word got around about engine fires in testing. Colonel Paul Tibbets, who piloted the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, picked Dora Dougherty Strother and Dorothea Johnson Moorman to market the plane from base to base. They showed the men that the four-engine bomber was safe -- safe enough for a woman -- to fly.

The WASPs prided themselves on having better flying records than their male counterparts. Through their ability, courage and hard work, they proved to the skeptics that women were capable pilots. Yet they had no official military status. WASP Louise Bowden Brown remembers having to ride with her roommate's casket in a train from Texas to New York. Once there, she had to tell the young woman's parents that she was killed. They received no military WASP Libby Gardner, 43-W-8, prepares for take-off. Photo courtesy of Libby Gardner.

honors, no flag, nothing to commemorate their contribution to the country. In fact, the women took up collections for trips like Bowden's. The military didn't even give

Bowden money to get her roommate's body home for burial. In 1944, the European war drew to a close and male pilots began returning from combat. The WASPs were no longer needed. Cochran was given the

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option to fold the WASP program into the Women's Army Corps (WACS), but she refused to compromise, believing that her pilots would be stuck on the ground. On December 20, 1944, the women pilots packed up their bags and went home. It would be more than thirty years before women would fly again for the US military.

Info and images taken from:

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Chapter Four Resources

Back to Index

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Organizations Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP) Years ago, Ben Thomas, a young black pilot with Eastern Airlines evaluated the state of the U.S. airline industry. The number of black pilots employed in 1976 was appallingly small. Ben was not alone in recognizing this state of affairs, but his response to the situation was special. He took it upon himself to spearhead an effort to form a permanent body to address this issue. His idea was to simply establish a representative group dedicated to advancing and enhancing the participation of blacks and other minorities in the aviation industry, especially as pilots. On September 17th and 18th of 1976, thirtyseven of the industry‘s approximately 80 black pilots convened at the O‘Hare Hilton Hotel in Chicago. As a result of that meeting, The Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP) was born. Info taken from:

WAFS – Women‘s Auxillary Ferring Squadron The Women‘s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), never numbering more than 28, was created in September 1942 within the Air Transport Command, under Nancy Harkness Love‘s leadership. WAFS were recruited from among commercially licensed women pilots with at least 500 hours flying time and a 200-hp rating. (Women who joined the WAFS actually averaged about 1,100 hours of flying experience.) Their original mission was to ferry USAAF trainers and light aircraft from the factories, but later they were delivering fighters, bombers and transports as well. Info taken from:

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Whirly Girls Whirly-Girls was founded by Jean Ross Howard. In hopes of developing an organization where female pilots could share information and camaraderie, she was one of 13 charter members representing women helicopter pilots from France, Germany and the United States. As of 2007, there are 1,480 registered members representing 42 countries. Whirly-Girls is an official affiliate member of the Helicopter Association International. Info taken from:

Women Soaring Pilots Association (WSPA) The WSPA was founded June 11, 1986 in Tucson, AZ. The charter meeting was the result of a year‘s effort and input by the pilots who attended the 1985 Women Soaring Seminar at Air Sailing near Reno, NV. Our current membership exceeds 200 pilots including International pilots. The highlight of each year is the Annual Women Soaring Seminar where members from all over the country meet to encourage and support each other and to soar. Info taken from: Women Military Aviators Women Military Aviators, Inc. is a non-profit corporation formed in 1978 to promote and preserve for historical, educational, and literary purposes the role of women pilots, navigators, and aircrew in the service of their country during times of war and peace. Today, we number over 800 members living and stationed around the world.

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With such a small percentage of the military aviation world being female, it is especially important to get to know, network with, and mentor other women military aviators. WMA members receive regular electronic newsletters and an annual membership roster. Info taken from:

Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance Traditionally, most aviation organizations primarily are founded and strive to support and inform pilots. Many in the aviation community, felt a need for an organization to support the aviation maintenance industry, in particular the female members. This brought about the organization of AWAM. AWAM is open to both men and women and has membership opportunities for students, and corporations. Our membership consists of maintenance technicians, engineers, teachers, scientists, vendors and pilots that support maintenance in one form or another. Our goal is to help women in the aviation maintenance related fields and find ways to network and support each other in this field. Info taken from:

Women in Aviation International Women In Aviation, International began in 1990 and was formally established in 1994 to encourage women to seek opportunities in aviation. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, of the nearly 600,000 active pilots in the United States, approximately six percent are women and only slightly more than three percent ATP rated. Women account for only 3.85 percent of the more than 500,000 non-pilot aviation jobs in the United States [1].

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Women in Aviation, International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests. Our 8,000+ membership includes astronauts, corporate pilots, maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, business owners, educators, journalists, flight attendants, high school and university students, air show performers, airport managers and many others. Info taken from:

Tuskegee Airmen Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (TAI) is a non-profit organization with 55 chapters nationwide dedicated to: 1. Honoring the accomplishments and perpetuating the history of AfricanAmericans who participated in air crew, ground crew and operations support training in the Army Air Corps during WWII. 2. Introducing young people across the nation to the world of aviation and science through local and national programs such as Young Eagles and TAI youth programs and activities. 3. Providing annual scholarships and awards to deserving individuals, groups and corporations whose deeds lend support to TAI‘s goals. TAI also gives awards to deserving cadets in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Info taken from:

Women in Corporate Aviation Women in Corporate Aviation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is a group of aviation professionals, including flight department personnel, FBO managers, writers, students, training center professional and many others. From

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our first meeting at the Women in Aviation Conference 1993 to our growing organization today, we have networked and promoted career opportunities in business aviation. We are role models to the next generation of aviation professionals. Info taken from:

Professional Women Controllers The Professional Women Controllers, Inc. (PWC) is a professional organization founded in 1978 by Jacque Smith and Sue Townsend. The organization was incorporated in the State of Delaware in 1979 and was officially recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1980. Since its inception, PWC has been an advocate of a culturally diverse workforce. PWC works with the FAA and other organizations to create an environment where all employees are able to contribute. Info taken from:

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Museums The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, bearing the name of Hammondsport‘s favorite son, is located on Route 54, one half mile south of the village of Hammondsport, New York. Dedicated to the memory of pioneer aviator, Glenn Curtiss, the museum contains a priceless collection relating to early aviation and local history. The museum also features a 75-seat theater, large open area for special events and a gift shop. In addition to seeing the museum displays and exhibits, visitors are welcome to visit the Restoration Shop, talk with volunteer craftsman and watch them work on historic aircraft. Info taken from:

99′s Museum of Women Pilots The 99s museum chronicles the rich history of women aviators from Amelia Earhart to today‘s women of space. An extensive collection of artifacts belonging to Amelia include a pair of leather goggles, her ―lucky‖ bracelet (which she left behind on her last flight), one of her famous scarves and numerous other articles. While there are many on display, many other items, which are too fragile to exhibit, are being carefully stored until such times as the museum can afford to properly show them. Info taken from:

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International Women‘s Air & Space Museum More than 25 Years Ago, the idea of preserving the history of women in aviation was just a dream. Since then, memorabilia and historical artifacts have been collected, preserved and stored. Today this dream is a reality. The International Women‘s Air & Space Museum, Inc., opened in March 1986, in Centerville, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. Since that time we have grown and expanded and were welcomed by the City of Cleveland, Ohio in 1998, where you will find our home at Burke Lakefront Airport. Our exhibits are in the lobby at Burke, as well as the west concourse, and are accessible seven days a week. Since we are located in a public building, museum admission is free! Info taken from:

American Airlines C. R. Smith Museum hosted a women in aviation photographic exhibit. The museum from time to time has special exhibits that stay for a brief period of time. The American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum honors the contributions of women who have worked for American Airlines with a photographic exhibit. Exhibit will be on display throughout March. Films and exhibit are free with admission to the museum. Info taken from:

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The Golden Age Air Museum was established in 1997, its mission is to entertain visitors and educate them about the early days of aviation, through its special events and daily operations. The museum offers the chance to explore the past, come and learn how the early aviators flew, what they flew and learn the lost art of early aircraft construction. Museum displays include full size operational aircraft and automobiles, as well as displays of artifacts from the Golden Age. Craftsmen are continually working on restoring new additions for the collection; this work is done in view of visitors. Talk with the restoration volunteers and learn techniques and practices of early aircraft builders. Info taken from:

The Women‘s Museum: An Institute for the Future, in association with the Smithsonian Institution, is a comprehensive national American women‘s history museum. Located in Fair

Park in Dallas, Texas, The Women‘s Museum‘s 70,000

square foot building provides a home for programs and exhibits where people can honor the past and explore the contributions of women throughout history. Exhibit – DREAMS OF FLIGHT: A JOURNEY THROUGH AIR AND SPACE Women have broken boundaries in the realm of air and space as pilots, astronauts, astrophysicists and scientists. The 25 women featured in Dreams of Flight: A Journey through Air and Space demonstrate remarkable resilience, strength and character in the face of opposition. This exhibition highlights the

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women, from the earliest pioneers of flight including Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman and Jaqueline Cochran, to science and space innovators such as Barbara Askins, Patricia Cowings and Jerrie Cobb. Info taken from: ght.asp

Fantasy of Flight Museum 1400 Broadway Blvd. S.E. Polk City, FL 33868 (863)984-3500 Our stunning Art Deco facility is home to over 40 rare and vintage aircraft, many of which have been restored to flyable condition. But that is just the beginning. We offer a variety of guided tours including visits to our working restoration and maintenance areas. You can take a spin on a state-of-the-art hang glide simulator in our interactive Fun with Flight center for families and climb on board a real B-17 Flying Fortress in a WWII bombing mission. If you are looking for a real experience, real fun, and real takeaway - something the entire family can enjoy, Fantasy of Flight is An Attraction on a Higher Plane. Info taken from:

The Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey is dedicated to the preservation of the Garden

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State's distinguished, two-century aviation and space heritage. The men and women, whose outstanding aeronautical achievements have brought worldwide recognition to the state, are enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The museum offers visitors an opportunity to view historic aircraft, air and space artifacts, photographs, fine art and an extensive model collection. The Library has more than 2500 volumes and hundreds of aviation videotapes. Info taken from:

Beechcraft Heritage Museum 570 Old Shelbyville Hwy. P.O. Box 550 Tullahoma, TN 37388 P:(931)455-1974 - F:(931)455-1994 Info:

The National Museum of the Tuskegee Airmen represents the culmination of the efforts of many individuals. It provides a place not only to record the contributions of gallant Black Americans to the defense of our Nation during a period in our history when they were not thought of as the equal of

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other citizens, but a place where all of the youth of America may come to acquire inspiration, counseling and assistance in achieving excellence in their own educational and career pursuits. Info taken from: American Airlines has a new virtual museum; the virtual museum highlights the challenges and accomplishments of African-American aviation professionals, including the struggle for racial equality in commercial airlines, the military and aerospace. The virtual museum is a Web site that provides written profiles along with video interviews, photos and historical documents to cover this chapter in American history. Some of today‘s most accomplished aviators assisted American Airlines with Blacks in Aviation, including NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who was chosen to lead the aerospace agency in 2008 and members of the Tuskegee Airmen. Info taken from:

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Novelties, Gifts, & Supplies Tailwinds Gifts This online shop offers woman‘s jewelry, children‘s toys, furniture, clothing and more. M-F 8:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. Pacific Time 1-800-Tailwinds (1-800-824-5946) Calls from outside U.S. 415-380-8181 is an online gift, supply, and novelty shop. They have woman‘s uniforms and pilot accessories aimed towards woman as well. To browse the site or place an order go to: . Or, if you prefer, you can call us toll-free at 1-877-314-7575 to place your order over the phone.

Café Press I love this online shop! They have t-shirts, tank tops, baby clothes, bibs, and baseball caps all geared toward the female aviation enthusiast. Just follow the link to browse, shop, and place orders at:

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Aviation Museum Store This online museum shop has everything you can think of for the flying enthusiast in your life! Go to They have toys, books, clothing, jewelry and more. With over 3,000.00 available products!!

Internet Pilot Gift and Supply Superstore since 1999 The internet's top site for gifts, supplies, and collectibles for aviation and automotive enthusiasts. This is one of my favorite online shops! They feature a huge selection of novelties and clothing supporting Minorities and women in aviation. Order online anytime or call us direct at 866-299-0666 (US only) Monday to Friday 8-5 EST.

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All This site has a wide selection of posters remembering minorities and women in aviation history. Browse through them and place your order at:

Powder Puff Pilot This is your one-stop-shop for all of the women in aviations needs!! This site specializes in all woman attire, gear, and accessories. You go girl!! Just log on to:

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Women Fly The women fly project is another online store for the female aviator. This site is dedicated to spreading the word about women who fly. Below is a picture of their logo with the explanation of its representation. Even if you‘re not looking to buy anything, this site is a very inspiring stop for window shopping! The Star: A look to the sky for inspiration & creativity. The Moon: Our femininity. The Crown: A reminder that we are queens of our own destiny. The Spiral: The energy to nurture our dreams. Place your orders or browse this wonderful site at:

Etsy This is a very interesting online store. Private owned and ran by an incredibly talented woman. A must shop sight for all your love of the women in aviation history from collector‘s items, custom jewelry & clothing to prints. Go to:

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The Cultural Exchange This store has the history of Minorities in aviation right at your fingertips! Many types of hats, shirts, vest and so much more! A must see for the fans of the great Tuskegee Airmen!! Call :: Toll-Free: 1-800-336-2719 | Local: (804) 796-2291 Hours :: Monday - Friday | 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST

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Books The Tuskegee Airmen The history of the United States is steeped in contribution of the Air Force formerly Army Air Corps, in preserving and maintaining freedom. The American airmen have been victorious in all of our nation's conflicts. It is important that we continue to acknowledge the sacrifices and service of these men who perform so admirably. I know the accomplishments of the brave and dedicated Tuskegee Airmen will never be forgotten. Info taken from:

West with the Night "With the skill of someone who has filled long nights with stories, Markham recounts her adventures — discoveries, rescues, and narrow escapes, the glint of an airplane abandoned in the desert, the look of a lion about to pounce....Much more than a pilot's memoir, West With the Night is a wise, funny, and inspiring exploration of a life well lived." Info taken from:

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Sisters in Arms During World War II, a few, carefully selected women in the US and the UK were briefly given the unprecedented opportunity to fly military aircraft. Yet the story of these pioneer women pilots is made even more intriguing by the fact that, despite many notable similarities in the utilization and organization of the women in their respective countries, they experienced radically different fates. Throughout the war, the contribution of the women of the British ATA to the war effort was recognized and praised both from official quarters and in the press. By contrast, the American WASPs were first glamorized and made into Hollywood stars - and then subjected to a slander campaign. What accounts for this dramatic difference in the treatment of women pilots doing essentially the same job? This book seeks to answer these questions. The women who participated in the ATA and WASP have been allowed to speak for themselves. The story these women have to tell is exciting and intriguing. Info taken from:

Right Stuff, Wrong Sex Traces the rise and fall of the Lovelace Women in Space program within the context of the cold war and the thriving women's aviation culture of the 1950s, showing how the Lovelace trainees challenged prevailing attitudes about women's roles and capabilities. This study documents the achievements and frustrated hopes of a remarkable group of women

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Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography Were life equitable, Benjamin O. Davis Jr. would be known as an extremely capable military officer who had a distinguished 34-year career characterized by dignity, professionalism, and ser-vice. After graduating 35th in the US Military Academy class of 1936, he led men in combat; won a Silver Star, croix de guerre, and other medals; and attained the rank of lieutenant general. But Davis is black. There has to be much frustration in having an irrelevant physical characteristic overshadows everything one has accomplished. As Davis says: ―I do not find it complimentary to me or to the nation to be called ‗the first black West Point graduate in this century‘‖ .(p. 423) However, he is the first black airman to earn his wings, the first black Air Force general, and the son of the first black general. Until the world becomes color-blind, that is how history will record him. Info taken from:

Women in the Second World War Women in the Second World War, explores the experiences of women who served in the armed forces, or complimentary services. Using interviews, anecdotes, memoirs and/or accounts from the women (or, where appropriate, their

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children), the book tells the women‘s personal accounts of what their lives were like and what particular experiences they had while serving. Info taken from:

Blue Skies Black Wings At the age of seventeen, Samuel L. Broadnax, enamored with flying, enlisted and trained as a pilot at the Tuskegee Army Air Base. Although he left the Air Corps at the end of the Second World War, his experiences inspired him to talk with other pilots and black pioneers of aviation. Blue Skies, Black Wings recounts the history of African Americans in the skies from the very beginnings of manned flight. Info taken from:

Black Aces High Their courage, ferocity, and instincts made them legendary in military aviation. Flying F-14 Tomcats, they played as much a part in recent US operations in Kosovo as did any air squadron in the theater, air force or navy, and probably more. Because of its superior performance, sophisticated equipment and the two-man crews who took it upon themselves to do something extra, the Tomcat and its aviators distinguished themselves over and over. Info taken from:

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BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP Stories of Pappy Boyington are legion, many founded in fact, including how he led the legendary Black Sheep squadron, and how he served in China as a member of the American Volunteer Group, the famed Flying Tigers. He spent a year and a half as a Japanese POW, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, was recognized as the Marine Corps top ace (more on that below). Always hard-drinking and hard-living, Pappy's post-war life was as turbulent as his wartime experiences Info taken from:

The Age of Flight This is a terrific book. If you have any interest in the birth and development of one of the world's great airlines - United - this book is for you. It's beautifully laid out, and filled with images from United's vast archives. From its birth as a mail carrier to development of the Boeing 777 - this book traces United's growth and development. The book is an official corporate history of the airline, published by Pace Communications which happens to also publish United's in-flight magazine. In many respects, the book looks like a polished and extended annual report, sans the numbers. But regardless, it is still a worthwhile read and the images and design make it a keepsake. Info taken from:

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FOOTSTEPS IN THE SKY A must have for anyone aspiring to a career in Flight Service. The rare photos reveal the incredible changes that have taken place in the airline industry. It was once necessary to first be a nurse to even apply for "Stewardess training "! Soon teachers were accepted too. Age, HT/WT requirements abounded. Also included are interviews with Flight Attendants involved in hi-jacking, and other in-flight emergencies. There are recollections of both tragedy and high (up) courage. Be it for the coffee table, library, or career resource center, FOOTSTEPS IN THE SKY fits the bill! Info taken from:

Come Fly with Us! When the first commercial flights took off in the 1930s, stewardesses were registered nurses whose duties included swatting flies and helping passengers read railroad timetables in the event of forced landings. In the 1950s, stewardesses were viewed as wives-in-training, as adept at preparing a baby's bottle as mixing a martini. By the swinging 1960s and 1970s, female flight attendants were considered successful marketing tools, sporting micro-minis, hot pants, and buttons that read "Pure, Sober, and Available" to lure male business passengers on board. Come Fly with Us explores the unique history of this industry pioneered by women, tracing changes in the flight attendant's role - from flying nurse to airborne sex kitten to today's custodian of safety and service. Stunning visuals from airline archives

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and early flight maps, promotional brochures, and print advertisements recreate a sense of the early days and underscore the dramatic changes encountered in this dynamic industry. Info taken from: /johanna_omelia

Flight Guide for Success Newly-published 3rd edition has over 70 articles answering the tough pilot career questions without sugar-coating the answers. Kahn offers solid advice on subjects that other books dare not raise, including best routes to a pro-pilot job, what qualifications count most with employers, how old is too old, is discrimination dead, handling blemishes in your background and finally, what's the life of a pro pilot really like and is it for you? Info taken from:

Flight Plan to the Flight Deck Judy's upfront approach and honest opinion gives her readers an advantage not given by others. Not only does she instruct you on how to become successful in your aviation career, she also helps you to avoid the MANY pitfalls made by other aspiring pilots before you. Also included were valuable references to related services, publications, and other tools used in the airline industry. If you only buy one book about a career in aviation, let it be this one!

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Info taken from:

BLACK EAGLES African Americans in Aviation "African-American folklore is rich in stories and songs about people flying. But in the early days of American aviation, racism forced blacks to go to Europe to earn their wings. Such pioneers included Eugene Bullard, who joined the French Foreign Legion in 1914 and was awarded the highest honor given by the French military. In 1921 in France, daredevil Bessie Coleman was the first black American woman licensed as a pilot." Info taken from:

The Tuskegee Airmen: African-American Pilots of World War II (Journey to Freedom) (Library Binding) This book is about US history outside the indicated time span, but it could be woven into a Civil War discussion, for example. This book is about the 200 black pilots licensed in 1939 and additional Blacks who were trained through legislation allowing college student pilot training and preparation for the US Army Air Corps.

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Info taken from:

332nd Fighter Group – Tuskegee Airmen This book explains how when Blacks could become military pilots in 1941, the Air Corps set up training at the Tuskegee Institute for 12 Black college grads. There were 5 men who graduated and became officers and others followed (996 graduated). Their performance was equal to or better than their white counter-parts.

The WASP Women Air force Service Pilots (WASP) history has been virtually overlooked for 60+ years. While several books have been published about these heroines, the scope of these works are limited primarily to memoirs, which fail to present a holistic view of the WASP program, the role of women during World War II, and their contributions to our nation's defense and heritage. Here, at last, is a comprehensive book that examines WASP history. This fascinating true-life story of American women in action during World War II is presented in a chronological narrative, interlaced with an abundance of pertinent photographs and class rosters, all combined in a single, easily referenced volume. This book will educate, motivate, and inspire readers with the extraordinary lives and achievements of the first women in history to fly American military aircraft. Meet Jacqueline Cochran, a world-renowned pilot, who approached Eleanor Roosevelt with an idea to employ female pilots in various types of support operations, such as flying transports, couriers, and ambulances, thus freeing up the men to serve as combat pilots. Meet Nancy Harkness Love, Cornelia

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Fort, and other selfless patriots. These "sisters of the sky" loved their country, and despite oppressive restrictions and innuendo of their frailties, they blazed new trails for the women of America. Info taken from:

Jackie Cochran Pilot in the Fastest Lane Author: Doris L. Rich "Cochran's close friend Amelia Earhart is, of course, the first name mentioned when the subject of women pilots arises. But as readers of this book will see, it is Cochran whose name should be on people's lips when a discussion of women pilots is taking place."--Claudia M. Oakes, President, Cradle of Aviation Museum "This biography of Jackie Cochran is path breaking. Jackie Cochran was a dominant figure in mid-20th century American aviation but her life story has received little critical examination by biographers and historians. No more. No one will write about Cochran in quite the same way again as Rich has filled each chapter with new information and insight."--Deborah G. Douglas, Info taken from:

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Movies The Tuskegee Airmen Based on a true story, The Tuskegee Airmen chronicles the experiences of the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Using Hannibal Lee (Laurence Fishburne) as a focal point, the movie follows the airmen from their initial training at Tuskegee, Alabama, through their combat assignments during World War II. Featuring fascinating vintage military planes and exciting air-combat footage, the film also depicts the racism encountered by the pilots. In one example, the airmen are forced to give their seats on a crowded train to German prisoners of war. Even after the airmen complete their training, the military brass is reluctant to trust them in battle. But First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt publicizes their plight by going to Tuskegee and having one of the African-American pilots take her for a plane ride, and shortly thereafter the airmen are assigned a combat role. Eventually they join with other African-American pilots in the 332nd Fighter Group where their skill in protecting bombers from enemy fighters finally earns them the respect they deserve. The screen story was co-authored by Robert Williams, one of the pilots trained at Tuskegee. ~ Rov Info taken from:

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Night Fighters Breaking barriers at home and abroad, the Tuskegee Airmen were a skilled group of African-American pilots chosen to fly during World War II. Night fighters tell the story of these underappreciated soldiers. The 332nd Fighter Group was established to provide air support for white fighters. At first, nobody believed such a group could pull off a selfcontained unit. But, the Tuskegee Airmen smashed expectations by performing above and beyond the call of duty. Black pilots, support crew, and surgical staff inhabited Italy and North Africa during World War II, making it the first integrated operation. Though they were largely ignored even after proving valiant on the battlefield, the Tuskegee Airmen showed enormous bravery. Their fight for acceptance as equals continued long after the War was over. ~ Sarah Ing, Rovi Info taken from:

American Experience Fly Girls During WWII, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military. Wives, mothers, actresses and debutantes who joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) test-piloted aircraft, ferried planes and logged 60 million miles in the air. Thirty-eight women died in service. But the opportunity to play a critical role in the war effort was abruptly canceled by politics and resentment, and it would be 30 years before women would again break the sex barrier in the skies. Info taken from:

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Biography Amelia Earhart - Queen of the Air She was an uncommon heroine, a legendary aviator, and the focus of one of the greatest mysteries of all time. A daredevil of unimaginable proportions, Amelia Earhart was destined to make her mark on history. Even as she was wowing the world by annihilating existing aviation records, her unconventional short hair, pants, and leather jacket had already made her an undisputed icon. Her mysterious disappearance while attempting to fly around the world has long been at the center of great debate. What really happened to one of the world s most promising aviators? Drawing on extensive archival footage, interviews, and newly discovered evidence, BIOTM examines Earhart s dramatic story, providing an unforgettable look at the life and legend of the courageous and groundbreaking aviator Info taken from:

Flyers In Search of a Dream Most Americans are familiar with Orville and Wilbur Wright, Charles Lindbergh, and Amelia Earhart, but few know the stories of America's pioneering black aviators, who overcame social pressures to gain the right to fly. FLYERS IN SEARCH OF A DREAM documents the lives and adventures of early black aviators, from Bessie Coleman, first black to earn an aviator license, to James Herman Banning, first black to complete a transcontinental flight. Info taken from:

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From Pearl Harbor to Casablanca On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States found itself suddenly and unexpectedly plunged into a global war. As American society coped with the wrenching change imposed by mobilizing 15 million men into the armed forces, women entered the work force in unprecedented numbers to fill the millions of new defense manufacturing jobs. While "GI Joe" came to represent a new global flexing of American military power, Rosie the Riveter became a symbol of the new role of women in society and the far-reaching social changes it was creating .Info taken from:

Where‘s Amelia Earhart? This National Geographic documentary examines controversial but persistent theories regarding the fate of Amelia Earhart, the plucky American aviatrix who vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 during an attempt to fly around the globe. Researchers present eyewitness accounts and other evidence that Earhart‘s flight was in fact a mission to spy on the Japanese military, who captured Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan on a remote Pacific island. Ameilia was among many great pilots that become lost or died doing what they loved. Info taken from:

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Women & Minorities in Aviation Resource Guide  

Resource book abouit women and minorities in aviation