March 12, 1994 Mary Felk was inducted into the Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame at the International Conference of Women in Aviation. Felk fell in love with airplanes at age seven and overhauled a car engine at age 13. By the time she graduated from high school she had turned to aircraft engines…. Read more »
365 Female Flying Feats
March 11, 1968 Actress Maureen O’Hara married Air Force Brigadier General Charles Blair, leaving Hollywood and entering the world of aviation. Blair had been in the first squadron to fly over the North Pole. Together they founded and operated Antilles Air Boats, flying the “world’s largest seaplane airline” throughout the Caribbean.
March 10, 1947 The first All-Woman Transcontinental Air Race, nicknamed the Powder Puff Derby, was run from Palm Spring, California to Tampa, Florida. Carolyn West and copilot Bea Medes arrived in Florida first, flying West’s Ercoupe 2242 miles in 21 hours and 47 minutes.
March 8, 1910 Raymonde de la Roche became the first woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license. By many accounts de la Roche had also been the first woman to fly a heavier-than-air craft. At the Saint Petersbourg Airshow Czar Nicholas II awarded the plumber’s daughter the title Baroness and the medal of… Read more »
March 7, 1938 Janet Guthrie was born. In 1964 she was one of the first four women to qualify for NASA’s scientist astronaut program. Although she was an aerospace engineer NASA disqualified her when they changed the criteria to require a PhD. In the meantime, Guthrie had purchased a Jaguar XK 120 and began to… Read more »
March 5, 1928 Mabel Boll, aka “The Queen of Diamonds” road as a passenger from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York to Havana, Cuba. Boll rose from cigar girl to millionairess and was known for wearing thousands of dollars of jewels everywhere she went. She dueled with Amelia Earhart and Thea Rasche to become… Read more »
March 4, 1977 The U.S. Coast Guard’s first female pilot, Janna Lambine, earned her wings, graduating from naval aviation training at NAS Whiting Field in Milton, Florida. She would become a helicopter pilot, flying search and rescue missions and performing pollution and fisheries surveillance.
March 3, 1945 Flight nurse Ensign Jane “Candy” Kendeigh became the first nurse to fly to and from an active battlefield when she flew from Guam to Iwo Jima to evacuate wounded soldiers. Flight nurses were required to swim a mile, tow or push a victim for 220 yards, and swim 440 yards in 10… Read more »
March 2, 2008 Ellen Evak Paneok, the first Native woman bush pilot, passed away. At age 16 Paneok used $1500 from the Native Corporation to learn to fly. During her career she flew more than 15,000 hours in the Alaskan bush, ferrying everything from dynamite to live wolverines to emergency medical patients. She was featured… Read more »
March 1, 1945 Jackie Cochran was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for her work in World War II. As Director of Woman‘s Flying Training, along with Nancy Love Harkness she helped found the WASP – Women’s Airforce Service Pilots. Cochran was born Bessie Lee Pittman in an Alabama mill town. Cochran set out for the… Read more »