Willa Brown Flies High

January 22, 1906 Willa Brown, the first African-American woman pilot licensed in the United States was born. Her mentor Bessie Coleman had been licensed in France. Brown learned to fly in 1934 and married pilot Cornelius Coffey two years later. She was the federal coordinator of the Chicago unit of the Civil Air Patrol civilian pilot training program and created the Tuskegee Airman, an elite African-American flying corps her husband later joined.