Patty Wagstaff was first introduced to flying by her father, a captain with Japan Airlines. One of her fondest memories is a long ago flight with him, as she took the controls of his DC-6 for the first time. As a child, Patty was particularly intrigued with aerobatics. She would often ask her father, “What’s it like to do a loop?”
Louise McPhetridge Thaden, a famous American female pilot of the golden age of aviation, was one of the first women to win major flying events and awards, and set world performance records. She took her first flight in 1919; a $5 ride with a barnstormer.
Orphaned at an early age, the exact date of “Jackie” Cochran's birth is unknown. However, we do know that her most distinguished aviation career began in 1932 when she obtained her pilot's license after only three weeks of instruction. From this point on, she dedicated her life to aviation.
Sally Ride attended Stanford University where she received a doctorate degree in Physics in 1978. One of over 8,000 people to answer an advertisement in a newspaper seeking applicants for the space program, Ride joined NASA in 1978.
Bessie Coleman was the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license. She was born on January 26, 1892 in Atlanta, Texas, growing up in Waxahachie, one of thirteen children born to sharecroppers. At 18, she enrolled in the Colored Agricultural and Normal University in Oklahoma, but left after one term to return home, where she picked cotton and worked as a laundress.
SDASM now offers tours to persons who are otherwise unable to visit our museum in Balboa Park. This is done by the use of a computer controlled televising robot operated by anyone with a computer and internet access.
As a nurse’s aide in Toronto in 1918, Amelia Earhart became fascinated by flight while watching aerial exhibitions. She earned her wings in Los Angeles in 1925, and in 1928 was asked to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger, the first woman to do so.
Noted for their achievements in aviation, inspiration to women pilots, and dedication to education and preservation of women's aviation history, the Ninety-Nines organization was created in 1929.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum received a special visitor on March 9, 2016 when 95-year-old Lawrence Warden of Clairemont toured the Museum. Of particular interest to Mr. Warden was the Museum’s Supermarine SpitfireMk.XVI, a plan he helped modify during World War II.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is proudly celebrate Women’s History Month throughout March. We’ll be posting a series of articles and biographies on our social media outlets talking about the important role women have played throughout the history of aviation and space exploration.