Earhart First Woman to Cross Pacific - History

Earhart First Woman to Cross Pacific - History


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On January 12th Amelia Earhart became the first woman to cross the Pacific. The last leg of her flight was 18hours from Wheller Field in Hawaii to Oakland.


A Timeline of Women in Aviation

1910 - September 2 - 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 the first American woman to pilot an airplane

1910 - October 13 - Bessica Raiche's flight qualifies her, for some, as the first woman pilot in America because some discount the flight of Scott as accidental and therefore deny her this credit

1911 - August 11 - Harriet Quimby becomes the first American woman licensed pilot, with flight license number 37 from the Aero Club of America

1911 - September 4 - Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly at night

1912 - April 16 - Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to pilot her own aircraft across the English Channel

1913 - Alys McKey Bryant is the first woman pilot in Canada

1916 - Ruth Law sets two American records flying from Chicago to New York

1918 - The US postmaster general approves the appointment of Marjorie Stinson as the first female airmail pilot

1919 - Harriette Harmon becomes the first female ever to fly from Washington D.C. to New York City as a passenger.

1919 - Baroness Raymonde de la Roche, who in 1910 was the first woman to earn a pilot's license, set an altitude record for women of 4,785 meters or 15,700 feet

1919 - Ruth Law becomes the first person to fly air mail in the Philippines

1921 - Adrienne Bolland is the first woman to fly over the Andes

1921 - Bessie Coleman becomes the first African American, male or female, to earn a pilot's license

1922 - Lillian Gatlin is the first woman to fly across America as a passenger

1928 - June 17 - Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly across the Atlantic -- Lou Gordon and Wilmer Stultz did most of the flying

1929 - August - first Women's Air Derby is held, and Louise Thaden wins, Gladys O'Donnell takes second place and Amelia Earhart takes third

1929 - Florence Lowe Barnes - Pancho Barnes - becomes the first woman stunt pilot in motion pictures (in "Hell's Angels")

1929 - Amelia Earhart becomes the first president of the Ninety-Nines, an organization of women pilots

1930 - May 5-24 - Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia

1930 - Anne Morrow Lindbergh becomes the first woman to earn a glider pilot license

1931 - Ruth Nichols fails in her attempt to fly solo across the Atlantic, but she breaks the world distance record flying from California to Kentucky

1931 - Katherine Cheung becomes the first woman of Chinese ancestry to earn a pilot's license

1932 - May 20-21 - Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic

1932 - Ruthy Tu becomes the first woman pilot in the Chinese Army

1934 - Helen Richey becomes the first woman pilot hired by a regularly scheduled airline, Central Airlines

1934 - Jean Batten is the first woman to fly round trip England to Australia

1935 - January 11-23 - Amelia Earhart is the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to the American mainland

1936 - Beryl Markham becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic east to west

1936 - Louise Thaden and Blanche Noyes beat male pilots also entered in the Bendix Trophy Race, the first victory of women over men in a race which both men and women could enter

1937 - July 2 - Amelia Earhart lost over Pacific

1937 - Hanna Reitsch was the first woman to cross the Alps in a glider

1938 - Hanna Reitsch becomes the first woman to fly a helicopter and the 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 - January 5 - Amelia Earhart declared legally dead

1939 - September 15 - Jacqueline Cochran sets an international speed record the same year, she is the 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, one of which is later called the Night Witches

1942 - Nancy Harkness Love and Jackie Cochran organize women flying units and training detachments

1943 - Women make up more than 30% of the workforce 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 -- those in WASP 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

1944 - German pilot Hanna Reitsch was the first woman to pilot a jet aircraft

1944 - WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) disbanded the women were given no benefits for their service

1945 - Melitta Schiller is awarded the Iron Cross and Military Flight Badge in Germany

1945 - Valérie André of the French Army in Indochina, a neurosurgeon, was the first woman to fly a helicopter in combat

1949 - Richarda Morrow-Tait landed in Croydon, England, after her round-the-world flight, with navigator Michael Townsend, the first such flight for a woman -- it took one year and one day with a 7 week stop in India to replace the plane's engine and 8 months in Alaska to raise funds to replace her plane

1953 - Jacqueline (Jackie) Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier

1964 - March 19 - Geraldine (Jerrie) Mock of Columbus, Ohio, is the first woman to pilot a plane solo around the world ("The Spirit of Columbus," a single-engine plane)

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

1987 - Kamin Bell became the first African American woman Navy helicopter pilot (February 13)

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 F-16 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

2012 - Women who flew as part of WASP in World War II (Women Airforce Service Pilots) are given the Congressional Gold Medal in the United States, with over 250 women attending

2012 - Liu Yang becomes the first woman launched by China into space.

2016 - Wang Zheng (Julie Wang) is the first person from China to fly a single-engine plane around the world


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First woman pilot to cross Pacific celebrates 50th anniversary

BOUNTIFUL, Utah &mdash While most history buffs know the story of Amelia Earhart becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932 and about her mysterious disappearance on a around-the-world flight in 1937, only a few have discovered the story of the first female to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean.

That woman’s name is Betty Miller, who now resides in Bountiful, Utah. Unlike Earhart, who was accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan on her historic flights, Miller flew solo, unless you count her lucky troll doll named Dammit.

Miller’s relatives, Judy Jackson and Patty Jeys, will be gathering with friends in Centerville on Sunday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 7,415-mile flight.

Miller left Oakland, Calif., in a Piper Apache on April 25, 1963, making in stops in Hawaii, Canton Island, Fiji and New Caledonia. When she landed in Brisbane, Australia, on May 13, Miller climbed out of the plane wearing a cotton dress and high heels to the cheers of a large crowd. The moment would be recorded by an Associated Press photographer.

The photo would be the first transmitted by a new wire-photo process. Miller would be featured on the covers of magazines, the front pages of newspapers and given high aviation honors by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Now 87 and recovering from a broken hip, Miller remains humble about her accomplishment. The aviator says she simply had a job to do. She needed to deliver a plane to a buyer in Australia.

In those days, small planes didn’t have the fuel capacity to fly overseas. They were taken apart, shipped and then reassembled at their destination.

William Piper, who manufactured Piper airplanes, devised the plan to allow Miller to fly the small plane to Australia. Max Conrad, a record-breaking long-distance pilot, helped design the extra gas tanks required for the long flight. The plane needed to carry so much fuel that some airports would not allow it to land.

“I didn’t do it for the purpose of setting a record, though that was a nice part of it,” said Miller, who operated a Santa Monica, Calif., flight school with her husband. “People wanted the airplane and I was willing to deliver it.”

She used her training as a radio specialist to navigate, trying to check in with ships or ground stations every half hour whenever possible. On the flight to Hawaii, she flew 20 hours straight. Miller dealt with equipment problems and a hurricane.

“If you’ve got a brain and it works, you think about all these things,” she said. “You get thoughts, but you think about your own skills and education.”

“There was definitely danger involved,” said Kelli Money Huff, who befriended Miller after serving as the pilot’s art instructor in Ocala, Fla., 15 years ago. “But she was a skilled pilot. She paid attention and worked around it.”

Huff, who flew in from Florida to attend Sunday’s ceremony, has worked hard to preserve Miller’s story. She has pages of hand-written notes from conversations and has preserved newspapers, magazines, photos, the original map of the flight and the FAA gold medal for exceptional service that was presented by President Kennedy.

“What you discover is the relative lack of communication ability available during that 1963 flight compared to now,” said Huff. “Now we would know exactly where you are at. But for long periods of time due to radio issues, you couldn’t communicate.”

The Pacific flight was a small part of her aviation pioneering. Working with husband Chuck Miller at a flight school in Santa Monica, Calif., she was an instructor, dispatcher, bookkeeper and maintenance scheduler. The pair helped train more than 4,000 new pilots, including movie stars such as Jimmy Stewart.

She helped set physical standards for women astronauts that are still used today, was the first woman to solo a Hughes model 269A helicopter and only the 38th woman to earn a helicopter license, was the chairperson of the FAA’s Women’s Advisory Committee on Aviation and served as a flight instructor in Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Miller participated as a member of the U.S. Helicopter Team in the second World Helicopter Championships held in England in 1973 and participated in the original Powder Puff Derby All Woman Transcontinental Air Races 11 times. She is a member of the Whirly Girls female helicopter pilots and a past member of the Ninety-Nines, a women’s pilot association founded by Earhart.

She lives with her parrot Paco, who often says “Roger That!” and has flown with Miller. Last August, at 86, she piloted a Cessna out of Salt Lake Airport No. 2 with the plane’s owner, Randy Mitchell.

Though she should be one of the most famous pilots of all time, Miller remains humble and quiet. It takes some prodding to get her to talk about her many accomplishments, though family members and friends such as Huff continue to document her story.


Book: &apos20 Hrs., 40 Min.&apos

In 1928, Earhart wrote a book about aviation and her transatlantic experience, 20 Hrs., 40 Min. Upon publication that year, Earhart’s collaborator and publisher, Putnam, heavily promoted her through a book and lecture tours and product endorsements. Earhart actively became involved in the promotions, especially with women&aposs fashions. For years she had sewn her own clothes, and now she contributed her input to a new line of women&aposs fashion that embodied a sleek and purposeful, yet feminine, look.

Through her celebrity endorsements, Earhart gained notoriety and acceptance in the public eye. She accepted a position as associate editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, using the media outlet to campaign for commercial air travel. From this forum, she became a promoter for Transcontinental Air Transport, later known as Trans World Airlines (TWA), and was a vice president of National Airways, which flew routes in the northeast.


Amelia Earhart Solos the Atlantic

On May 20–21, 1932, Earhart became the first woman—and the only person since Charles Lindbergh—to fly nonstop and alone across the Atlantic. Flying this red Lockheed Vega, she left Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada, and landed 15 hours later near Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The feat made Earhart an instant worldwide sensation and proved she was a courageous and able pilot.

Later that year, Earhart flew the Vega to another record. On August 24–25, she made the first solo, nonstop flight by a woman across the United States, from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in about 19 hours.

Amelia Earhart arrives in Culmore, Northern Ireland after her solo flight across the Atlantic after fighting fatigue and aircraft problems.

In 1928 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger in the Fokker F.VII Friendship with two male pilots.

Three record-setting women pilots but Amelia Earhart soloed the Atlantic to gain more respect.


Was Amelia Earhart Executed by the Japanese in Saipan?

Amelia Earhart, first female pilot to cross the Atlantic, disappeared over the Pacific in 1937 in an endeavor to fly around the world. No tangible evidence regarding the disappearance was brought to light however, many theories and stories developed over time.

In a 2013 interview with The New American magazine, Art Crino, longtime Council member of the John Birch Society, shared his brief encounter with the puzzling piece of history. (See the video of the interview below.)

Crino served in the Navy during WWII from 1943-1945, part of that service being in Saipan, an island in the western Pacific Ocean captured by the United States from Japan in 1944. While there, one day on-shore he engaged in conversation with two off-duty Marines. One of the Marines mentioned to Crino a teenage girl on the island who claimed to have witnessed, what was assumed to be, the death of Amelia Earhart.

The man went on to say that in 1937, when the girl was 11 years old, she took a shortcut through a sugarcane field. She hid when she heard Japanese motorcycles approaching and noticed that they had stopped near her. As she watched, she saw a white lady who was blindfolded in one of the sidecars. The men took the woman to an already dug grave and the young girl heard a shot.

The other Marine went on to say that a few days before, their sergeant was on patrol and came across an aluminum twin engine airplane under a canopy. As they ran toward it, they were stopped by guards in odd U.S. uniforms, and made to leave.

This meeting, of course, left Crino with the conclusion that indeed, “Amelia Earhart was buried here, and her airplane is here someplace”.

After the war, Crino remembers writings in the newspapers discrediting the stories told by the Marines. However, in 1990, the television program Unsolved Mysteries traveled to Saipan and interviewed the woman who says she was the 11 year old girl in the story. They then traveled back to the U.S. to interview the Marine sergeant who found the plane. Crino notes that the stories were identical to the ones shared with him in 1944.

In 2008, according to Crino, Earhart’s niece obtained a replica plane from Lockheed and made a trip around the world, at the end of which was a large celebration at the Lockheed plant. A newspaper reporter at the celebration found an engineer who had worked on Earhart’s plane, and had been called out of retirement as a consultant on the replica. The reporter asked the engineer if the plane was an exact duplicate. His answer was yes, but noted the spy camera that had been placed in Earhart’s.

As these stories have emerged, research has become more aggressive, and there seems to be evidence that Earhart did not just disappear, but was captured. It also seems that much of this information was not a “mystery” to all, but has been covered up for reasons still to be known to the average American.

The History Channel’s documentary shows great promise as it presents the “lost evidence” to solve the 80-year-old mystery of a woman who may truly be called a hero.


Today in Aviation: First Female Solo Nonstop Transatlantic Flight

MIAMI – Today in Aviation, Amelia Earhart began her solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1932, becoming the first woman, and the only person since Charles Lindbergh, to accomplish such a feat.

Earhart took off from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada, and landed 15 hours later near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in a red Lockheed Vega. Earhart became a worldwide phenomenon as a result of her pioneering achievement, which demonstrated her bravery and ability as a pilot.

Earhart would later fly from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in the first solo, nonstop flight by a woman across the United States on August 24-25, setting a women’s record of 19 hours and 5 minutes and a distance record of 3,938 kilometers (2,447 miles).

In 1928 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger in the Fokker F.VII Friendship with two male pilots. Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

First Transatlantic Flight

By 1928, Earhart was flying at Dennison Airport and had joined the local National Aeronautic Association, when she was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to be the first woman to travel across the Atlantic as a passenger.

Aboard the Fokker F.VII Friendship, Earhart and pilots Wilmer Stultz and Lou Gordon took off from Trepassey, Newfoundland on June 17, 1928, but despite being guaranteed time at the controls of the tri-motor, she was never given the opportunity to pilot the plane during the 20-hour 40-minute flight to Burry Point, Wales. On the final flight to Southampton, England, she sat in the pilot’s seat for a while.

Her dramatic 1928 flight garnered her international recognition and provided her with the opportunity to pursue a career in aviation. Putnam took over as her manager, and she started lecturing and writing about aviation all over the United States.

Three record-setting women pilots but Amelia Earhart soloed the Atlantic to gain more respect. Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

To Prove Onself

Back in the air, in addition to the group flight across the Atlantic, Earhart became the first woman to fly an autogiro, made by Pitcairn and featuring spinning blades to increase lift and enable short takeoffs and landings, after just 15 minutes of training in 1930.

Earhart set the first autogiro altitude record and completed two cross-country autogiro tours, which included three public “crack-ups,” as she later dubbed them.

Despite being the most successful female pilot at the time, Earhart was not the most professional. The pilot wanted to fly the Atlantic Ocean again, this time alone, in order to prove herself. She believed that a transatlantic flight would earn her recognition, something that other women desired as well.

Ruth Nichols attempted a transatlantic flight in 1931 and crashed in Canada. She was contemplating another attempt when Earhart decided to once more cross the pond, this time alone.

The Solo Transatlantic Flight

On May 20-21, 1932, Earhart battled exhaustion, a leaky fuel tank, and a broken manifold that spewed flames out the side of the engine cowling during her 3,260-kilometer (2,026-mile) nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic. To make matters worse, ice accumulated on the Vega’s wings, causing it to plummet 3,000 feet to just above the waves.

She landed in a farmer’s field in Culmore, near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, after realizing she was on a path far north of France.

The wonder pilot received a ticker-tape parade in New York City and awards in Washington, D.C. after receiving acclaim in London, Paris, and Rome. She was back in the Vega for her transcontinental flight by July and August.

Amelia Earhart. Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Shattering Records and the Glass Ceiling

Amelia Earhart became the first female to travel solo from Hawaii to the United States mainland on January 11–12, 1935, in a Lockheed 5C Vega. While some referred to it as a marketing ploy for Earhart and Hawaiian sugar plantation promoters, it was a risky 3,875-kilometer (2,408-mile) flight that had already claimed the lives of many.

Of that flight, Earhart remarked, “I wanted the flight just to contribute. I could only hope one more passage across that part of the Pacific would mark a little more clearly the pathway over which an air service of the future will inevitably fly.”

Later that year, Earhart set records for flight times between Los Angeles and Mexico City, as well as between Mexico City and Newark, New Jersey. She also finished fifth in the Bendix Race in 1935. Earhart would win the Harmon Trophy twice and be awarded the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross.

Featured image: Amelia Earhart arrives in Culmore, Northern Ireland after her solo flight across the Atlantic after fighting fatigue and aircraft problems. Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Article sources: Women in Aviation and Space History, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum


The Journey Of Amelia Earhart And Howland Island

However, the pair never made it to Howland Island and July 2nd was the last time Earhart and Noonan were seen alive. A little ways off the coast of the Howland Islands, they had lost radio contact with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca. Soon, the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, authorized a two-week search for the two. After a massive two week long search, they were declared lost at sea. It seemed obvious to many people, that Earhart’s plane crashed in the Pacific, but there are also many others who have come up with other theories about what may have happened to Earhart and Noonan (“Amelia


Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart and George Putnam: The publishing tycoon turned Amelia into a record-breaking aviator and a celebrity. He divorced and they wed, but then came the last flight.

America's most famous aviatrix grew up in an environment of wealth and privilege, thanks to her maternal grandfather, Alfred Otis, who was a former judge. As was tradition at that time, she was named after her two grandmothers.

From an early age, Amelia was the ringleader, as her little sister Grace, nicknamed 'Pidge', used to follow her about. The two girls enjoyed climbing trees, hunting rats with rifles and sledding down hills.

Amelia, known as Milly, was 10-years-old when she saw her first airplane at the Iowa State Fair. and said of it: "It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and not at all interesting. "

She was educated at home before starting a public school at the age of 12. By the time she graduated in 1916, she had been to six different schools as her father was an alcoholic and couldn't hold down a job. Throughout her childhood she aspired to work in typically male-dominated industries, keeping a scrapbook of female lawyers, engineers and film directors.

In 1917, Amelia visited her sister in Toronto and after seeing wounded soldiers return from the trenches of WWI she trained as a Red Cross nurse. She cooked meals for soldiers with special dietary requirements and handed out medicine.

She caught Spanish Flu and was hospitalised in November 1918 before being discharged in December that year. One of her symptoms was chronic sinusitis, which would affect her later flying career as she was sometimes forced to wear a bandage on her cheek to cover a small drainage tube.

It wasn't until 1920 that the flying bug bit, when she and her father went to an 'aerial meet' at Daugherty Field in Long Beach. Given a helmet and goggles, she boarded an open-cockpit biplane for a 10-minute flight over Los Angeles. She was enthralled, and flying lessons soon followed.

By October 1922, Amelia began participating in record breaking attempts and set a women's altitude record of 14,000 feet.

In the autumn of 1925, Amelia moved to Boston, and joined the Boston Chapter of the National Aeronautic Association. During this time she took full advantage of the circumstances to promote flying, especially for women, becoming a regular subject of columns in newspapers. The Boston Globe called her "one of the best women pilots in the United States". New York publisher George Putnam, impressed with Earhart, organised for her to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic in a plane on 3 June 1928, albeit as a passenger.

She later married him and Putnam built her public persona to such an extent that, on 20 May 1932, when she successfully crossed the Atlantic alone, she was the most celebrated woman in the world, hailed a National hero, and given numerous awards and ticker tape parades.