This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Wednesday, December 12, 2018 10:52 AM

1904 - Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was born in Canton, China. At 17, she would immigrate to the U.S. West Coast to live with her father and, soon after, became the first Chinese-American woman to earn her pilot's license. She learned to perform stunts, flying acrobatic loops and barrel rolls at county fairs along the California coast. Through the 1930s, she barnstormed, flew her open cockpit plane upside-down, and mastered spiral dives at a time when there were only about 200 women pilots--just 1% of U.S. licensed pilots.

1998 - Vernice Armour was commissioned a U.S. Marines Second Lieutenant. After attending flight school in Texas and Florida, she would earn her wings in July 2001, ranking No. 1 among the last 200 graduates. She would become the Marine Corps' first female African-American pilot.

2003 - The U.S. Air and Trade Show, presenter of the annual Dayton Air Show, announced a Celebration of Women in Aviation as a feature attraction for the 2004 Vectren Dayton Air Show held in July. The event would include all of North America’s top women aerobatic performers--Patty Wagstaff, Julie Clark, Debbie Gary, Mary Dilda, Jacquie Warda, and Canada’s Melanie Will. The all-women skydiving team Misty Blues and Pepsi Skywriter Suzanne Asbury-Oliver would also take to the air.