January 12, 1933 The ocean liner SS Lurline left New York City for her maiden voyage. She subsequently traveled to San Francisco via the Panama Canal and then to Sydney, Australia, and other ports in that region of the world.  This luxurious ship was the third Matson Lines vessel named Lurline. She also had the... Continue Reading →

During World War II, Thomas “Tom” Oxendine became the first Native American to be commissioned as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. Oxendine was a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Most of the members of this tribe have lived in Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke, and Scotland counties in North Carolina. Oxendine was born... Continue Reading →

October 25, 2016 Robert Anderson “Bob” Hoover, a longtime pilot with a wide range of aviation achievements, died in Los Angeles at the age of 94. He had been born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1922. Hoover learned to fly at Berry Field (present-day Nashville International Airport). He worked at a grocery store to help pay... Continue Reading →

NASA astronaut and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) pilot George D. Zamka was born to a Colombian mother and Polish father in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1962. Zamka grew up living at one point or another in each of the following places: New York City; the village of Irvington, New York; the city of Medellin,... Continue Reading →

Francisco D. Mercado, Jr., who served in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II, was born in East Los Angeles, California, in 1920. As a Hispanic American, he experienced one of his most egregious encounters with prejudice after graduating from high school in 1939. Having shown both a strong aptitude and interest... Continue Reading →

July 9, 1910 Just a couple of days before his 21st birthday, Walter Brookins broke the world’s altitude record for fixed-wing aircraft when he attained a height of 6,175 feet (1,882 meters) while piloting a Wright biplane in the skies above Atlantic City, New Jersey. This early-evening flight also marked the first time that a... Continue Reading →

In 1988, Sakhile Nyoni-Reiling became the first female pilot in the Republic of Botswana when she began flying planes for that African country’s state-owned airline Air Botswana. While born in the neighboring country of Zimbabwe, she has spent most of her life in Botswana. Nyoni’s enthusiasm for flying took root at an early age. She... Continue Reading →

Madine Pulaski had a passion for airborne travel that took her from serving as a flight attendant to becoming a versatile pilot. A member of the Cherokee Nation, she was born as Etha Madine Waltrip in 1936 in the community of Eldon, Oklahoma. When Pulaski was in the eighth grade, she and her family moved to... Continue Reading →

August 29, 1911 Hilda Hewlett became the first British woman to earn an airplane pilot’s license. Hewlett, who was 47 at the time, received certificate number 122 from the Royal Aero Club after she completed a test flight at Brooklands Aerodrome near the town of Weybridge in southeastern England. Hewlett had been born in Central... Continue Reading →

August 22, 1882 French aviation pioneer Raymonde de Laroche was born in Paris. While originally known as Élise Raymonde Deroche, she adopted Raymonde de Laroche as her name by the time she turned 20 and had begun an acting career. She enjoyed playing sports as a child, but as a young adult, she acquired an... Continue Reading →

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