Saluting the ‘Pioneer Pilots’ |

Saluting the ‘Pioneer Pilots’

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Ruth Brown and Betty Pfister for the long overdue recognition of their service to our country during World War II. The two of them were truly pioneers for the female pilots that followed them. From the early days of the WASP it took years before women were accepted as commercial airline pilots.

My commercial pilot’s check ride in June 1970 (though I only flew as a private pilot) was with Emily Howell Warner, a flight instructor in Denver. Three years later In 1973, and 28 years after the end of World War II, she became the first female pilot to be hired by a scheduled U.S. air carrier, Frontier Airlines, and then the first female captain in 1976. Emily’s uniform hangs today in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Without doubt it was ladies such as Ruth and Betty who paved the way for Emily and the many female airline captains that followed her who are flying today.

But Betty, there is one comment I have to make from the Aspen Times story. You never polished the propeller on my plane after you flew with me. Then again, it wasn’t a P39 named “Galloping Gertie!”

Congratulations again to both of you.

Peter Greene


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