This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Sunday, March 18, 2018 10:02 AM

1971 - USAF Captain Marcelite C. Jordon became the first woman aircraft maintenance officer after completing the Aircraft Maintenance Officer School at Chanute AFB in Illinois. She would also be the first woman deputy commander for maintenance and one of the first two women air officers to command at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

1975 - French test pilot and the first woman to fly over the Andes, Adrienne Bolland died at age 78. At age 24, Adrienne was one of the first women to cross the English Channel in 1920. The next year, she started working as a test pilot for the French aircraft manufacturer Caudron, who hired a young woman to show how easy it was to handle their new G3 model.

1995 - Wally Funk was inducted into the Aviation Women's Hall of Fame at the 6th annual Women in Aviation conference in St. Louis. The youngest of the “Mercury 13,” a program for potential female astronauts in the 1960s, Wally and 25 others were tested to see if women measured up to the rigorous mental and physical tests that the Mercury 7 astronauts experienced. Despite high scores, with Wally scoring higher than John Glenn on two tests, NASA abruptly cancelled the program.

1995 - Astronomer Dr. Tamara (Tammy) Elizabeth Jernigan, 36, landed aboard space shuttle Endeavour at Edwards Air Force Base in California. During the record-setting 16-day mission, she served as payload commander and conducted observations to study the far ultraviolet spectra of faint astronomical objects and the polarization of ultraviolet light coming from hot stars and distant galaxies. This 399-hour, 9-minute mission was her third space flight. She would perform one more flight and log over 1,277 hours in space.

2010 - Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Plans, Gail McGill, presented Lt. Col. Jill Long the 2010 Women's History Month Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Role Model Award during the annual Women's History Month Observance Program at the Pentagon. Jill was one of the first women to cross-flow from heavies to fighter aircraft, going from KC-135 Stratotankers to becoming one of the first female A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots. She was also one of only seven female American air show performers.