This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Wednesday, October 17, 2018 8:37 AM

1956 - Mae Carol Jemison was born in Decatur, Alabama. She would become a physician and the first African-American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. Inspired by African-American actress Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Commander Uhura), Mae was turned down on her first application to NASA, but was accepted in 1987, becoming one of the fifteen candidates accepted from over 2,000 applicants.

1997 - 1st Lt Karen Fuller Tribbett received her “Wings of Gold,” becoming the first female strike pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps. She would serve 13 years of active duty service as an F/A-18 pilot and then go on to become a demonstration pilot for Gulfstream Aerospace, flying G450 and G550 aircraft. She would continue her service as a Marine Corps reservist.

2009 - Lulu Greenwood “Cokie” Cocanougher was among three inductees to the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame in Lexington. The Fayette County native took her first flight lesson in 1938, and went on to accumulate over 5,000 flight hours, many as a flight instructor. She trained military and civilian pilots during World War II, and was given special permission to fly into Brooks Field, Texas in 1941 to pin pilot wings on her son. She was only the second woman cleared to operate from an Army Air Force base (the first was Anne Lindbergh).