Oct. 1, 1919 Melstone Musselshell County Montana, USA
Apr. 3, 1944 Allen Cumberland County Pennsylvania, USA
Called "Sharpie" by her friends. Subject of public television documentary, "Sharpie: Born to Fly." One of the first female pilots in America. She was, in the late 1930's, the youngest aviatrix in the nation. Learned to fly in her home town, Ord, Nebraska. Made her first solo flight at age 15, and got her private pilot's license on her 17th birthday, and a year later had a commercial transport pilot's license, and began flying mail between towns in central Nebraska, as well as barnstorming rodeos and country fairs. She taught flying in South Dakota and California. Then, in 1942 she was one of the first 23 women chosen for Army Air Corps' new Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Her military task was to fly newly built military aircraft from West Coast manufacturers to the Eastern US for shipment to war zones. On April 3, 1944 an engine blew up in a new P-38 she was piloting over Pennsylvania. It crashed. She was killed. The airport at Ord, Nebraska is called Sharp Field in her memory. Nebraska's main newspaper, The Omaha World-Herald, calls her "...one of the most memorable Nebraskans of the past century" (editorial page, September 10, 2000).