Ruth Elder

Ruth Elder

Anniston, Calhoun County, Alabama, USA
Death 9 Oct 1977 (aged 75)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Her ashes were combined with those of her final husband's (Ralph King) and were scattered from an Air Force plane, over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Memorial ID 68505475 · View Source
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Pilot, Actress. Known as “Miss America of Aviation,” she was the first woman to attempt a flight across the Atlantic from the United States to Europe, just five months after Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic. Her airplane was a new Stinson 'Detroiter' - a single-engine, high-wing monoplane that she called “American Girl.” On October 11, 1927, she and her co-pilot, Captain George Haldeman, took off for Paris from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York. Stormy weather and a leaking oil line forced them to ditch in the Atlantic about 300 miles short of the Azores. Ruth had spent nine hours at the controls. The two aviators were rescued by a Dutch oil tanker, the “Barendrecht." As her plane was being hoisted on deck, it caught fire and was totally destroyed. Though they did not successfully reach their destination, they did fly about 2600 miles nonstop. This flight established a new over-water endurance flight record and also was the longest flight ever made by a woman at that time. New York City honored them with a ticker-tape parade when they returned. In 1929 she flew in the first Women's Air Derby, competing with 20 other female aviators of the time including Amelia Earhart. This nine-day race from Santa Monica to Cleveland was later dubbed the "Powder Puff Derby." Two-and-a-half months after the Derby, Ruth and the other Derby participants formed a group called the “Ninety-Nines” – a group of 99 licensed women fliers in America who advocated women's involvement in flying. She continued as a member until she died. Ms. Elder was a silent film actress who starred with the popular Richard Dix in the 1928 film Moran of the Marines and also appeared in Fashion News. She was married seven times, to C.E. Moody, Lyle Womack, Walter Camp Jr., G.K. Thackery, Arnold Gillespie, and twice to Ralph King.

Bio by: Star Kline

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iowa Owl
  • Added: 17 Apr 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 68505475
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ruth Elder (8 Sep 1902–9 Oct 1977), Find a Grave Memorial no. 68505475, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered, who reports a Her ashes were combined with those of her final husband's (Ralph King) and were scattered from an Air Force plane, over the Golden Gate Bridge..