World War II United States Army Air Corps Pilot, Pioneering Aviatrix. Born in DeFuniak Springs in West Florida, to Ira and Mary Pittman. She grew up in poverty, never owning a pair of shoes until she was nine. Her poverty and lack of education did not deter her. In 1932 she earned her pilot‘s license, and in 1934 she entered her first air race. She participated the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race for the first time in 1935 and won the race and set the transcontinental speed record in 1938. She married Floyd Bostwick Odlum in Kingman, Arizona on May 11, 1936. During World War II, Jackie served abroad in the British Air Transport Auxiliary as a flight captain. She later returned to the United States and ran the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program. In 1941 General Hap Arnold asks her to go to England to study the program of the women pilots flying with the Royal Air Force. In June, 1941 she became the first woman to pilot a bomber across the North Atlantic. For her work in support of the war, she received the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945. After the war, Jackie continued to participate in air races and to establish new transcontinental and international records. In 1953 she became the first woman to exceed the sound barrier. She still holds more international speed, distance and altitude records than any other pilot, male or female. In 1964, she set the standing woman's record for world speed. She was promoted to colonel in the reserves, from which she retired in 1970. Jackie was inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame in 1965 and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1971 in Dayton, Ohio. She was the first woman to be so honored. Jackie's achievements in aviation can be seen today in the National Aviation Museum in Dayton, Ohio. She died at the age of 74 in her home in Indio, California.
Bio by: Shock
COLONEL U.S. AIR FORCE RESERVE
LEADER WOMEN'S AIR FORCE SERVICE PILOTS W.W.II
"FIRST WOMAN IN THE WORLD TO FLY FASTER THAN SOUND"