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Jacqueline Cochran

Museum of Florida History

Born in Florida on May 11, 1906, Jacqueline Cochran, was an esteemed pilot and entrepreneur. In 1932 she received her pilot's license and later wrote to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to encourage the use of female pilots in times of national emergency. Cochran became well known due to her style and her ability to set and break records. By 1942 Army General Henry "Hap" Arnold requested she organize the Women's Flying Training Detachment. This organization was a precursor to the civilian Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), of which Cochran was the director. The WASP were not considered to be active military and did not receive the same benefits or distinctions as men even though they flew some 60 million miles during World War II. In total, thirty-eight WASP gave their lives while contributing to war efforts. Cochran continued to fly for decades after the war, breaking many records, including becoming the first woman to break the sound barrier. Learn more about the contributions of women during World War II at the Museum of Florida History.


More info:  

Women in Aviation and Space History - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

“WASP: Breaking Ground for Today's Female USAF Pilots.” National Museum of the US Air Force™,2015.

“Women with Wings: The 75-Year-Legacy of the WASP.” National Air and Space Museum, August 5, 2018.