Top Row: Maggie Gee
Bottom Row: Jerrie Cobb, “Millie” Rexroat, and Janet Bragg
- Maggie Gee (1923 – 2013) was mathematician, computer scientist, nuclear physicist, and an American aviator who served in World War II. Maggie was a Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) in WWII where she ferried military aircraft and trained male pilots. After earning a degree in physics from University of California, Berkeley Maggie worked for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory a research and development institution for science and technology. At LLNL Maggie researched cancer, fusion energy, nuclear weapons design, and other related fields.
Maggie was an activist for the social progress in California, receiving numerous awards from the Democratic Party. In 2009, Maggie Gee was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, along with the other surviving WASPs, by President Barack Obama. Read more about Maggie Gee here: http://www.contracostatimes.com/columns/ci_13318138?nclick_check=1
2. Ola Mildred Rexroat (1917) member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, was the only female Native American to serve in the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots in World War II. As a WASP “Millie” towed targets for gunnery students. After WWII, Millie joined the Airforce Reserves, serving for 10 years. Millie was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, along with the other surviving WASPs, by President Barack Obama and also inducted into the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame. Read more about Ola Mildred Rexroat here: http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/last-surviving-south-dakota-wasp-sexy-rexy-recalls-world-war/article_a61be93c-ed44-11df-8e3e-001cc4c002e0.html
3. Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb (1931) is a pioneer aviator, who held multiple flight records, and underwent testing with the Mercury 13 for astronaut training in 1960. Jerrie Cobb first piloted a plane at age 12. At 19 she was teaching men to fly and at 21 was flying military fights and four-engine bombers to be used by the Air Force. In 1960, she was recruited for a privately funded endeavor to trained women for the NASA astronaut program.
Jerry became an aviation humanitarian, flying supplies to remote tribes in South America. She has been honored by Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, France, and Peru for her humanitarian work, and was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Read more about Jerrie Cobb here: https://usao.edu/alumni/cobb-jerrie-2003
4. Janet Bragg (1907 – 1993) was an American aviator and the first African American women to hold a commercial pilot license. She was the first black women at enroll in the Curtiss Wright School of Aeronautics in Chicago. She helped buy the school’s first airplane. As African American pilots were not allowed to fly out of white owned airfields, she helped build the school their own airfield. She applied to join the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots but was denied because she was black. The military nurse corp also rejected her because she was black. She was denied a pilot license in Alabama because of her race, but finally got licensed, a year later, in Illinois. Read more about Janet Bragg here: http://parentseyes.arizona.edu/esteban/bios_med-legal_bragg.html