Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Katherine Stinson

  • Became one of the first women in the United States to receive a pilot’s license in 1912 at the young age of 19.
  • Established a flying business with her mother in San Antonio, Texas and became one of the most well-known flying schools at the time..
  • Rose to national prominence during her exhibition flights across the United States and, in 1915, Became the first woman to perform a loop.
  • Pioneered skywriting when she attached flares to her plane and wrote “CAL” across the California sky in 1915.
  • Organized a six-month tour of China and Japan in 1917 to demonstrate flying.
  • Set a record in 1917 with a 9-hour 10-minute nonstop flight from San Diego to San Francisco. In 1918, she set another duration record when she attempted a mail flight from Chicago to New York but was forced to ground her Curtiss airplane after it ran out of fuel.
  • Became the first woman Air Mail pilot in 1918.
  • Petitioned the US government to join the Air Service as combat pilots in World War I but the government declined her and her sister’s request. Katherine made fundraising flights for the Red Cross and Liberty Loan bond drives that established her in aerial public relations. Her fundraising flight raised $2 million after her multi-stop flight from Rochester to Washington DC. She became the only pilot ever to knit for the Red Cross while flying solo in an open cockpit airplane.

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