Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Louise McPhetridge Thaden

  • Set a women’s altitude record of 20,260 feet in 1928.
  • She set a new women’s endurance record of 22 hours, 3 minutes and 12 seconds in 1929.
  • Was the fourth woman transport pilot in the United States.
  • Became the first woman to win a national air race when she won the Women’s Air Derby flying from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio (a distance of almost 2,500 miles).
  • Set an endurance record in 1932 by flying a Curtiss Thrush biplane for 196 hours over Long Island, New York with Francis Marsalis. During the eight days, Thaden made seventy-eight air-to-air refueling contacts and sometimes made live radio broadcasts to a national listening audience.
  • Co-founded the Ninety-Nines for woman pilots in 1929 with Amelia Earhart (enshrined 1968) and Ruth Nichols (enshrined 1992). Thaden served as Vice President 1931-1936 and Treasurer 1930-1934.
  • Won the Bendix trophy in 1936 with Blanch Noyes as co-pilot in a Beech Staggerwing C17R. She was the first woman to do so and received the Harmon Trophy.
  • Was active with the Civil Air Patrol during World War II and served with Ruth Nichols (enshrined 1992) in Relief Wings.

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