Women in Aviation International has chosen a slate of military aviators for its 2016 International Pioneer Hall of Fame. It includes include 10 women who were the first female officers to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program.
“The women who are being inducted this year don’t have names that most people will recognize, but each of them have led lives of great accomplishment while paving the way for other women to follow,” WAI President Peggy Chabrian said in a Nov. 30 announcement. “There are no better role models for our members than this year’s group of inductees.”
The 10 women from the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program Class 77-08 received their silver wings on Sept. 2, 1977, at Williams Air Force Base in Mesa, Arizona. They completed their training with 36 male colleagues. They are 1st Lt. Victoria Crawford, Capt. Mary Donahue, Capt. Connie Engel, Capt. Kathy La Sauce, 2nd Lt. Mary Livingston, 2nd Lt. Kathleen Rambo, Capt. Susan Rogers, 1st Lt. Sandra Scott, 2nd Lt. Carol Scherer, and Capt. Christine Schott.
Joining the Air Force honorees is Brenda E. Robinson, who was one of 10 women to enter U.S. Navy boot camp followed by naval flight training in 1977. She was the fifty-ninth woman to enter naval flight training, and in 1980 she received her wings of gold. Robinson was the Navy’s first African-American female pilot and its first African-American female flight instructor at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.
WAI also will induct Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger, who served as commander, Air Force Material Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Wolfenbarger has held several positions in the F-22 System Program Office at Wright-Patterson, served as the F-22 Lead Program element monitor at the Pentagon, and was the B-2 system program director for Wright-Patterson’s Aeronautical System Center.
The 2016 inductees will be honored at the twenty-seventh annual International Women in Aviation Conference, to be held March 10 through 12, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee. Advance registration for the conference is available online.