Jacqueline Cochran 1906 - 1980 PIONEERING PILOT The first woman to break the sound barrier, she might have been the first woman astronaut — but apparently NASA wasn't ready: Thirteen women, including Cochran, were invited to train, then disinvited in 1961 (though some outperformed male trainees).
WASP pilot Deanie Parish in front of her P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft, circa early 1940s (tyndall aaf, fl) (deanie looks almost as if she's wearing a marine/navy cloth cap here. i guess that's possible given that it's florida)
On Wednesday, more than 1,000 women who flew military planes during World War II will be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. They were known as WASP, Women Airforce Service Pilots, and at the time of their service, they were civilians. They waited three decades to be granted military status. And history nearly forgot them.