Women in Aviation International (WAI) has selected the 2017 inductees into its International Pioneer Hall of Fame. These women will be honored at the 28th annual International Women in Aviation Conference, which will be held March 2-4, 2017, at Disney’s Coronado Spring Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The ceremony will take place at the closing banquet on Saturday, March 4, 2017.
"Honoring these women and chronicling their achievements is an important mission for Women in Aviation International,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. "Not only have these women had great individual accomplishments but they have paved the way for other women to have similar success.”
The 2017 Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees are:
The First Class of Women Naval Aviators includes Judith Neuffer, Barbara Allen, Jane Skiles, Ana Marie Scott, Joellen Drag and Rosemary Merims. In January 1973, eight female trainees were selected to train as Naval aviators. The women reported to Pensacola for flight training in May 1973. Two women were dropped from the program and six women went on to earn their “Wings of Gold” and became the first women to be designated full-fledged military pilots. Their success made it possible for subsequent female Naval aviators.
Lt. General Stayce Harris is the highest ranking African-American woman military pilot in all the United States armed forces. She is the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and Director, Air Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. She also serves as Deputy Chairman of the Air Force Council, and is the Air Force accreditation official for the international Corps of Air Attachés. Lt. General Harris has logged more than 2,500 hours in military aircraft including the C-130H, KC-135R, C-141B/C, T-38 and T-37.
Elizabeth “Betty” Everts Greene (deceased) is a trailblazer in humanitarian and missionary flying. She learned to fly in 1936, served as a WASP during World War II and went on to help found the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). Today, the MAF operates 135 aircraft in 33 countries, flying five million nautical miles a year to provide medical care, disaster relief and participate in community development.
The Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to honor women who have made significant contributions as record setters, pioneers, or innovators. Special consideration is given to individuals or groups who have helped other women be successful in aviation or opened doors of opportunity for other women. Each year, the organization solicits nominations from throughout the aviation industry for the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame.
Note to Editors: The 28th annual International Women in Aviation Conference will be held March 2-4, 2017, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. For more information, visit wai.org. Use #WAI17