Congratulations to the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame 2020 inductees: Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, Patricia "Patty" Wagner, and U.S. Army's First Women Rotary Wing Aviators! Official Press Release
Join us at the Pioneer Hall of Fame Ceremony & Awards on Saturday, March 7, 2020, from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Coronado Ballroom to honor the 2020 inductees. Celebration Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m.
Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt is the commander, Air Force Recruiting Service, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, and made history as the service’s first female fighter pilot. In 2016, she became the first woman to head the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, and in June 2018 she took over Air Force recruiting. Her Air Force career has spanned more than 25 years, and Gen. Leavitt has flown more than 3,00 hours to include 300 hours of combat flight with operational experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, including in Operation Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. She is also dedicated to lifetime learning, having obtained four Master's degrees in addition to her undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering. For the 2019 film "Captain Marvel," Gen. Leavitt worked with the production team to coordinate Air Force assistance in accurately portraying female military pilots.
Patricia “Patty” Jean Wagner is an airshow legend, multi-rated pilot, and a devoted WAI volunteer. In 2019, Patty received the FAA Master Pilot Award for demonstrating professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for 50 years. With her husband, Bob, Patty started an airshow wing-riding act called A Girl on the Wing. Six years after that first flight, the couple decided to go on the airshow circuit full-time, and have flown in all 50 states and performed in 47 states, as well as British Columbia, Quebec, every Canadian province in between, and in South America. After retiring from airshows, Patty volunteers her time to many aviation organizations including the WACO Historical Society.
U.S. Army’s First Women Rotary Wing Aviators is a group of nine female helicopter pilots who represent the first women in rotary wing aviation to serve in the U.S. Army. These four lieutenants and five warrant officers proved women had a place in military aviation and blazed the trail forward for future generations of Army women. During the 1970s, these women displayed the pioneering spirit, persistence, and courage to earn their place in U.S. Army aviation. They include: Lieutenants Sally Murphy, Linda Horan DuMoulin, Susan Dunwoody Schoeck, Beverly Birkholtz, and Warrant Officers Jennie Vallance, Diane Dowd, Susan Boring, Lavern Fransworth, and Mary Reid.