This collection includes six interviews detailing the history of women pilots in Montana. The interviews were conducted in 1991 by Margaret Eloise Sagmiller. Each interviewee discusses her reasons for becoming a pilot, the Ninety-Nines—an international organization of women pilots—the Powder Puff Derby (now called the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race), and her flying experiences. The original interviews are held as Oral History collection OH 262 at Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, the University of Montana-Missoula.
This collection includes 6 interviews.
Florence Majerus discusses growing up on a ranch in Idaho during the 1920s, getting married in Alaska, and working for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for ten years. She describes moving with her husband to Montana and becoming a pilot after the end of World War Two. Majerus also discusses her involvement in the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, the effects of the Great Depression, and her experience as a ham radio operator.
Joan Orley describes how her journey to becoming a pilot in the early 1960s, including her practice flights. She discusses her participation in the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, and the Powder Puff Derby, now called the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race.
Louise Butcher discusses her decision to become a pilot and her participation in the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, and the Flying Farmers. She describes her experiences with the Powder Puff Derby, now called the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race, flying conventions, and several experiences she has had while flying an airplane. Butcher also discusses working as a school teacher, her son’s medical care, commercial flying, and her experiences with flying accidents.
Margaret Goldhahn discusses her career as a school teacher before joining the Women’s Air Force Pilot Program during World War Two. She describes the logistics of becoming a United States Air Force pilot; the early days of the Women’s Air Force Pilot Program, her fellow pilots, and the make and model of planes she flew. She also discusses flying in active service, the difficulty for women in the Air Force, and her life after the end of World War Two. Goldhahn also discusses the development of airfields and airports in eastern Montana.
Martha Volkomener discusses flying with the United States Air Force and describes a recent flying experience into Seattle, Washington.
Vivienne Schrank discusses her family history, including the daily life of her grandmother, her parents, and her experiences living in Jordan, Montana. She describes small town life, writing and submitting short fiction for publication, and her father’s opera house. Schrank also discusses her experiences flying, including participating in air races and the formation of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization for women pilots, in Montana.