(January 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926)
was the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from France’s well-known Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation in just seven months. Coleman specialized in stunt flying and parachuting, earning a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks. She remains a pioneer of women in the field of aviation.
A pilot that successfully flew across the Atlantic Ocean. She is highly skilled as a pilot and can
through sudden obstacles or changes in the weather. She is preparing to fly around the world to challenge for a new flight record.
Sanke card 511 showing the star performers of Jasta 11 taken at Roucourt, in mid-April 1917, Pictured are (L-R) Sebastian Festner (12 victories), Karl-Emil Schaefer (30 victories), Manfred von Richthofen (80 victories), Lothar von Richthofen (40 victories) and Kurt Wolff (33 victories). This photo was taken in the heyday of Jasta 11. The jovial expressions on their faces is indicative of the fertile hunting grounds they found in their operating area over the Western Front and the vast superiority of their Albatros D.III fighters over the majority of their adversaries machines.
These men accounted for 83 enemy aircraft in April 1917 alone.
Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) was the first female pilot of African American descent. In
1921, she became the first person of African American and Native American
descent to obtain an international pilot license.
She was motivated by stories of World War I pilots, and travelled to
Paris to learn to fly, as no aviation school in the US accepted either women or
black people. She became a media sensation on her return to her home country,
and became known as “Queen Bess”, performing daredevil stunts at airshows.
Sadly, she died in an accident before she could fulfil her dream of opening an
aviation school for black students.