Jean Dougherty Strother, American test pilot

Jean Dougherty Strother, American test pilot

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Credit: SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Jean Dougherty Strother (1921-2013), American test pilot, after breaking the helicopter altitude record in a Bell 47G-3. She is being congratulated by Bell's chief test pilot R.C. Buyers (left) and Bell president E.J. Ducayet (right). Strother received her pilot certificate in 1940. In 1943 she joined the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), during which time she transported cargo, towed targets for anti-aircraft gun practice, and trained male military pilots. WASP was disbanded in 1944. Strother received a PhD in Aviation Education in 1955 from New York University. In 1958 she joined Bell Aircraft where she designed helicopter cockpits and became a test pilot. Photographed in 1961.

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