The Battle Lost and Won
Marjorie Stinson,
Holland's Magazine, January 1918

Marjorie Stinson and her sister Katherine were pioneer women aviators. The Stinson sisters operated a flight school in San Antonio on the site of the present-day San Antonio airport. In 1915, Marjorie Stinson became the only woman in the U.S. Aviation Reserve Corps, and in 1916 she began training cadets from the Royal Canadian Flying Corps for service in World War I. Her teaching methods earned her the nickname, "The Flying Schoolmarm."

Holland's magazine profiled Stinson in 1918 in an article entitled "A Young Girl's Perilous Bit." Holland's reported that "Little Miss Stinson, young as she is, has brains in her head which she uses to her own great benefit and also to the benefit of her country."

After the war, Stinson barnstormed the country doing stunt flying at county fairs and airports. She retired from flying in 1928 and became a draftsman for the U.S. Navy's Aeronautical Division. She retired from her job in 1945 and devoted the rest of her life to researching the history of aviation. She died in 1975.

During World War II, Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) were trained at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, for duty throughout the United States. WASPs freed men for combat by ferrying military aircraft, transporting personnel and medical patients, towing aerial gunnery targets, testing aircraft in battle simulation, giving instrument instruction, and testing damaged aircraft. Over 1000 women served as WASPs, and 38 were killed in the line of duty. Despite their service, the WASPs were considered civilian employees and were not awarded veterans status until 1977. The unit was disbanded near the end of the war. Not until the 1970s would another woman be allowed to pilot a military aircraft.

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Marjorie Stinson

Marjorie Stinson, Holland's Magazine, January 1918, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

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Page last modified: August 24, 2011