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Meet Some Of The Women Enshrined In The Ky. Aviation Hall Of Fame

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky in Lexington is home to the Kentucky Aviation Hall Of Fame where more than a dozen women have been enshrined. WUKY's Alan Lytle recently took a trip to the museum and talked with long-time board secretary Marty Schadler. Special thanks to Marty and operations manager Hunter Moore for the museum tour.


See Aviation Museum of Kentucky PowerPoint presentation.

The Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame

Esther Ammerman: served in the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs; later an activist for parity in government benefits for women veterans.

Suzanne Guy Alexander: moved from entry level air traffic controller to lead all controllers the busiest air space over the United States in her career with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Willa Brown Chappell: first woman to hold both an aviation mechanic and pilot license; went on to operate a flight school that trained African-American flyers who became the Tuskegee Airmen; later, the first black women to run for U.S. Congress.

Cokie Greenwood Cocanougher: air racer and flying ambassador for the Kentucky Farm Bureau.

Terri Donner: advocate for professional aviation careers, senior UPS pilot, flew first mother and son flight under FAA transport pilot regulations.

Mary Edith Engle: served in the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs); later active in the 99s, the International Organization of Women Pilots.

Amy McGrath Henderson: graduate of the US Naval Academy who became the first female US Marine fighter pilot to fly the F-18 Hornet in combat; later served on the faculty at the Academy.

Evelyn Johnson: nicknamed “Mama Bird” for the number of pilots she trained (9,000+) and the number of flight hours obtained through her career (over 57,000 hours); 1974 FAA Instructor of the Year. Also inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Sheri Coin Marshall: despite a grievous loss of an arm, went on to obtain licenses and ratings to be a commercial pilot and to train and qualify other airline pilots.

Betty Hadden Moseley: air racer and promoter of general aviation who went on to consult with the FAA on safe flight operations; later became first women to fly in Kentucky Air Guard fighter jet.

Shelba Proffitt: a rocket scientist who contributed to the development of air defense missile systems; recognized by the Pentagon for her contributions to our country’s defense as a civilian.

Suzanne Weaver-Smith: professor, NASA program grant manager at UK, and developer of drone aircraft for transport to and use on Mars.

Dr. Wilma J. Walker: structured the academic program for Kentucky’s first and only four-year Aviation college degree program at Eastern Kentucky University.


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