The very beginning!!

Jeanne Geneviève Garnerin (1775–1847)

was in born in Paris, France.
Jeanne Labrosse sawAndré-Jacques Garnerin’s first hydrogen balloon flight and parachute descent at Parc Monceau, Paris on October 22, 1797. She became his pupil and wife. In 1798, she became the first woman balloon pilot.
Just one year later, she became the first woman to parachute, falling from  900 meters (3,000 feet). She went on to complete many balloon and parachute drops in towns across France and Europe.

Élisa Garnerin

was a French balloonist. She was the niece of the pioneer parachutist André-Jacques Garnerin, and took advantage of his name and of the novelty of a woman performing what were at the time extremely daring feats. She was a determined businesswoman, and at times got into trouble with the police for the disturbance her performances caused. Between 1815 and 1836, she toured France, Spain, Italy and other parts of Europe, making 39 professional parachute drops.

Adelaide Bassett

was the wife of Henry Bassett and was a smoke balloonist in the early 1890s as a student of Captain Orton.
She made about 30 ascents in her career and probably completed the first “double-aeronaut” para-jump in Europe.
The Aberdeen (Scotland) Weekly Journal, 6 August 1895:
Female Parachutist Killed
‘Miss Adelaide Bassett, a London parachutist, was killed in Peterborough yesterday evening. In connection with a fete there had been arranged a balloon ascent and a double parachute descent by Captain Orton and Miss Bassett. The latter’s parachute was broken by a telephone wire on the balloon being released, and as she had consequently no means by which to descend, she jumped from the balloon to the ground and was killed.’

Jenny Rumary Van Tassel

was no soft, timid, shrinking wife of balloonist "Professor" Park Van Tassel. Described as  big, young, handsome and blonde; on the 4th of July 1888, Jenny, escaped from the detective who had been sent to stop her, climbed into husband's balloon gondola, rose to  6,000' above Los Angeles and then, without hesitation, launched herself and her 28' parachute into the air.
"It is only a question of nerve," said Mrs. Van Tassell, when asked about her exploit. "I made up my mind that I could jump from a balloon  and when I make up my mind to do a thing I do it. So, when we were over a clear place, they opened the valve to hold the balloon stationary and give the 'chute a start to open a little, and then I said good-by and jumped. I dropped thirty feet like a shot before the parachute was well open, there was no shock, and I felt no great strain on my arms. I often dreamed of falling immense distances, and I wanted to see how it really was. I ain't exactly a bird nor an angel, but it's just about what I imagine the sensation of flying is. It was beautiful! Though I went through that 6000 feet in five and one-quarter minutes, I didn't seem to be going fast, and never lost my breath. I swung hundreds of feet one side and the other for the first 4000 feet, but after that I just floated down an incline to the ground, and alighted with no more shock than would be caused by jumping off a chair. I wasn't the least bit frightened from the start. One arm was strapped to the parachute, and there was a belt around my waist, so I could not fall away from the parachute. I only thought about my landing, whether I would drop on a big tree that was just under me, or on a house that I saw. I luckily missed both. I was anxious to get a reputation, and I did, and I expect to make a fortune by jumping from balloons."
On  March 16, 1892, in Dacca, East Bengal, she died while landing, after she stuck in a tree at Ramna. She is buried Narinda Christian graveyard in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Park Van Tassel continued his barnstorming career after the  incident. He died in Oakland, Calif., on October 24, 1930, at the age of 78.

Marie Marthe Camille Desinge du Gast

was born in Paris. A balloonist, parachute jumper, fencer, tobogganist, skier, rifle and pistol shot, horse trainer, as well as a concert pianist and singer.  "Madame" du Gast and her husband, Jules Crespin, were enthusiastic hot air balloonists; she flew with the  pilot Louis Capazza. In 1895 she jumped from a hot air balloon at an elevation of 610 meters (2,000 ft) using a parachute. The balloon was one of two used to publicize her husband's department store, Dufayel, at public events; he insisted that she use her maiden name, du Gast, to avoid her endeavor appearing as a publicity stunt.
She was the second woman to compete in an international motor race and was one of a trio of pioneering French female motoring celebrities of the Belle Epoque.
Surviving an assassination attempt by her daughter and co-conspirators around 1910, she became a recuse until her death in Paris in April 1942. She is buried in the Crespin family tomb at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

Käthe Paulus

is said to be the inventor of the folded parachute. She earned her money as an acrobat of the air. She dropped from a hot-air balloon and landed under a parachute. She  developed a parachute pack, designed to be worn by pilots. The Prussian Army didn’t show any interest in this before 1916; the common practice was for pilots to shoot themselves or they would jump to their death. Their motto was: "Parachutes are for cowards". The War Department came to realize that the training was too costly and time-consuming to lose these pilots. Käthe Paulus produced round 7000 parachutes and received the Service Cross for her contribution. Among those attending her funeral were renown female pilots such as Elly Beinhorn and Hann Reitsch, appreciating her pioneering achievements for females in aviation.

Aliss Ruby Deveau

was born in Germany, came to this country at the age of four, and was orphaned at an early age. Ruby made her first parachute jump in 1892 at 15 years of age. Billed as the “Queen of the Clouds”, Miss Deveau made 175 jumps; on her last parachute jump during 1895 in London, Ontario, she drifted into a chimney and broke  her back. She recovered after spending months in a hospital.
She became a legal stenographer. She married David W. Owen in 1919 and moved to Missonla Montana in 1925. Last information available from 1964, she was living at the Hillside Manor in Missoula and following the activities of the Missoula Forest Service smoke jumpers.

Edith Maud Cook
(1878 – 1910)

was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, the daughter of James Wells Cook, a confectioner and Mary Ann Baker. She was a pupil at the Blériot flying school and at Claude Grahame-White's school at Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques in 1909 or early 1910, where she learned to fly and became the first British woman to pilot a plane. She died from injuries sustained following a jump from a balloon at Coventry on 9 July 1910. Her parachute collapsed after a gust of wind blew her on to a factory roof. It was reported that another gust of wind caught the parachute and she fell from the factory roof sustaining serious injuries. She died on the 14th, and her death certificate states the cause of her death as "Internal injuries, broken pelvis and arm, caused by a fall from a parachute. Accidental." Apparently Dolly Shepherd had been due to make the jump at Coventry but Cook took her place.

Elizabeth Mary (Lily) Cove

born  to a working-class family in London’s east end, threw in her lot with ‘Captain’ Frederick Bidmead, and ended up dying a dramatic death. Rising in a trapeze attached to a balloon from what was then the football field on West Lane, Haworth,  she tried to make the ascent but the balloon  would not rise, a tiny tear was found in the fabric. The descent was postponed until two days later, Monday June 11, 1906.
This time the balloon was able to lift. Lily theatrically tore off her skirt, revealing bloomers beneath, then strapped herself into her harness, and began to ascend on the trapeze. The wind began to blow her towards Ponden, and as Lily neared the vast expanse of Ponden Reservoir, she was seen to shrug out of her harness and plummet to the ground in a field behind Ponden Hall. Although there was  speculation that Lily may have committed suicide, it is likely that her known fear of drowning prompted her to try to escape before she was over the water. A Mr Cowling Heaton,  seeing her falling body, rushed to the spot and gathered her  into his arms, saying, ‘My good woman, if you can speak, do’. Lily’s eyes were open, there was no answer, and she died immediately from multiple fractures and internal injuries. She was just 21.

Elizabeth 'Dolly' Shepherd

in the same year the Wright Brothers flew, volunteered to take the place of Buffalo Bill Cody's wife during his Wild West Show in London putting on a blindfold to have the showman shoot a plaster egg from her head. The next year, Cody expressing his thanks, took the 17 year old Shepherd to Auguste Gaudron's aerial workshop. Using the new stage name of Dolly, began doing exhibition parachute jumps from so-called smoke balloons. Despite a number of close calls, she not only survived an eight year career as Britain's "Queen of the Air", but a few years before her death in 1983, (at age 96), she flew with the Red Devils, whose modern parachuting techniques she greatly admired.

Bessie Coleman

was born January 26th in Atlanta, Texas to Susan and George Coleman, who were cotton farmers.  George left Bessie, her mother and 12 siblings when she was 9. Bessie completed all eight grades in a one-room school and at 12, began attending the Missionary Baptist Church in Texas; after graduation she attended the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University.
At the age of 23, Bessie Coleman went to Chicago to stay with her brother who one day said “I know something that you’ll never do – Fly!” Bessie decided right then and there that she would become the first black woman to earn a pilot's license. United States flying schools denied her the chance so she taught herself French and enrolled in France's Ecole d’Aviation des Freres Cadron et Le Crotoy of Gaston and Rene’ Caudron, earning her license in just seven months. On September 3, 1922 at Curtiss Field near New York, in Glenn Curtiss's Jenny, the first public flight by an African-American woman in America was done by Bessie Coleman! Specializing in stunt flying and parachuting, she earned a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks. On her third exhibition on  October 15, 1922 after a series of flights, she performed a perfect Richthofen glide and loop-the-loops. During a show in Wharton, Texas, a woman parachutist failed to show and "Brave Bessie"donned a parachute and jumped in her place. She raised money to open an African-American flying school by giving lectures.
On April 30, 1926, Bessie Coleman's life ended in Jacksonville FL. at Paxon airfield when she asked mechanic/pilot William D. Wills to take the controls so she could study the field for a good site to parachute. At 2,000 feet, a lose wrench jammed the controls, the plane suddenly flipped and Bessie, who was not wearing a seat belt or a parachute, fell to her death. Wills, who was strapped in the plane, died when it crashed to the ground not far from Bessie. Since 1931, each year, on April 30th, the Challenger Pilots’ Association of Chicago fly over her grave at Lincoln Cemetery. In 1977, women pilots in Chicago established the Bessie Coleman Aviators Club. In 1995, the U.S. Postal Service issued a “Bessie Coleman” stamp and O'Hare International Airport (ORD)  is located at 1000 Coleman Drive.

"Madame Cayat de Castella"
Lucienne Blaise


is a French parachutist, who died on July 26, 1914 at Stockel racecourse (near Brussels) during a demonstration flight, she found it impossible to deploy her parachute; her previous jump on May 17 had gone perfectly. Only 22 years old, she was the first french woman to parachute from a plane in 1913  , the same year the American "Tiny" Broadwick. Testing one of the canopies made by her husband Georges Cayat, she was tied by three leather straps under the tail, the parachute being fastened under one wing and connected by another harness to her armpits; her hands were wrapped in rags so as not to be injured by the cables to which she clung. Her husband, inventor of an air-assisted opening system, detached it at an altitude of 800 meters, while her face was only 50 centimeters away from the propeller.
(Note: some confusion on names and dates, still to be sorted.)

"Ethel Dare"
Deborah DeCostello

was only seventeen, when on October 1st, during a jump she drowned as high winds carried her out in Lake Michigan. Details are unclear whether the winds were misjudged or before she was ready to drop, the rope was accidentally cut. The pilot  made  a few attempts to snag the Deborah once she started drifting out over the lake. Rescue craft were dispatched from the U.S. Lifesaving Station at Sleeping Bear Point, but were unable to locate DeCostello for 6 days.
No family members could be located so money was raised for her funeral and tombstone by selling a diamond ring found on her body. She was buried in St. Philip’s cemetery, at the very west edge of the cemetery near the center from where she started her final flight.
Her tombstone simply reads "Deborah DeCostello, 1893-1920."
There were at least two other "Ethel Dare"s during that time,  Ethel Gilmore, killed during a jump in 1924 and Margaret Potteiger /Margie Hobbs -“The Flying Witch” (died 1970). Whether or not they worked together or even knew each other is speculative at best.


Georgia Ann (Tiny) Broadwick

at the age of 15 convinced a neighbor to take her to see “The Broadwicks and Their Famous French Aeronauts,” who dropped from a hot air balloon and descended using a parachute. Tiny persuaded Broadwick to let her join his crew of aerial performers. Billed as "The Doll Girl" she traveled throughout the United States with the popular balloon act. On June 21, 1913, she became the first woman to parachute from an airplane and in 1914 became to first person to intentionally freefall before opening the parachute. Tiny made over 1100 jumps before retiring and remained an active proponent of parachuting until her death in 1978.

"Ethel Dare"
Ethel Gilmore


was born January 20 "illegitimate" in Grand Ledge, Michigan to Josephine Gilmore and Frank Shattuck. Ethel married Frederick Harris on June  20 1914 in Lansing, having one daughter on April 20, 1914.
Ethel began leaping from balloons in 1917;  her daughter Lonnie, who was living with her aunt Bertha, died at the age of four on January 4, 1919 while Ethel was performing. The details are tragic, heartbreaking and too difficult to write! "Frank" divorced her in March 1920 because of  his wife's “serial dare-deviltry destroyed his peace of mind and caused him untold anguish.” Ethel claimed “keeping house was too tame.” She married her second husband, Arthur Edward Johnson on September 27 1920 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Getting married again did not appear to deter Ethel, who began jumping from airplanes in 1921. She made her 600 th leap during an air circus at Dayton, Ohio Thursday, Oct. 2, 1924. On Nov. 15, 1924, she was “pulled from the fuselage of an airplane as she was preparing to make a parachute drop.” Her broken body was found in a cornfield.
There were at least two other "Ethel Dare"s during that time,  Deborah DeCostello, killed during a jump October 1,  1920 and Margaret Potteiger /Margie Hobbs -“The Flying Witch” (died 1970). Whether or not they worked together or even knew each other is speculative at best.
Ethel Gilmore Johnson is  buried with her daughter Lonnie in Riverside Cemetery  in Kalamazoo, Michigan, under a stone that reads: Aviatrix Ethel Dare 1896-1924.

Elsa Teresia Andersson

born on April 27 the daughter of a farmer in Strövelstorp was Sweden's first female aviator and stunt parachutist.  Full of determination and a taste for physical activity and adventure, she went shooting with the boys and she learned how to drive, cutting the image of a flapper sailing through the Swedish landscape. At age 24, she got accepted into Enoch Thulin´s flying school and became Sweden's first woman pilot(diploma #203). Elsa felt at home among the other (all male) aviators.  An embodiment of her own motto that ‘courage and determination are the best qualities in a human being’; an article from the time, stated: “Such a curious woman; silent, serene and completely lacking of nerves!”  In September 1921, Elsa decided to go to Germany to train under parachuting instructor Otto Heinecke; the course lasting a few weeks. Elsa made  her first jump from 2000 feet during an aerial exhibition in South of Sweden. A glorious autumn day with 2000 spectators, Elsa was the most thrilling act on the bill. Elsa exited head first. It was a perfect jump; landing gently and jubilant in the lake grass. The men making fun of her  parachute, called it a ‘Heinecke sack’, exclaiming “You’d never get me in one of those, not for a million kronor!” “It’s a piece of cake” Elsa cuts back with a smile.
On a cold January Sunday in 1922, standing on the wing, left hand holding onto the wing, she waves to the crowd of thousands, gathered below on the ice of Lake Alsen and jumps, doing a few somersaults, she had trouble releasing her parachute, which finally unfolded barely above the treetops and she crashed into the ground; Elsa was killed during that jump.
In 1926, the Swedish Aero Club erected a three-metre-high obelisk as a memorial in the place where she died.

Smaranda Brăescu
"Queen of the Heights"


born in the village of Hânţeşti, Romania, was a parachutist and aviation pioneer with multiple world records. In 1928, while in Germany, she bought a parachute, and jumped for the first time from 6000 m.  Earning her parachuting license on July 5, after a two day course of jumping without incident, she became the first female Romanian parachutist. On May 19, 1932, Smaranda set the world record for highest parachute jump from 6929 meters or 22733 feet, (surpassing her previous record by 476m) in Sacramento, CA. Thanks to her, Romania is the third country in the world, with a female parachutist. On August 17, 1930, at Satu-Mare, during a jump, she was seriously injured, remaining bedridden for six months. She owned two biplanes and in 1932, in her Miles Hawk, established the record for crossing the Mediterranean Sea between Rome and Tripoli (1100 km in 6 hours and 10 minutes). In the same year, in Sacramento, Braescu establishes an absolute world record, previously held by an American at 21,733 ft, by jumping successfully from 24,000 ft (7,200m). From then on, she was a national hero, being escorted by 30 planes after being invited to an air show in Canada. She was in the medical wing on the Eastern Front during World War II, remaining active until May 12, 1945.  She condemned the November 1946 election, and was sent to prison for two years, where she died on February 2, 1948. She is thought to be  buried in the Central Cemetery in Cluj, under the name of Maria Popescu. A street in Bucharest was named after her.

Sylvia Boyden

at the age of 19 years old , was the first English girl to make a parachute leap from a balloon(1918).
Sylvia Boyden is the first woman to make. a descent with- a "packed" parachute. Previous descents made by women have been with open type parachutes, which were suspended ready for immediate release beneath the balloon basket.  A cheerful Miss Boyden, is quoted as saying that she jumped "for the love of the experience." "I did not. feel, in the least bit nervous, I sat on the edge of the basket, and could see the people like ants beneath me in the park. Somebody behind me said, 'Ready, go,' and I just slipped off into space. Looking up I saw the black tapes coming out of the parachute case, which was tied like a large muffin to one of the balloon stays just above the basket. Then the black silk parachute gradually swelled out. For a moment the air rushed past; then I just floated downwards as in a swing."
"When I reached the earth there way no greater shock than jumping
from say, a mantelpiece. I kept, my knees bent, and so came down,
on all fours as light as a feather."I have been promised to be allowed to jump from an aeroplane in a few days, and I think this will this be much thrilling. "

Lillian Boyer
(1901 –1989)

was born on June 16, in Hooper Nebraska.
In 1921 while working as a waitress in a restaurant, Lillian was invited by two customers to take an airplane ride. Eager to fly in an airplane, on a lark she agreed. On her second flight, she climbed out on a wing of a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” biplane and by December 1921, she began training with pilot Lt. Billy Brock, a former World War I pilot and barnstormer. During her 8 year career as one of the best known stunt people of the day, she performed 352 shows, earning $100 per appearance. Lillian walked on the wings of planes, transferred herself from a moving car to a moving airplane 143 times, made 37 parachute jumps, (13 into Lake Erie) and hung under the airplanes by her teeth or toes until 1929 when federal regulations on low flying and unsafe planes forced an end to many barnstormers' careers. Lily, aka: Mrs. Ernest Werner died in February of 1989 at a San Diego convalescent hospital.

Gladys Roy

was a barnstormer during the 1920s, performing mostly in the Minneapolis, Minnesota and Hollywood, California area. Roy became a parachute jumper in 1921 and later a wing-walker, most famous for dancing the Charleston and for playing tennis on the upper wing of an airplane in flight. She was the holder of the world's lowest record parachute jump for many years and she also completed a parachute jump from 17,000 feet.  She was in the movie business, appearing in "The Fighting Ranger" (1925). She was the sister of Robert "Lee," Charles "Les," and Chadwick "Chad" Smith, all prominent pilots who were inducted into Aviation Hall of Fames. Gladys and Lt. Delmar Synder were planning a flight from New York to Rome, but she unfortunately walked into the spinning propeller of an aircraft that was sitting on the ground and died on August 15, 1927

Phoebe Jane Fairgrave Omlie
(1902 – 1975)

was born in Des Moines, Iowa on November 21.
The day before she graduated, Phoebe witnessed a flyover commemorating President Wilson's visit to Minneapolis and she began hanging around airfields, convincing a flight instructor to take her flying. She acquired more flight time and used her inheritance to purchase a Curtiss JN-4 .
While still in her teens, Phoebe started wing walking, learned to parachute, hang below the plane by her teeth and dance the Charleston on the wing. She held the record for the highest parachute jump for a woman by jumping from her plane at 15,200 ft (4,600 m)  and earned a movie deal, flying aerobatic stunts with Vernon C. Omlie for the  The Perils of Pauline.  Fairgrave and Omlie flew around the country barnstorming and they married in 1922. Phoebe became the first woman to receive an airplane mechanic's license, as well as becoming the first licensed female transport pilot.
On August 5, 1936, Vernon was killed when a commercial flight crashed in St. Louis while attempting to land in fog. In 1941, when she took a job as "Senior Private Flying Specialist of the Civil Aeronautics Authority" training WWII pilots.  Mrs. Omlie established over 60  flight schools, including the school in Tuskegee, Alabama that would train the Tuskegee Airmen. With the Tennessee Bureau of Aeronautics, she established an "experimental" program to train women as instructors.Phoebe stated: "If women can teach men to walk, they can teach them to fly." Phoebe Jane Fairgarves Omlie resigned in 1952 from the Civil Aeronautics Authority and left aviation.
Phoebe made a little money as a public speaker and spent her last few years  in seclusion, living in a flophouse in Indianapolis, fighting alcoholism. Phoebe died on July 17, 1975 of lung cancer and is buried next to her husband in Forest Hill Cemetery.
In June 1982, the new air traffic control tower  at the Memphis International Airport was dedicated and named in honor of Phoebe and Vernon Omlie.


Ruth Blackman

the "Lady Parachutist" of Elmira, NY made her first jump from a hot air balloon, the one and only time not from a plane; she  found jumping from an airplane much more thrilling. On August 19, 1920, 18-year-old Ruth jumped from the wing of an airplane at an altitude of 3,500 feet. Before a crowd of 43,000 spectators at the Wyoming County Fair, she climbed out onto the wing of the biplane piloted by Leon ‘Windy’ Smith.  “It was so cold up there that my hands and legs seemed numb when I stepped out,” she later told a newspaper reporter.  “Added to this was the terrific force of the plane.”   Despite the cold and the wind, Blackman made it out onto the wing and, after a signal from Smith, stepped off the wing and jumped.
“I dropped like a rock for about 30 feet until I felt the parachute open and hold me securely.  Then it was just an easy drop downward.When I got nearer the earth, I saw that I was likely to fall on top of a barn.  I paddled with my feet to get away from that and then I had to do some maneuvering to avoid landing on a fence or in a tree.  Finally I plumped right down in a bean field.”  Over the course of that summer, Ruth made 13 additional jumps at fairs throughout the Twin Tiers.  They spiced up the routine with tricks like jumping with an open bag of flour and transferring between planes.  That autumn she and Smith traveled to Atlanta, Georgia where they performed aerial stunts for a movie. The next year ‘Windy’ Smith had a new partner, the 17-year-old  girl Irene DeVere also from Elmira, NY.
It was Ruth’s ambition to purchase her own plane and travel the country as a barnstormer. Maybe she did; so far after 1920, she has disappeared from the public record .

“Irene DeVere” Lina Mae Freese

was born in 1903 in Elmira, NY and raised by her grandmother; her mother had died when she was very young and her father was not around. The rugged and demanding life on a farm had established a strong will in Lina and a passion to seek adventure. Determined and unafraid, in the summer of 1921 at the age of 18, she signed on with pilot Leon ‘Windy’ Smith and made her first jump over Mansfield, PA. She continued to work with Smith for the next five years.  The petite, 92 pound daredevil acquired the skills of a  parachutist, wing walker and pilot.
“Daring Dolly DeVere” performed at county fairs, local events, and demos from 1921 through 1924. She fearlessly flew, wing walked and parachuted as her troop traveled throughout northern Pennsylvania, New York’s Southern Tier, and the surrounding Finger Lakes Region. In July of 1921, she scribbled a simple, direct message on a postcard sent to relatives in Florida:
Dear Auntie & Uncle,

I am jumping from an aeroplane. I jumped 2,600 feet yesterday.

– Lina
Lina Mae Robertson died at the age of 98.  She and her husband Al rest in a rural cemetery in New Hope, New York

Fay Gillis Wells
(1908 – 2002)

on September 1929 was the first woman pilot to bail out of an airplane to save her life; becoming the 2nd Female Caterpillar(Irene McFarland was the first woman in the club-1925).  A founding member of the Ninety-Nines, a journalist who pioneered overseas radio broadcasting with her husband Linton Wells, Fay was a White House correspondent from 1963 to 1977.  For many years she actively promoted world friendship through flying. Fay Gillis Wells received many awards in the fields of aviation and broadcasting. These included: 1972 Woman of the Year by OX5, 1984 Women’s Aerospace Achievement Award, 1998 Esther Van Wagoner Tufty Award, 2001 Katherine Wright Award for outstanding contributions to aviation, 2002 Amelia Earhart Pioneering Achievement Award, and the American Women in Radio and Television Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1995, Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker, named Asteroid 4820 in her honor.

Katarina Matanović Kulenović

was born near Osijek, Croatian province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on March 18, and became the first female Croatian pilot and the first East European woman parachutist. She lived in Zagreb from 1918 and became a pilot in the Yugoslav Royal Air Force in 1936. She parachuted into the air show in Zemun in 1938.
From 1943 she served in World War II where she became a Lieutenant in the Croatian Air Force flying an Avia FL-3. In 1944, she lost her pilot husband Namik Kulenović who was shot down by the Allies. She was injured in the bombing of Zagreb the same year.
After the war, she was persecuted by the Communist authorities, thrown out of the apartment and forbidden to fly.
In 1998, Katarina received the Order of Danica Hrvatska-the Order of Croatia with the image of Franjo Bucar, for the contribution to sports from Croatian president Franjo Tuđman and in November  2001 she was re-admitted to Aeroclub of Zagreb and after 56 years, symbolically returning to aviation.
Katarina died on April 2, 2003 at the age of 80.


Birdie Drape

was a famous parachutist and death defying performer, making her first jump on June 6, 1937.

Jean Ethel Burns

was born in the Melbourne suburb of East Brunswick, to Robert Burns, a merchant seaman who married Jean's mother in Cardiff, Wales during WWI. Moving  to Australia in 1919, she attended MacRobertson Girls' High School, Albert Park, South Melbourne. Jean was the first Australian woman to parachute from an airplane over Australian soil. In early 1937 Jean obtained her pilots licence and became Australia's youngest female pilot; she held the record for 15 years, until 17-year-old Brigid Holmes.  Miss Jean Burns on  November 21, 1937 achieved the distinction Australia's first woman parachutist by jumping from  3,200ft from the Airco DH4  Spirit of Melbourne, piloted by Mr. Howard Morris; more than 2,000 people witnessed the jump. Saying of the jump: "One day at Essendon we were watching a parachute descent and one of the club pilots said he would not leave a plane even if it were on fire. I said that I would: nothing to it, just hop out, pull the ripcord and float down. He bet me a couple of hours on his account that I would not be game if he could arrange it. Arrange it he did with Felix Mueller, and I got my hours." Jean made about a dozen jumps, over a period of little over a year.
In July 2006, Jean  got to meet Howard Morris whose father was the pilot of the DH4 which Jean had jumped