Willa Beatrice Brown, Early Aviator (1906-1992)

Brown was an early aviator, who became a teacher at Tuskegee Institute and a civil rights activist.  She was the first African American to receive both a private (1938) and commercial (1939) pilot’s license in the U.S.

The Civilian Pilot Training Program that she founded in Chicago trained over 200 Tuskegee Airmen.  As early as 1939, she was cited in the Congressional Record for achievements in aviation.  By 1942 she became the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol, when she was promoted to lieutenant.  She later served on an advisory committee for the Federal Aviation Administration, the first African American to do so.

Willa Brown.Wikipedia (website).  Accessed 26 December 2021.