Jean Hanmer Pearson
February 17, 1915 – 2010
Training Location: Houston Municipal Airport (Tex.) and Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.)
Planes flown: BT-13, PT-19, C-47
Assigned bases: New Castle Army Air Base (Wilmington, Del.)
Jean was born in Detroit, MI and obtained her pilot’s license in 1941, and it wasn’t long before she took command of the all-female squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, Michigan Wing. Upon joining the WASP, she was assigned to the Air Transport Command, 2nd Ferrying Division, and she also towed targets. Later on, in the Navy, she served as an aviation officer. She retired from the Navy in 1975 with the rank of lieutenant commander. For thirty years, she worked in aerospace and science journalism for the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News. She also continued flying well into old age. She flew in over seventy air races, from regional to transcontinental. She accompanied a science expedition to Antarctica – the first to include women. She literally flew around the world, joining the Circumnavigators Club. And in a show of post war good-will, she also flew members of the Japanese royal family on a trip over the North Pole.
Jean Pearson going over a checklist before takeoff at Avenger Field in Sweetwater Texas – 1943. LIFE Magazine – Peter Stackpole Photographer
Texas Women’s University, Denton, Texas. WASP collection