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<<  Month of March 2017    >>        Submit Event    Exhibits Events   
Saturday, March 18, 2017 | 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM   
Torrance Airport 3315 Airport Drive, Red Baron #3 Torrance, CA 90505
In honor of March being Women’s National History Month, the Western Museum of Flight is proud to present a woman of note: Iris Critchell. A Redondo Union High School grad, Critchell went to USC and swam competitively. She got so good, Critchell became a member of the 1936 U.S. Olympic team to compete in Berlin. She held the national title in 200 breaststroke for three years. Her life at USC expanded when she was accepted into the USC’s first Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1939. After graduation, she worked as a flight instructor prior to being selected to serve her country during World War II as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Following the conflict, she returned to California where she developed and taught a curriculum at USC on civilian flight for veterans returning from the war. Always competitive, Critchell raced airplanes during the 1950s. With her husband, she founded the Bates Aeronautics program at Harvey Mudd College in 1962. A long-time certified FAA Pilot Examiner, she is the recipient of several international aviation awards and is a member of the National Flight Instructors Hall of Fame. In her later years, Critchell has remained active as a lecturer, consultant and curator of the Aeronautical Library Special Collections at Harvey Mudd. Her multitude of achievements may all be considered as pioneering efforts. These pioneering women, despite being excluded from combat duty, braved many hazards and dangers inherent in the job of climbing into brand new untested mass produced aircraft, and delivering them to wherever they were needed by the fighting forces regardless of weather, fatigue or risky conditions at launch or landing sites. The WASP’s efforts were absolutely vital to America's triumph in WWII. Join us to hear this remarkable woman share some of her fascinating experiences with us from WWII and beyond.
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