Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ruth Alexander

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Ruth Blaney Alexander was born on May 18, 1905 and died on September 18, 1930.

Info about her on the web
She has an entry at Wikipedia.
On September 9, 1929, Ruth had an introductory flight at Ryan Field in San Diego, California.

She became the 65th licensed woman pilot in the U.S.

On November 18, 1929, less than 24 hours after receiving her license, she took off from Lindbergh Field in SAn Diego in a Great Lakes biplane and continued climbing to what she believed was an altitude of better than 18,000 feet. Twas later recognized as a new official altitude record for women in light planes of 15,718 feet.

On February 16, 1930, she qualified for a United States second-class glider license from the slopes of Mount Soledad, near La Jolla, California. In doing so she followed Anne Morrow Lindbergh as the second woman in the United States to achieve this distinction.

Ruth made a perfect flight using a primary glider lasting 2 minutes, 33 and 2/5 seconds.

On July 4, 1930, she flew her Barling NB-3 light aircraft (serial number 52, U.S. Department of Commerce registration number 880M) to 21,000 feet, however this was an unofficial record. In the spring of 1930, she became a glider instructor -- the first woman in the United States to hold this position.

On July 11, 1930, Ruth took off at 1:34 p.m. in the Barling from Lindbergh Field. After briefly losing consciousness at extreme altitudes, she established a new world record in light planes (both men and women) of 26,600 feet at the apex of the flight. The American record held prior to her flight was set by D. S. Zimmerly (male) at an altitude of 24,074 feet over St. Louis, Missouri on February 16, 1930.

Ruth died on September 18, 1930 when her NB-3 Barling struck a hillside shortly after takeoff on from Lindbergh Field, San Diego. She had been on a scheduled cross-country flight to New York City via Wichita, Kansas.

She had been married for just a few months, to Robert A Elliott, a Naval reserve pilot (and apparently had been married twice before).

Times printed a brief obituary:,9171,740428-4,00.html

Media that references Alexander:
Carlson, D (1978) "Women in San Diego...a History in Photographs" The Journal of San Diego History, Vo. XXIV, No. 3.
Fogel, Gary (2001) "Wind and Wings: The History of Soaring in San Diego" RockReef Press, San Diego
Fogel, Gary and Lindemer, Grant (2007) "Ruth Blaney Alexander: A Dream of Wings" Quiet Flyer, Vol. No. 8, pp. 22-27.
"Girl Flies Up 20,000 Feet," The Irving Leader, July 11, 1930.
"Ruth Blaney Alexander Will be in Irving Soon," The Irving Leader, September 12, 1930.
"Cracked Up," The Irving Leader, September 19, 1930.
"Ruth Blaney Alexander," Advocate Democrat, September 25, 1930.
"Left Pathos When Crashed to Death," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.
"Hall of Fame Beckoned to Ruth," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.
"Struggles Led the Way to Her Success," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.


Lord Typo said...

Does anyone know where Ruth Alexander is buried?

Lord Typo said...

Do you know where Ruth Alexander is buried?