Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mary Regalbuto Jones

Mary Regalbuto Jones

No entry in Wikipedia

Obituary from the WASP website, Wings Across America
Mary was born on November 16, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, Her parents were Carmela and Philip Regalbuto. She graduated from high school in 1941 and shortly afterwards started studying for her pilot's license.

In 1943, she enlisted in the WASP - the Women Airforce Service Pilots training program. She earned her wings the next year and was sent to the Waco Army Air Field in Waco, Texas, where she was an engineering test pilot.

Mary wed Erwin Jones in 1946 and began working in administrative, personnel and program management positions for the Federal Government.

She was elected in 1974 to serve on the American Airlines Board of Directors, the first woman to do so.

During her 33 years in Federal service, Jones received many awards and honors, including a letter of commendation from President Reagan.

She retired in 1981 and moved to Tulsa to enroll at Spartan School of Aeronautics, where she revalidated her pilot's license and became a sport and antique aviation enthusiast.

She owned and flew a 1941 Navy N3N-3 biplane trainer for 14 years.

Mary founded the First National Biplane Fly-In in Bartlesville in 1987, and she was awarded a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Science from Oklahoma State University in 1997, when she was 75. (http://www.biplaneexpo.com/)

Obit at Wee Beastie Biplane works: http://www.weebeastie.com/hatzcb1/flown_west/mary_jones_wilkinson/mary_jones_wilkinson.html

Here's a photo of her in her biplane:

Several photos from Wings Across America site, WASP of Oklahoma

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mary Jones was my aunt by marriage (her first marriage). I have an 8X 10 copy of her formal WASP picture in my house, along with my uncle's formal picture in his uniform. He had USAAF and RAF wings, and flew the Burma Hump. Mary was quite an extraordinary woman and it was lovely to find this information on her. I saw her grave in Chardon, Ohio last year while visiting other family graves. Thank you, Mary, for everything you did for our country and for all women!