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Source Collection

Omlie, Phoebe Fairgrave collection, Special Collections Department, University Libraries, University of Memphis




Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes, Amelia Earhart and Louise Shaden are posing in front of an airplane.

"Pancho" Barnes was a pioneer aviator and a founder of the first movie stunt pilots' union. In 1930, she broke Amelia Earhart's air speed record.Barnes raced in the Women's Air Derby and was a member of the Ninety-Nines. In later years, she was known as the owner of the Happy Bottom Riding Club, a bar and restaurant in the Mojave Desert, Southern California, catering to the legendary test pilots and aviators who worked nearby.

Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and writer.Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records,was one of the first aviators to promote commercial air travel, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. During an attempt at becoming the first woman to complete a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. The two were last seen in Lae, New Guinea, on July 2, 1937, on the last land stop before Howland Island and one of their final legs of the flight. She presumably died in the Pacific during the circumnavigation, just three weeks prior to her fortieth birthday.

Date Created





Women air pilots.; Photographs.