Helen Richey Pilot Log and Collection [Suskalo]
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.1999.0006
Creators:
Richey, Helen, 1909-1947
Dates:
1933-1944
Languages:
English
This collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.1 Cubic Feet
2 folders
Repository:
This collection consists of Helen Richey's pilot log for 1944-1945, newspaper clippings covering the period from 1933 to 1944 and seven photographs of Ms. RIchey.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of Helen Richey's pilot log for 1944-1945, newspaper clippings covering the period from 1933 to 1944 and seven photographs of Ms. Richey.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is in original order.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Helen Richey (1909 - 1947) was an aviation pioneer who made headlines as a stunt pilot, a racing champion, a holder of speed and altitude records, a flight instructor, an Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and Womens Air Service Pilot (WASP) during WWII, the first women to pilot a commercial airliner on a regular scheduled run, and as the first woman to ever fly the United States mail. In April of 1930, Richey enrolled as a student pilot at Bettis Field's Curtiss-Wright flying school and on June 28, 1930, she earned her pilot's license. In December 1930, Richey was granted a limited commercial pilot's license bythe Department of Commerce. During the 1930s, Richey set a number of records and placed in several races, including as a co-pilot to Amelia Earhart in the 1936 Bendix Race. In 1934 Richey applied for a pilot's job with Central Airlines. She was hired and flew Central's route between Washington and Detroit. However, the Bureau of Air Commerce warned Centeral management to keep her on the ground in bad weather and the pilot's union rejected her application for membership. Due to these restrictions, Richey resigned from Central in October 1935. The Bureau of Air Commerce then offered Helen a new job as an air marking pilot for the government. She stayed with the air marking service until 1937 when the job was completed. In 1940 Richey was the first woman to earn an instructor's license and she was appointed an instructor for air cadets at Pittsburgh - Butler Airport. In 1942, she joined the American wing of the British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), where she ferried aicraft and needed materials thoughout the British Isles. Richey headed the ATA's American Group from 1942 until April 1943, when she returned to the States and joined the WASPs. Unable to find aviation employment after the WASPs disbanded in 1944, she committed suicide in 1947.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged and described by Kate Igoe in 1998, encoded by Jessamyn Lloyd in 2018.
Author
Kate Igoe
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gene Suskalo, Gift, 1998, NASM.1999.0006

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Preferred Citation
Helen Richey Pilot Log and Collection [Suskalo], NASM.1999.0006, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Women air pilots Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women in aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Military Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Commercial Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- Competitions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airports Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airports -- Location Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- Records Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1939-1945 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Flight training Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Logs (records) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richey, Helen, 1909-1947 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women Airforce Service Pilots (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Central Airlines Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Bureau of Air Commerce Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Great Britain. Air Transport Authority Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Bureau of Air Commerce. National Air Marking Program Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bendix Air Races Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/