Women Air Force Aviators Tell The Untold Story Of America’s First Women Combat Pilots

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A great opportunity to hear from some of the first female combat pilots at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA this coming weekend at the event The Fly Girls Revolt.  On Oct. 21, author and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Eileen A. Bjorkman will discuss her book Fly Girls Revolt: The Story of the Women Who Kicked Open the Door to Fly in Combat. Speaking with her will be retired U.S. Air Force Col. Peggy Phillips. Fly Girls Revolt is the untold story of the women military aviators of the 1970s and 1980s who finally kicked open the door to fly in combat in 1993, and the story of the women who paved the way before them. The 2 p.m. program is free with Museum membership and included with general admission. A book signing will follow the program.

Bjorkman and Phillips each helped pave the way for women in the military—Phillips was the first female C-17 squadron commander and served over two years during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Bjorkman was the sixth woman to graduate from the USAF Test Pilot School. Both women live in the Seattle area, and Phillips is a docent at The Museum of Flight and can be heard on the Museum’s Flightdeck Podcast.

Eileen A. Bjorkman

Eileen A. Bjorkman is a writer, pilot, aeronautical engineer and retired Air Force colonel. As the sixth woman to graduate from the USAF Test Pilot School, she is widely recognized as an Air Force trailblazer. She was a flight test engineer during her Air Force career, flying more than 700 hours in twenty-five different types of military aircraft, including fighters such as the F-4 and F-16. She retired from the Air Force in 2010 as a colonel after thirty years of active-duty service. She is also a civilian pilot with more than 2,000 hours of pilot time. She is currently the Executive Director at the Air Force Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California, and is the first woman to hold that position.

Peggy Phillips

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Peggy A. Phillips was the first woman C-17 squadron commander and served over two years during Operation Iraqi Freedom. With over 5,200 flight hours (including 240 combat hours) she became the senior director of operations of the Tactical Airlift Command Center and became the first female reserve pilot to serve as director of mobility forces supporting the Katrina Operation. Phillips retired from military service in 2010.

Art+Flight: Open through Jan. 7, 2024

Art+Flight is a museum-wide, community-focused celebration connecting the region’s vibrant arts scene with its rich aerospace history. Art+Flight offers three dedicated galleries exhibiting sculptures, paintings, photographs and new media installations. Additionally, murals and sculptures have been added throughout the Museum’s campus. The project’s exhibitions and community events mean to realize our feelings, enhance our perceptions, and remind us of the awe and joy of flight through the materiality of art.


1 Comment

  1. I’ve read this book about a couple months ago, and really enjoyed i. Also, the TACC is the Tanker Airlift Control Center, not the Tactical Airlift Command Center, by the way.

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