Geraldine Hardman Jordan, WASP
Geraldine "Jerry" Hardman Jordan was a pioneer in women's aviation and proudly served her country in World War II as a WASP (Women Air Service Pilots), one of only 1,000 elite American women pilots who provided aircraft-ferrying services to the U.S. military.
She began flying at the age of 15 at a small airport her uncle ran in eastern Oregon. In 1936, that was underage flying. She earned money to fly any way she could, including cleaning out planes after first flights.
In 1939 the University of Nevada, Reno was granted 20 slots for Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) trainees. Ostensibly established to increase general aviation opportunities, the unspoken message of the CPTP was clear: As conditions deteriorated in Europe, the country needed a pool of well-trained pilots ready to take on military duties. She was a member of the Civil Air Patrol Reno Air Squadron (now Reno Composite Squadron) and while working as secretary to the University president, Leon Hartman.
She flew every plane in the U.S. military for home-front missions to free up men for combat missions in World War II.