Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 23

Ellen Church - Trivia

air nurse san francisco

Nurse and pioneer airline stewardess, born on a farm near Cresco, Iowa, USA. As a young nurse in San Francisco, she approached officials of United Airlines and proposed that stewardesses be added to flight crews. Her idea was accepted, and she and several other nurses, known as ‘Sky Girls’, began flying between Chicago and San Francisco (15 May 1930). After 18 months she was grounded after a car accident, and went on to gain a degree in nursing education at the University of Minnesota. During World War 2, she took to the air again (1942) as a captain in the Army Nurse Corps Air Evacuation Service, and received the Air Medal for distinguished work in North Africa, Sicily, England, and France. She died following a horse-riding accident.

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