More Notes About Vicky

vickyinfurpegMore Notes About Vicky

 

If Vicky were really a bush pilot in Juneau she would have a hard time. There were very few women pilots in the 30′ in the US let alone Alaska. I am still waiting for a reply from the Juneau Historical Society.

Women weren’t as important as men in aviation? I think that Vicky fit the bill as a pilot. She was a risk taker and courageous. I never talked to her about her flying days but I think that she was not afraid of danger or the unknown.

The Roosevelt Field Hotel was a place for dancing in the huge ballroom. I can picture Vicky dancing there. It’s funny but I can picture so much about Vicky but I wish that I had asked my parents about her. But that wouldn’t have worked.  They really didn’t like her.  At the hotel they could eat outside on warm sunny days. The eating area overlooked the field and they could watch the planes land and takeoff. It must have been a great place for people and plane watching.

Roosevelt Field was the most famous airfield and everything was made for the pilots safety.  The field had asphalt runways. It was the perfect place to learn to fly.

When women started flying in great numbers people wondered if flying was safe for women. Are they physically fit? Instructors wondered if women could learn because their lack of mechanical knowledge. They believed, it was a wholesome sport and adventure. Others took the idea of flying as serious business. They wanted to learn. But after getting their license they were restricted in finding jobs. Most women ended up selling planes, writing about planes, and becoming  airport hostesses.  They just weren’t taken seriously.

Hollywood and aviation were quiet in tune. Stunt pilots were needed for films and Pancho Barnes, a woman pilot started the Motion Pictures Pilots’ Association in 1931.  All of this aviation activity was booming during the time when Vicky learned to fly..

No wonder she was attracted to this exciting life. Some of the early films with aerial scenes were The Great Train Robbery, and The Skywayman. In this last move,  male stunt pilot Omer Locklear invented a move he called “the transfer,” in which a pilot changed from one plane to another in midair. Other movies where stunt pilots were needed were Wings, Stranger than Fiction, Hell’s Angels, and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Vicky may have participated in the Century of Progress in Chicago. They had several air meets.  Flying for women was a release from the routine life of mother and wife.

In 1927 Vicky reported Ward missing. She looked for him  on her own for 2 years because she didn’t want the publicity. When the police were alerted they tried to talk to Wards mother Mrs. Anna D. Lederer, his sister Catherine Durant…neither would give any information to the police. Vicky stayed temporarily at the Hotel Manager not knowing what to do. Vicky didn’t want to live on the family’s charity but she soon changed her mind.

She was tired of looking for him. Vicky said “Now I am neither unmarried or married. (new york times april 4, 1927)

Ward married another woman and lived with her in Texas. I am still researching more information about him and his wife. He couldn’t give Vicky the courtesy of divorcing her.  She loved the parties the drinking, and the high life  but she loved Ward more. Vicky made herself so sick that she couldn’t work and she didn’t know how she would survive. She decided that she had to accept the money from the Lederer and the Durant family. This is how she could afford to travel and learn to fly.

When  the world was in crisis Vicky lived well.

I don’t know if Vicky held any jobs in aviation like other women pilots. Many were sales representatives and demonstrating to perspective plane byers.

Planes cost between $15,000 up to 40,000 for a passenger plane. Cash only…no credit

I don’t know if Vicky held any jobs in aviation like other women pilots. Many were sales representatives and demonstrating to perspective plane byers.

Planes cost between $15,000 up to 40,000 for a passenger plane. Cash only…no credit.

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