Nancy Bird, London, 1939 / by unknown photographer

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    Nancy Bird Walton was born in Sydney in 1915. In 1933, at the age of 17, she became the youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot's licence. One year later she obtained her commercial licence. In 1937-38 she operated a charter service in Queensland followed by a 2 year world tour studying civil aviation. In 1950 she founded the Australian Women's Pilots' Association. She won the Ladies Trophy South Australian Centenary Air Race from Brisbane to Adelaide in 1936 and came 5th in the All Women's Transcontinental Air Race, America in 1958. She was appointed AO in 1990. Nancy Bird Walton died in Sydney on 13 January 2009 at the age of 93. She was given a State Funeral in St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney on Wednesday 21 January 2009. The new Qantas Airbus A380 named for her flew over Sydney during the funeral.

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    From the collection of the State Library of New South Wales

    Kevin, Ruben Mascaró Photography, and 194 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 10 more comments

    1. Peggy Archer 64 months ago | reply

      That's a great idea - I live in the United States, but I'll certainly search our local library and see if they've got it.

      I doubt the Australian libraries will lend books to Los Angeles, California :)

    2. State Library of New South Wales collection 64 months ago | reply

      Hi Peggy, Your local library might be able to get the book from the Library of Congress which holds a copy.

    3. mmradman 63 months ago | reply

      Iconic image from the pioneering age and great life story behind it, thank you for sharing.

    4. Lú_ 62 months ago | reply

      This image has been included in the post Women across the Commons, prior to International Women's Day.

    5. Trig::Photographie 61 months ago | reply

      A true pioneer indeed!!

    6. rraimundinho [deleted] 61 months ago | reply

      hello canting look my pagine perchment secet idiom
      my paper speak is opinion

    7. Howard33 60 months ago | reply

      I always thought Bird was an excellent name for a flyer. She was flying during a period before airplanes were reliable like they are now. Few pilots from that era lived to be 93.

    8. SandyEm 60 months ago | reply

      Terrific...loveee the shadowy effect

    9. ***Achilles*** [deleted] 59 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Nation Of Domination. (We Rule The Universe), and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    10. das auge ! off [deleted] 59 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Wir haben`s schwarz auf weiss ONLY THE BEST IN B&W ART♥ ♥, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

      LOVE that photo

    11. Minette7 52 months ago | reply

      Schön der Hinweis, interessante Frau.

    12. hazzawithah 52 months ago | reply

      Even so, I wouldn't feel safe in a plane flown by a woman.

    13. Howard33 52 months ago | reply

      I guess a little gender bias is normal, but I have flown with a number of lady pilots. Generally, they are excellent. Women competing in a man's field are usually outstanding. I think it brings out the best in them.

      The reverse is also true. As a male elementary teacher, I always felt a need to be as good or better than my female colleagues. Human nature, I suppose.

    14. artland 49 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called artland, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    15. artland 45 months ago | reply

      This is a wonderful shot!
      You are invited to post it to:


    16. Caterina M. 25 months ago | reply

      semplicemente bella !!! simply very nice !!

    17. 2002jm 5 months ago | reply

      what a beautiful picture!!

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