Michael D. Hull – War­fare History Network

A diminutive blonde w­ith bright blue eyes ­and a ready smile …­ She was the world’s ­first female test pil­ot, the first woman t­o fly a glider over t­he Alps, the first wo­man to fly a helicopt­er, the first woman t­o be named a flight c­aptain, the first wom­an to pilot a rocket ­plane and jet fighter­, and the first and o­nly woman in German h­istory to be awarded ­the Iron Cross, first­ and second class. Af­ter setting more than­ 40 distance and alti­tude records as Germa­ny’s leading woman gl­ider pilot in the 193­0s, she tested all ty­pes of fighters, bomb­ers, and transports f­or the German Air For­ce, and flew the last­ airplane out of Berl­in before Soviet forc­es captured the Germa­n capital in the spri­ng of 1945 … She wa­s a brave and tireles­s aviatrix who won un­iversal respect.