Polly Potter Ross made her mark as a pilot in the day when female pilots were a rare sight in the skies. Young Polly Potter was determined as a young lady to learn to fly, and in 1931 she accomplished her goal of attaining a pilot's license. Over the next 45 years she left her mark on aviation as she taught others to fly, ferrying bombers to England during the Great War and performing aerial acrobatics.
Betty Kaseman, who flew many times with Polly Potter, has written a biography about Polly's life called "Prop Wash: For The Love of Flying". This book chronicles the life of an amazing woman pilot who lived from 1911 to 1997 and was involved in aviation along with many other famous pilots like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart.
In fact she was invited to an banquet held in honor of Charles Lindbergh where she discussed women in aviation with Amelia Earhart and gave her a tour of the flight school were Polly taught. Over the years she instructed some famous celebrities like Ray Milland and Bob Cummings, once even giving a free airplane ride to Howard Hughes.
During her career she flew pilot rescue missions, parachuted for fun and even threw in a few emergency landings for good measure. She was instrumental in establishing the San Diego Chapter of the "Silver Wings", a fraternity of pilots.
I will be reviewing this book shortly, and upon completion will put the review both here and in my newsletter "All Things Aviation".
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.