Blackburn, Jessy (1894–1995)

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Blackburn, Jessy (1894–1995)

English aviator. Name variations: Jessica Blackburn, Jessica Thompson. Born Jessica Thompson, 1894, in Cradley, Worcestershire, England; died 1995 in England; orphaned at early age; m. Robert Blackburn (aircraft engineer), 1914 (div. 1936); remarried twice, briefly; children: 2 sons.

An early aviation enthusiast, married Robert Blackburn (1914) and used her inheritance to help him establish Blackburn Aircraft, Ltd., which supplied military planes to British government during WWI and WWII; undertook 1st flight in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the 1st women to fly a monoplane before WWI; competed twice in King's Cup Air Races (1922, 1928); following divorce (1936), ended direct involvement with Blackburn Aircraft.