Elder, Ruth (1904–1977)

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Elder, Ruth (1904–1977)

Student pilot who attempted to become first airplane passenger to cross the Atlantic. Born in Florida in 1904; died in San Francisco, California, in 1977; married six times.

Ruth Elder enjoyed brief notoriety following her attempt to become the first airplane passenger to cross the Atlantic. In September 1927, on the heels of Charles Lindbergh's famous solo flight, she and a male pilot set out from Tampa, Florida, in a plane called the American Girl. They ran into trouble 250 miles short of the coast of Spain, when an oil leak forced them to deliberately crash in the ocean. Fortunately, the plane landed near a Dutch ship that was able to rescue them. Elder was cited for her daring in ceremonies in Paris and at the White House, where she was heralded as the "Miss America of Aviation." She was soon upstaged, however, by Amelia Earhart , who not only made a successful transatlantic flight in June 1928 but was a licensed pilot as well. Elder went on to an undistinguished movie career and six marriages.

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Elder, Ruth (1904–1977)

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