Women in the Archives : Edna Gardner Whyte

Edna Gardner Whyte (1902-1992) was a professional pilot, flight instructor and competitive flyer. From her childhood in Minnesota and Oregon she was enamored with aviation, and the idea of taking on a male dominated profession. She took on the more practical career of nursing, which led her to working in the peace time Navy Nurse Corps and the Army Nurse Corps at the end of World War II. During her early years as a nurse, Whyte began to take flying lessons, and earned her license in 1927.

Whyte competed in, and won her first race in 1928, and began taking on flight students in 1929. She worked all over the country, and after WWII pursued aviation as her main career. She moved to Fort Worth and ran a flight school at Meacham Field, became a salesperson for crop-dusting mechanical parts, and eventually opened her own airport in Roanoke, TX. Whyte was a role model for women in her field, and was active in promoting aviation as a career for women.

Find Whyte's oral history here.