Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

Archives at The Museum of Flight

Strother, Dora Jean Dougherty, 1921-



  • Existence: 1921-2013

Biographical Note: Dora Jean (Dougherty) Strother

Dora Jean (Dougherty) Strother served as a WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilot) during World War II who flew B-29 Superfortress demonstration flights.

She was born November 27, 1921 in Minnesota. She learned to fly fixed-wing aircraft in 1940. In World War II she served as a WASP flying a variety of aircraft, including liaison, training, cargo, bomber, and very heavy bomber aircraft. Her duties included ferrying, radio control piloting, target towing for antiaircraft gunnery, and flight crew standardization. Then she was an active reservist with the U.S. Air Force. She was the sixth woman in the country to earn an Airline Transport Pilot License.

She worked as a flight instructor and ferry pilot from 1944-1949 at various airfields. Then, she earned a Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1949, a Master's degree from University of Illinois in 1953, and a Ph.D from New York University in 1955. While at the University of Illinois, she worked in the Institute of Aviation as a flight instructor and in the Aviation Psychology Laboratory as a research associate doing research on simulation, instrumentation and pilot training. From 1957-1958 she worked for Martin Company in Baltimore, Maryland in the human engineering department. From there she joined the Bell Company and served as Chief of Human Factors Group. Additionally, she was a licensed psychologist, certified in the state of Texas.

In 1961 she set female helicopter records for non-stop distance in a straight line and for altitude, both without payload. In 1966 she was appointed by President Johnson to the Federal Aviation Agency as chairman of its Women's Advisory Committee on Aviation. That year she also received an achievement award from the American Association of University Women. She was also a recipient of the FAA's Certificate of Commendation, was named an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, received the Amelia Earhart award for academic achievement, and was inducted into the Military Aviation Hall of Fame.

Strother died November 19, 2013 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Biographical Information Files - D

Scope and Contents Individuals whose names begin with D: Dahlberg, Kenneth H. [Triple ace fighter pilot] "In Search of WWII Memories," Cessna Owner magazine, 2005 "The Kenneth Dahlberg Story," A.A.H.S. Journal, Summer 1967"Kenneth H. Dahlberg, 94, Link in the Watergate Chain," New York Times, October 9, 2011 Daily, Leo A. [Aviation architectural/engineering firm] Sales brochures...

Dora Jean (Dougherty) Strother WASP Photographs Collection

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: 1986-12-09-A
Content Description The Dora Jean (Dougherty) Strother WASP Photographs Collection is a small collection consisting of two photographs of Women Air Service Pilots at Elgin Air Force Base with the B-29 "Ladybird" before a B-29 demonstration tour in 1944.The first photograph depicts Women Airforce Service Pilots Dora J. Dougherty and Dorothea J. Moorman accepting aircraft papers from a representative of the Boeing Company for the B-29 "Ladybird" at Eglin Field, Florida, June 1944. Nose art of Fifinella,...

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
Contact us with a research request