THE CURTISS HAWK FIGHTERS
Alice Page Shamburger, known as Page ( August 27th, 1927 - December 7th, 1991 ), was born in Aberdeen ( North Carolina, United States ). Outdoorsy and athletic, young Page had an early interest in horses. She took her first flying lesson at age of 15, while working as an apprentice mechanic to pay for the very flying lessons. Her very untraditional passion for flying was central to her later life pursuits.
Her parents sent her to boarding school in 11 and 12th grades at St. Mary’s College in Raleigh ( North Carolina ), a girls’ school associated with the Episcopal Church. Afterward, Page attended Marjorie Webster College in Washington D.C. She then stayed on in Washington, writing for a radio station and the Washington Post, and then she edited American Aviation magazine.
One of her first professional works was landing at every airport in the United States ( 1952 - 1953 ), and reporting on it for the magazine. She made it to nearly 4,000 airports. In Florida, she continued writing and was Assistant Manager of an airport. Page spent some time in New York and Massachusetts where she wrote for radio, TV and newspaper while doing freelance articles on the side.
After receiving national recognition for her earlier pursuits, she returned to Aberdeen ( 1958 ). In 1965, Page became the first woman to fly in a Lockheed WC - 130 into the eye of Hurricane " Betsy ". Three times during a 12 hour night flight, she flew into the eye to take measurements. In 1967, She set a record as the first woman to ride on the Air Force’s RF - 4 Phantom, the fastest and highest flying jet at that time. She is number 142 in the Whirly - Girls, a world organization of women helicopter pilots.
In 1976, Page co - owned a travel agency in Southern Pines ( North Carolina ) called Page Travel. Stylish and confident, Page is remembered best by current locals in her business role. Page did indeed build the best travel agency in the area. Though she was very focused, hard working and efficient, she had a flair for the humorous.
" Beyond the call of duty " characterizes her entire life. She broke a glass ceiling for women in aviation. Hundreds of newspapers across the country featured her picture after she flew into the eye of Hurricane " Betsy ". She excelled at everything she attempted and remained modest of her achievements.
Always a trendsetter, Page never married. She died at the age of 64, after a valiant battle with lung cancer.
Page authored seven aviation history books, including Tracks Across the Sky, Command The Horizon and Summon The Stars.
( sources : THE CURTISS HAWK FIGHTERS, The Ninety - Nines : Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow, fr.findagrave.com, www.walthour-moss.org, Wikipedia )