“Thundering through the skies on a cannonball.”

Hanna Reitsch 1912-1979
Hanna was an expert aviator with steely nerve who set over forty aviation records. Once, after crashing in her plane she discovered her nose was mostly missing. Stoically, she wrote notes on her flight disaster before becoming unconscious. She was a native of Germany and was instrumental during WWII with flight development and testing. Intrepid and intelligent, she became the first female to fly a jet fighter, a helicopter, a rocket plane and set the woman’s endurance record as a glider pilot. Hanna was the only female participant in the World Gliding Championships in 1952 and took third place. She is the only woman to be decorated with the prestigious German Iron Cross First and Second Class, however, her Nazi connections were later controversial.