Born in Fort Jennings in 1900, Lauretta Schimmoler received her pilot’s license, became the 1st woman to manage a municipal airport, and went on to found the Aerial Nurse Corps of America.
After attending school in Ottawa, Delphos, and Crestline, she saw her first altitude test, by Lt John A Macready at age 19.
By 1929 she received her student pilot’s license and became the 1st woman to establish and manage an airport, the Bucyrus Municipal Airport. On August 16, 1930 she received her pilot’s license. She also recognized the need for air nursing attendants and formed the “Emergency Flight Corps” later renamed as the “Ariel Nurses Corps of America”
In 1932 the Bucyrus Municipal Airport was named the best small airport in the State. She was inducted as one of the first members into the 99’s, a national organization of licensed woman pilots which included Amelia Earhart. She served as Governor North Central Section 99 Club.
In 1944 she enlisted in WAC-Air Force and was assigned to Farfield –Suisun (now known as Travis Air Base) as an Aircraft Dispatcher in Base Operations. April 20, 1966, in Las Vegas, she received her wings and a plaque from the office of the Air Force Surgeon General , making her the 1st “Honorary Flight Nurse” for her founding the Aerial Nurse Corps in Cleveland Ohio and credited with developing the idea of an army flight nurse.
She was honored at the 25th anniversary of Flight Nursing held in 1968, as a pioneer in air evacuations, and in 1985, inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. In Lauretta’s lifetime, she logged 427 hours, owned 17 different types of aircrafts and 4 airplanes.
Lauretta, pictured here with Amelia Earhart in Cleveland, dined with her 3 days before she took off on her ill fated world flight.