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Tigers: Tracking a Legend
Alice H. Hammond
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Alice Hirschman Hammond enabled hundreds of women to enhance their opportunities for a career in aviation through proposing, administrating, and establishing funding for the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship, the Amelia Earhart Career Scholarship, and the Amelia Earhart Research Grant.
After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1927, Alice attended the Curtis-Wright School of Aviation, later the Grosse Ile Naval Air Station, and received her private pilot's license in 1931. In 1933, she won the first closed course race for women in Michigan. In 1941, Alice was called into the civilian service to activate and command the first and largest women's flying squadron of the Civil Air Patrol during World War II. Subsequently, she was promoted to the Great Lakes Regional Staff of the CAP as Coordinator of Women and later became Executive Officer of the Great Lakes Region. She remained in that position as the Lt. Colonel until 1961 when her husband was transferred to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She transferred to the Civil Air Patrol in Philadelphia where she participated in search and rescue missions and gave orientation flights to CAP cadets. Later she served the CAP as a consultant to the Illinois Wing.
Mrs. Hammond was a friend of Amelia Earhart and upon Amelia's disappearance, she proposed a scholarship be developed to memorialize Amelia. Thus, in 1941, the Ninety-Nines, Inc. established the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund. Then, in 1976, the Amelia Earhart Career Scholarship was established to aid women already established with a career in aviation but in need of an upgrade. In 1978 the Amelia Earhart Research Scholarship was developed for women who wish to do advanced research in various fields of aviation.
She competed in 16 All Women's Transcontinental Air Races, placing among the top 10 winners three times. She also served as the President of the Ninety-Nines, Inc. from 1951 to 1953.
Alice Hirschman Hammond was enshrined on September 15, 1990 for her pioneering efforts to establish a place for women in the field of aviation.