Nebraska Historical Marker: Evelyn Sharp
Nebraska 11, Ord, Valley County, Nebraska
View this marker's location 41.624799, -98.94890
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Evelyn Genevieve Sharp was Nebraska's best-known aviatrix during her eight-year career. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John E. Sharp and was born October 1, 1919, in Melstone, Montana. Her family moved to Ord in her youth. She became interested in flying at age fourteen, and she soloed under the tutelage of Jack Jefford at sixteen. Two years later she received her commercial pilot's license, one of the youngest persons to achieve this rating. Ord businessmen assisted in the purchase of her first airplane, and she repaid them with profits from barnstorming trips. At twenty Evelyn became an instructor. Over 350 men learned flying from her in Spearfish, South Dakota, her first teaching assignment. She was the nation's first female airmail pilot. With the coming of World War II, Evelyn joined General H. H. "Hap" Arnold's Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, expert pilots who flew aircraft from factory sites to shipping points. Her proficiency enabled her to fly everything from training craft to bombers. On April 3, 1944, at the age of twenty-four, Evelyn Sharp was killed near Middleton, Pennsylvania, in the crash of a P-38 pursuit plane. At the time of her death she was a squadron commander only three flights from her fifth rating, the highest certificate then available to women. She is buried in Ord.
“’Evelyn Sharp, Pilot from Ord,’ Special Issue: Nebraskans at War,” Nebraska History 25 (1944): 78-81
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