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Marjorie Stinson, 79, Dies; Pioneer Air Mail Pilot Marjorie Stinson, 79, a pioneer aviator who gained national recognition more than half a century ago as "the flying schoolmarm," died Tuesday in Roger Memorial Hospital. She lived on 8th Street NE. Dr. Marvin McFarland of Library of Congress, who was acquainted with Miss Stinson for more than 20 years, observed, "She was a great woman and a great flyer; if you want to talk about women, there's one!" MISS STINSON learned flying in the San Antonio, Tex., flight school founded in 1912 by her mother. Also learning to fly at the school were her brother, Jack, who now lives in Woodside, N.Y.; her sister Katharine Otero of Santa Fe, N.M., who flew air mail between New York and Chicago in 1918, and her late brother, Eddie, an airplane designer. In 1914 Miss Stinson was issued U.S. Pilot's License No. 9. Before she was 20, Miss Stinson had herself flown air mail and had helped train more than 100 student pilots, leading to her being called "the flying schoolmarm." During World War I, the Canadian Air Force sent its cadets to her in San Antonio where she taught them military flying and gunnery techniques. The Stinson School of Flying closed in 1917 and the area its encompassed is now part of the San Antonio municipal airport. A plaque there identifies Stinson Field, the land which the school used. From 1917 to 1928, Miss Stinson barnstormed at county fairs and airports across the United States and became known as one of the nation's foremost stunt pilots. After she decided to quit flying, Miss Stinson in 1930 moved to Washington where she worked as a draftsman at the War Department for 15 years. She retired in 1945 and returned to her first love, aviation, devoting her time to private research into the history of aviation. OVER THE YEARS, Miss Stinson had counted as friends such other aviators as Amelia Earhart and Eddie Rickenbacker. The original set of papers on aviation that Miss Stinson had accumulated will be turned over to the Library of Congress. The Smithsonian has also requested a copy for its archives. Miss Stinson's picture, in fully flight regalia, presently is on display in the Air and Space Museum. She was a member of the 99er, an organization for the original female flyers, as well as the Early Birds, for aviators who acquired their licenses before Dec. 17, 1916. Fellow Early Birds included Orville Wright, Glen Curtis and Chance Vought. A private memorial service is planned. The family said Miss Stinson's body with be cremated and her ashes scattered over Stinson Field in San Antonio. [Caption] Aviation pioneer Marjorie Stinson, at 19, poses in the cockpit of a pre-World War I airplane.
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