1950s

April 28, 1955 – Jean Ross Howard and five other female helicopter pilots (out of a total of 13 worldwide) met for the first time at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. The result was the formation of The Whirly Girls organization. Membership numbers were assigned to the 13 known female helicopter pilots worldwide based on when they earned their helicopter ratings. In the early years of The Whirly Girls, Jean handled all of the administrative tasks associated with the organization including recruiting new members, ordering membership badges, writing the newsletter, publishing press releases, and planning our annual “hovering” and social gatherings.