North Carolina Aviatrix
Viola Gentry of Rockingham County learned to fly in 1924 and quickly achieved greater heights. The following year, she took her first solo flight. A year later, the aviatrix flew under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and in 1928, she established the first officially recorded women’s solo endurance flight record. She became the first federally licensed female pilot from North Carolina that same year. She was a national celebrity, and her job in a New York restaurant secured her the nickname the “Flying Cashier.” Gentry became personal friends with fellow pioneers of aviation Amelia Earhart, Wiley Post and General James “Jimmy” Doolittle. After a near-fatal crash, Gentry focused her efforts on championing aviation for women and preserving its early history. “North Carolina Aviatrix Viola Gentry: The Flying Cashier” is written by Jennifer Bean Bower of Winston-Salem. Softcover, 192 pages, 92 B&W images, $19.99.