Year Inducted: 2015
An Olympic swimmer in the 1936 Games in Berlin, Iris Cummings Critchell’s aviation career took off during World War II when she became a member of the second class of WASP pilots to be recruited by Jacqueline Cochran. Critchell was assigned to a ferry unit at Long Beach, CA, flying such diverse aircraft as the P-38, P-51, A-20, C-47, B-25, and P-61. After the War, Critchell developed and taught the aviation curriculum for the University of Southern California’s College of Aeronautics and established a similar innovative program at Harvey Mudd College of Science & Engineering. A proud member of the Ninety-Nines, she won the prestigious “Powder Puff Derby” women’s trans-continental air race in 1959. Iris also established aviation outreach programs for public high schools, and served as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for more than 20 years.