women in aviation and space history

Mary Light

Mary Light
WEB12330-2012
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries

Mary Light

Golden Age of Flight (105)

Dr. Richard Light, faculty member of Yale Medical School, and his wife Mary embarked on a scientific expedition for the American Geographical Society in 1937 to photograph and map remote areas in Uganda and the Congo, specifically the Ruwenzori mountain range. The range was nearly always shrouded in rain, fog, or snow, thus thwarting photographic efforts from the ground. On December 29, 1937, Mary Light successfully photographed the highest peak, Mt. Stanley, from above the clouds at 4,572 meters (15,000 feet) with her husband at the controls of their Bellanca CH cabin plane. The celebration was delayed, however, as she suffered from a lack of oxygen and nearly froze to death while photographing from an open window in the aircraft. They continued their aerial photography tour throughout 1938.

(information compiled by D. Cochrane and P. Ramirez)