women in aviation and space history

Bernetta Miller

Bernetta Miller
NASM-86-6344
National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Bernetta Miller

Early Flight (107)

Bernetta Miller was born in Canton, Ohio on January 11, 1886. After becoming interested in flying, she enrolled for instruction at the Moisant Flying School at Hempstead Plains, Long Island, New York. On September 25, 1912, she received her license and then joined the Moisant International Aviators. In October 1912 she was sent to Washington, D.C. with the Moisant aviator Harold Kantner to assist in demonstration tests. There she became the first person to demonstrate a monoplane before U.S. government officials. On January 20, 1913, she attempted to establish a women's altitude record at Garden City but the oil flow indicator in her plane broke, causing an emergency landing. Miller also took an active part in WWI, joining the Women's Overseas Service League Infantry Division in France. She served first as an accountant and then went to the front as a canteen worker. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and many American citations for her work. After WWI, she engaged in educational work on the staffs of Dickinson and Colby Colleges and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

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