6 08, 2014

Betty Skelton Frankman Erde

Inducted in 2010

First Lady of Aerobatics; Aviation and Automotive Pioneer

1926 – 2011

Betty June Skelton, the only child of David and Myrtle Skelton, was born in Pensacola, Florida on June 28, 1926. An independent child, she played with model airplanes instead of dolls. Later she devoted her playtime to sitting on the back steps of her home watching Navy cadets from the nearby Naval Air Station flying overhead executing maneuvers in bi-planes. Finally, at the age of nine, she convinced her parents she wanted to become a Navy flyer.

Betty’s father, a railroad conductor, shared her interest in flying, and the three Skeltons began visiting the airport every spare moment. A young Navy Ensign began teaching the entire family to fly. Betty was the last to solo. She was twelve years old..

During World War II the Skelton family was active in the Civil Air Patrol. The young pilot legally soloed on her […]