Dorothy Layne McIntyre, African American aviator

Dorothy Layne McIntyre (image courtesy of Dorothy Layne McIntyre Family Papers, WRHS)
Dorothy Layne McIntyre (image courtesy of Dorothy Layne McIntyre Family Papers, WRHS)

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

In 1940, Dorothy Layne McIntyre became the first African American woman to receive a private pilot’s license under the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). She attended the flying program at West Virginia State College. While working as a secretary in the Baltimore Urban League, she also taught aircraft mechanics at the War Production Training School. She moved to Cleveland and married F. Benjamin McIntyre in 1942 and worked as a bookkeeper, social worker, and a Cleveland Public School teacher until she retired in 1979. McIntyre still lives in the greater Cleveland area.

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Explore Cleveland’s Aviation & Aerospace Heritage

By Lisa Pasquinelli Rickey, Host Committee member

When the Cleveland Municipal Airport — now Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (since 1951) — opened in 1925, it was the first municipally owned airport in the country. The original terminal building, completed in 1927, featured the world’s first airport control tower. Cleveland was an important stop on the air-mail route from New York to San Francisco for many years. From 1929 to 1949, the Cleveland Municipal Airport hosted the National Air Races almost every year. The Cleveland Air Show, held since 1964 at Burke Lakefront Airport, is considered one of the best in the country. In addition to its aviation heritage, Cleveland is currently home to the NASA Glenn Research Center.

If you are interested in aviation history, here are some places you should definitely consider checking out during your time in Cleveland:

1947 National Air Races decal (image by History Center via Flickr, Creative Commons license)
1947 National Air Races decal (image by History Center via Flickr, Creative Commons license)

Marjorie Rosenbaum Aviation Plaza
Burke Lakefront Airport
1501 North Marginal Road, Cleveland
Open year-round, 8:30 a.m. to dusk, free and open to the public

International Women’s Air & Space Museum
Burke Lakefront Airport
1501 North Marginal Road, Cleveland
Open daily, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., free and open to the public

Crawford Auto Aviation Collection
Western Reserve Historical Society,
10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland
Open Tues-Sat 10-5 & Sun 12-5, adult admission $10

If you have a full day free or are interested in extending your trip, you may be interested in these other Ohio sites related to aviation & aerospace history:

MAPS Air Museum
North Canton, 54 miles from Cleveland

Liberty Aviation Museum
Port Clinton, 77 miles

National Museum of the United States Air Force
Dayton, 200 miles

Armstrong Air & Space Museum
Wapakoneta, 185 miles

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