Although American women had flown planes in WWII as civilians, Amy Sheridan helped open the skies to a new generation of women as the first Jewish woman to become an aviator in the US Armed Services. Sheridan was studying at the American College in Jerusalem in 1973 when the Yom Kippur War broke out. On her return to the US, she began taking flight lessons in exchange for doing paperwork for a flight school. She joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1976, two years before women were integrated into the regular army, quickly earning a position as crew chief servicing military aircraft. In 1979 she became a warrant officer and aviator, one of the first American women to serve as a military pilot. For the next twenty years, Sheridan flew aircraft for the US Army, commanded the first-ever all-female reconnaissance flight crew, and was used as a test case for whether women would be capable of handling various aircraft in combat zones. Once, ferrying the German ambassador, she heard him say in German, “A woman’s flying the helicopter?” to which she replied (also in German), “Yes, but the helicopter doesn’t know.” After her retirement in 1999 at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4, Sheridan became a teacher and school guidance counsellor.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Amy Sheridan." (Viewed on January 18, 2020) <https://qa.jwa.org/people/sheridan-amy>.