Black History - Her Story
Mildred Louise Hemmons Carter became one of the first women to earn a pilot’s license through the Civilian Pilot Training Program. She was also the first black female pilot in Alabama. Despite her initially being denied admission into the Tuskegee Airmen program, Hemmons would later be declared an official member of the group in 2011. During World War II, Carter worked at Moton Field then the only flight training facility for African American pilot candidates in the United States Army Air Corps. She became Chief Clerk of the Quartermaster Corps. She also rigged parachutes and operated a bulldozer to clear airstrips. After World War II ended, Carter traveled across the United States and Europe to mentor and encourage young black women to become pilots. Many of these women became flight nurses and aerospace engineers.
Carter finally gave up flying in 1985 at the age of 64 after she suffered a broken hip. In February 2011, Carter was declared one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Mildred Hemmons Carter died on October 21, 2011, after a long illness. She was 90.