Dorothy Fulton Slinn– on display June 4

ABOUT Dorothy Fulton Slinn

Dorothy Fulton was born October 14, 1918, in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey to Harry LeRoy and Johanna Crystal Jensen Fulton. Her father was descendant of steamboat inventor Robert Fulton and her mother was descendant of a Danish shipmaster from Copenhagen.

As a young child Amelia Earhart was Dorothy’s heroine and flying became her passion which caused her parents some concern. They did not stand in her way. Instead they encouraged her to follow her dream and Dorothy began flying at age fifteen. She attended nearby Teaneck High School which was the first high school to offer a two-year flying course for students to earn a pilot’s license. Dorothy soloed March 27, 1936 as the first girl in the class. She received her amateur license a few months later and earned her private pilot’s license on August 5, 1937.

After graduation, she earned her commercial, multi-engine and instructor’s ratings. She taught flying and ground school at Bendix Airport which is now Teterboro.

By the time, she joined the WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) in October 1942, Dorothy logged 3,269 hours of flying time. She was the 23rd woman pilot to be accepted but was listed as number 22 on the final WAFS list. Her first assignment base was Wilmington, Delaware. After a year at Wilmington, Dorothy was among the first group sent to Palm Springs in October 1943 thru November 18, 1943, at which time she transferred to Long Beach, CA. On March 18, 1944, Dorothy transferred to the 3rd Ferrying Group in Romulus, Michigan. She came down with a severe case of pneumonia and was hospitalized for two months. Dorothy was released for ground duty and advised by her physician not to fly. She resigned from the WASP summer 1944.

Among the planes Dorothy ferried during WWII were the PT-19, PT-26 and L4-B (Cub), BT-13, UC-61, and the C-47. The C-47 was her favorite.

After the war, Dorothy went back to instructing and continued to teach in New York and New Jersey. She married, had one son Clarence “Speedy” Slinn, and was eventually divorced. She died of pneumonia and other complications on February 11, 1985.

Find more information about Dorothy Fulton Slinn in The Originals by Sarah Byrn Rickman