RCAF’s First Female Qualified Aviator



In 1974, six years before the job of Canadian Armed Forces pilot was opened to women, Major Wendy Clay got her wings. Major Clay, a doctor in Canada’s military, undertook the pilot training to have a better understanding of the medical needs of pilots and other aircrew.

Major Clay held the title as Canada’s only qualified female military aviator until 1979, when three women, Captains Deanna Brasseur, Leah Mosher and Nora Bottomley, undertook training to get their wings after the occupation was opened to women.

Following these first three women, the Canadian Armed Forces would train and employ 40 additional female pilots as part of its initial wave of training.

Reference: DND Archives