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Nancy Hopkins (1909-1997)

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Nancy Hopkins 04

Hopkins in 1930 at the

Schneider-EddieAugust Hopkins-Nancy Chicago 1930

Hopkins with Eddie August Schneider (1911-1940) at the 1930 Ford National Reliability Air Tour in Chicago, Illinois on September 12, 1930

Schneider-EddieAugust Hopkins-Nancy 6th Ford Tour 1930

Hopkins with Eddie August Schneider (1911-1940) at the 1930 Ford National Reliability Air Tour in Chicago, Illinois on September 12, 1930

Nancy Hopkins (1909-1997) was an aviatrix (b. May 16, 1909, Washington, District of Columbia, USA - d. January 15, 1997, Cobble Road, Sharon, Litchfield County, Connecticut, 06068, USA) Social Security Number 224623396 and Connecticut Death Index Number 01754.

BirthEdit

She was the daughter of Alfred R. Hopkins, a physician. She was a niece of Lady Nancy Astor.

MarriageEdit

She married Irving Vanderroest Tier (1902-1978) on February 24, 1931 in Connecticut and it was reported in the New York Times. Her uncle was Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) the creator of the Gibson Girl. Her New York Times wedding announcement from February 24, 1931 is as follows: "Announcement was made today of the marriage yesterday of Miss Nancy Hopkins of this city, daughter of Dr. Alfred R. Hopkins of Washington, D.C., to Irving Vanderroest Tier, son of Mrs. Arthur J. Crawford, of Deepwood Drive of this city. The Reverend Franklin J. Kennedy of the First Methodist Episcopal Church performed the ceremony in the presence of a few intimate friends at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas North Tracy, 39 Goodrich Street. A reception followed at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Ellsworth Gross, 4 Prospect Court. Mrs. Tier, who is a niece of Charles Dana Gibson, is an aviatrix. Last year she flew in a Kitty Hawk plane in the Ford Reliability Tour. She received her education in the Central High School, Washington, D.C. Mr. Tier was graduated from Hamden Hall and Silver Bay School, Lake George, N. Y. He is also an aviator. Following a short wedding trip, Mr. and Mrs. Tier will make their home in this city."

BiographyEdit

  • The following is her biography from www.au.af.mil: "A pioneer pilot in the finest sense of the term, Nancy Hopkins Tier not only witnessed aviation's coming of age; she helped mold it. Born in 1909 in Washington, D.C., into an illustrious family, her relatives included Dr. Johns Hopkins of university fame and American artist Charles Dana Gibson. Nancy learned to fly at the tender age of 18 and earned her limited commercial license (# 5889) in 1929 at Roosevelt Field, New York. Before earning her license, Nancy -- always seeking adventure--flew down Pennsylvania Avenue over the Inaugural Parade for Herbert Hoover and can be personally thanked for some flight restrictions that now exist. She quickly earned her FAI Sporting License (#7677) -- signed by Orville Wright -- and her transport license in 1931. During the early air race and derby era, Nancy was a sales representative for Viking Flying Boat Company's Kittyhawk aircraft. In 1930, she flew the Kittyhawk as the only woman in the grueling 5000-mile Ford Reliability Tour and the 2000-mile Women's Dixie Derby. Additionally, Nancy served as a hostess at Roosevelt Field, where she often rubbed elbows with many other greats of early American aviation. Crowned Connecticut Speed Champion in 1931 and Meridien Aviation Pylon Race Winner in 1932, she continued amassing trophies and titles up to 1992. Nancy had slowed down enough to fall in love with and marry Irving V. Tier in 1931, eventually rearing three children. While a wife and mother, Nancy was determined to continue her flying exploits, and was one of the first women to fly solo coast-to-coast in 1933. In 1942, she joined the Civil Air Patrol and served for more than 18 years. She flew bomb patrols for the Civil Air Patrol during World War II and was their first female wing commander. She flew the first-day covers of the Amelia Earhart stamp in 1963 from Atchison to New York City and presented the covers to then-Mayor Wagner. C.W. Post University in 1976 and the Wings Club in 1983 honored Nancy for her aviation achievements. She was recognized for outstanding service to the Civil Air Patrol in 1981, elected to the "Pioneer Women in Aviation" Hall of Fame in 1992, and is an honorary member of the United States Air Force's 38th Strategic Missile Wing. Always an active aviation enthusiast who has supported the advance of women in aviation, Nancy is a charter member of the Ninety-Nines from their first meeting in 1929. Her most impassioned project was the creation of the International Women's Air and Space Museum. This life-long dream was realized in March 1986, when Nancy presided as the museum's president on its opening day. She served as president until 1994 and chairman of the board."
  • The following is from www.wai.org: "Nancy Hopkins Tier started flying in November 1927 at Hoover Field in Arlington, Virginia. In 1930 she entered the 'Women's Dixie Derby,' a 2,000mile air race from Washington to Chicago, and was the only woman to enter the 5,000-mile Ford Reliability Air Race. She won the New England Air Race in 1971 and placed several times. Tier joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1942, where she served for 18 years. She was the first woman to receive the rank of Colonel as Wing Commander of Connecticut. She also served eight years on the National Conunander Advisory Staff and received the Exceptional Service Award and the Meritorious Award." George Vecsey and George C. Dade write in their book Getting Off the Ground: "She says she didn't get much encouragement from the all-male staff at the flying fields, who may or may not have known she was a niece and namesake of Lady Astor. When she made her first flight, a perfect landing in the crosswinds across the Potomac, the social reporters and Ernie Pyle all wrote features about her. Later she moved to the Old Curtiss Field on Long Island, working in the same office as George C. Dade, and taking more lessons in her spare time. Tier became so good that she was invited to fly in the 1930 Ford Reliability Tour, one of the most famous air events of this decade of developement. Edsel Ford of the automobile family was trying to prove that airplanes --- particularly Ford-produced airplanes --- were so dependable, they could keep a regular schedule. The tour was first held in 1924, and by 1930 it had been expanded to a five-thousand-mile marathon around the United States, with a daily itinerary that had to be maintained. 'You started in Dearborn, Michigan," Tier recites, 'flew on to Kalamazoo for lunch, then flew to Chicago and stayed overnight. Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Wasau, you kept going for sixteen days, regardless of weather. You were trying to show you could maintain your pace despite the weather. Down the Rockies, Great Falls, Sheridan, Colorado Springs, Cheyenne, Garden City, Kansas.' 'I had a forced landing in Arkansas,' she continues. 'She really blew at four thousand feet over the Mississippi, forty miles from Memphis. I just made a big circle---I was used to landing in small fields. I landed in the back of a little shack, tree stumps all around, hit an irrigation ditch and blew a tire. 'But the main thing was to see what was wrong. I pulled the propeller, checked out the cylinders, found the problem, went to work with a screwdriver and some wire, and it started right up. All I could think about was the great shop course back in Central High, and how glad I was to take it.' The twenty-two-year-old pilot kept her schedule that day, despite the breakdown, flying out of the stump-filled field, and finishing fourteenth out of nineteen pilots. A year later she married Irving Tier, who owned a fleet of planes in Connecticut, and she did not compete in races after starting a family."
  • The following is from the New York Times on December 08, 1929 or 1930: "Mrs. W. Irving Tier, the former Miss Nancy Hopkins, 23-year-old niece of Lady Astor, had a narrow escape here today while taking her final flying test for a license as a transport pilot. In one of the necessary manoueuvres, a four-turn spin, she threw the plane at an altitude of 3,500 feet and it failed to recover itself. Terrified she struggled to free herself from the cockpit. The centrifugal force of the spin held her fast, however. As a last resport she steeled back into her seat and worked the controls while the horizon whirled dizzily around her. As the plane descended to 1,000 feet the nose dropped and the craft gathered speed in its spinning dive. A split second later, at 800 feet, it responded to rudder control and the pilot brought it out into a straight power dive. Because she had been a limited commercial pilot for some time her inspector, George D. Ream of the Department of Commerce, expected no untoward event in her examination today and stood on the ground manoeuvres. When Mrs. Tier landed, however, she was so nervous that her test was put off until later in the week. The cause of the failure of the plane to recover from its spin was unknown."
  • The following comes from George Vecsey and George C. Dade's publication, "Getting Off the Ground": "'Ever since I was in high school, I had just one determination --- to fly. I don't know why either.' She says she didn't get much encouragement from the all-male staff at the flying fields, who may or may not have known she was a niece and namesake of Lady Astor. When she made her first flight, a perfect landing in the crosswinds across the Potomac, the social reporters and Ernie Pyle all wrote features about her. Later she moved to the Old Curtiss Field on Long Island, working in the same office as George C. Dade,and taking more lessons in her spare time. Tier became so good that she was invited to fly in the 1930 Ford Reliability Tour, one of the most famous air events of this decade of developement. Edsel Ford of the automobile family was trying to prove that airplanes --- particularly Ford-produced airplanes---were so dependable, they could keep a regular schedule. The tour was first held in 1924, and by 1930 it had been expanded to a five-thousand-mile marathon around the United States, with a daily itinerary that had to be maintained. 'You started in Dearborn, Michigan,' Tier recites, 'flew on to Kalamazoo for lunch, then flew to Chicago and stayed overnight. Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Wasau, you kept going for sixteen days, regardless of weather. You were trying to show you could maintain your pace despite the weather. Down the Rockies, Great Falls, Sheridan, Colorado Springs, Cheyenne, Garden City, Kansas.' 'I had a forced landing in Arkansas,' she continues. 'She really blew at four thousand feet over the Mississippi, forty miles from Memphis. I just made a big circle --- I was used to landing in small fields. I landed in the back of a little shack, tree stumps all around, hit an irrigation ditch and blew a tire. But the main thing was to see what was wrong. I pulled the propeller, checked out the cylinders, found the problem, went to work with a screwdriver and some wire, and it started right up. All I could think about was the great shop course back in Central High, and how glad I was to take it.' The twenty-two-year-old pilot kept her schedule that day, despite the breakdown, flying out of the stump-filled field, and finishing fourteenth out of nineteen pilots. A year later she married Irving Tier, who owned a fleet of planes in Connecticut, and she did not compete in races after starting a family."

BurialEdit

After her death her remains were cremated and interred at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC.

External linksEdit

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Nancy Hpkins (aviator). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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