10 Lesser-Known People Who Were The First To Accomplish Things

Beatings the odds.

1. Captain Della H. Raney, the first black nurse to report to duty in the World War Two.

2. The first female F-16 fighter pilot, Second Lieutenant Kristin Bass.

3. Women electric welders at Hog Island shipyard in 1918. These were the first women to be engaged in ship construction in the United States.

4. The first black man to enlist in the Marines, Howard P. Perry.

5. Willa Beatrice Brown, the first black woman to receive a commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol. She trained Air Force pilots during in the 1940s.

6. Matice Wright, the Navy’s first black female naval flight officer.

7. Captain Sarah Deal, the first female Marine Corps helicopter pilot.

8. The first female Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Sheila E. Widnall.

9. The 93rd Infantry Division, which had some of the first black foot soldiers to go into action in the South Pacific theater during World War Two.

10. Sherian Cadoria, the first Hispanic female officer to be promoted to brigadier general.

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at
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