Thursday, January 24, 2008

WASP Evelyn Pinkert "Pinky" Brier, 44-W-9

Aviation pioneer Evelyn Pinkert 'Pinky' Brier

Evelyn Pinckert "Pinky’" Brier, a San Bernardino aviation pioneer who owned Tri-City Airport for more than 40 years, died Sunday at Redlands Community Hospital.

Brier, who was 98, died of pneumonia, according to officials at Montecito Memorial Park, which is handling her funeral.

PHOTO: Evelyn 'Pinky' Brier gets kissed by the mayor in 1938. Pinky flew the first air mail letter from Redlands. (A.K. Smiley Public Library)

Brier was the first American woman licensed as a flight and aerobatics instructor and was invited to join the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPS) during World War II. She holds the record for the most take-offs and landings at Los Angeles International Airport.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Valley View Chapel, Montecito Memorial Park, 3520 E. Washington St., Colton. Interment will follow in the park.


additional link to PINKY BRIER--OBITUARY ONLINE --San Bernadino Sun
additional link to PINKY BRIER--OBITUARY--SAN BERNADINO Press Enterprise


Old said...

Pinky's husband, Joe, appears in the Register of the old Davis-Monthan Airfield, which lay open at Tucson for pilots and passengers to sign between 1925 and 1936. The history of the Register and all the pilots and airplanes is celebrated and available at

Significant for this audience is that 41 female pilots of the Golden Age signed the same Register. Among them are charter members of 99s (Earhart, Kunz, etc.), original competitors in the 1929 Derby (O'Donnell, Barnes, etc.) and WASP (Harkness).

Each time we lose one of these pioneers, it is like having a library burn to the ground.

G.W. Hyatt

WASP said...

Pinky was a close personal friend of mine..I lived in a closet off the hangar floor, when I got my instructor's license..and to this day, Pinky always sent me 3-dimensional Xmas cards..and we talked many times for hours on the phone.. She was a most unique person..and I know she lived a marvelous life.

A street is named after her in San Bernardino. I was close to her when she built her home there…very unusual..the Fifi gremlin was etched in the shower glass door of her master bedroom...her Xmas trees always had airplanes actually flying around the circumference of the tree...her dining room chairs were original designs of animals...Pinky was UNIQUE.

One Christmas party I arranged for the WASP in southern California, at the Hilton Hotel in Universal City,many years ago..she flew her new airplane into Van Nuys a beautiful evening gown with the number of her "flying hours' integrated into the design of the skirt . .!

That's Pinky..UNIQUE. I'll miss that gal.

WASP B.J. Williams

Steve Kay said...

Pinky was an amazing lady. I got to know her in the late 1970's and even got a few lessons from her in her A36 Beech. I wonder how many people remember that she lost power in the Beech then managed to barely clear Waterman Ave and put the plane down where the Bobby McGees is today on Hospitality. I was supposed to fly with her the next day. I believe she was testing it because Valley College had just worked on it. She bought a new A36 after that and I had to help lift her in from a leg injury she suffered in the crash. Or how about the C-130 on final to Norton AFB that mistakenly put it down at Tri-City? Boy she was mad over that and I'm pretty sure the pilot had some explaining to do. I think Pinky started turning the lights off at night after that one. I still laugh when I remember her telling me how her house there shook so badly as she barely caught a glimpse of the big C-130 rolling by. I guess he even took the back fence out. Pinky was such an amazing lady.