From the July 13, 1948 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

The Oak Bluffs Airport operators, Carolyn Cullen and Rachael Williams, entertained a weekend flight group of “Ninety-Nines,” an international organization of licensed women pilots, introducing many to the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard. Nature joined in the conspiracy to lure them away from their devotion to the Nantucket weekend habit, bringing out warm sun, superb swimming conditions and a clear, moonlit night.

After a lazy Saturday afternoon of swimming and sunning on the beach at Oak Bluffs, 99-ers, 49 1/2-ers, as their husbands call themselves, and a few friends and prospective members drove to South Beach where Rachael and Carolyn had a roaring driftwood fire burning.

Pails of steaming littlenecks were dispatched in record time, while lobsters boiled in a huge copper tub of sea water. Seventeen hungry pilots dug their heels into the sand around the fire, grabbed rocks and cracked lobsters in the best back to nature fashion. Far into the night they swapped yarns such as I Learned About Flying from That, to the accompaniment of radio music and surf.

Volumes could be written to cover the vast experience combined in the flying careers of many of those present. Helen Mary (Mrs. W. Gerould) Clark, 99’s, Metropolitan chapter, owner of the Oak Bluffs Airport, was one of the eight original officers of the WASPS during the war and flies anything with wings, from Stinsons, to P-47 Thunderbolts and B-26’s.

Regina Wincza, New England 99-er of Toulon and Paris, was the first woman to fly aerobatically in France, participating in low-altitude aerobatics in 46 air shows and winning a decoration by the minister of sport education in 1937. Miss Wincza was the first French aviatrix to receive the P.S.V., flying without visibility, comparable to our instrument rating. She also holds France’s glider pilot rating, and served as lieutenant in the ferry service. When the Nazis began their occupation of France, Miss Wincza remained, and for her excellent work with the French Resistance, won the Cross of War and a citation from Charles de Gaulle in 1945.

Carolyn Cullen, 99’s, veteran of the WASPS, and flight instructor on Navy and Pan American Airways training programs during the war, and Rachael Williams, 99-er of the Metropolitan chapter and charter pilot, are well known to Vineyard residents as they are operators of the Trade Wind Flying Service at Oak Bluffs Airport.

Judy Short, governor of the New England Section of 99’s, and BT-13 pilot, flew in with her husband, Marion (Shorty) Short, American Airlines pilot captain. Sally Driver, 99-er of North Andover, instructor in the Navy ground school program during the war, flew down from Plum Island with Regina Wincza.

Louise Howard of Norwood and Vineyard Haven was one of the first women in New England to fly and was among the early 99-ers to answer the call of Amelia Earhart for organization of all women pilots, at East Boston Airport in 1929. Ninety-nine responded to the call.

Ruth Anderberg, 99-er of Dorchester, is a flight instructor and dispatcher at Revere Airport. Dorothy Hayes, 99-er of Boston, flies from Revere Airport and is a member of the Hub Flying Club. Mildred (Mrs. David) Morey of East Chop, is secretary of the New England Section of 99’s, and a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Flying Club.

Guests of the 99’s were Jean Anderberg of Dorchester; Kay Farnell, pilot, of Plymouth; Edith and John Sisson of Oak Bluffs, private pilots; Gerould Clark Jr. of New Jersey and Oak Bluffs; and Harry Howard of Norwood and Vineyard Haven.

A breakfast meeting was held Sunday morning at the airport snack bar, followed by a swim in Edgartown and take-off — “a time to date from — Vineyard weekend.”


The Vineyard Painters have resumed their activities for the summer, with W. Douglas Prizer, president; Mrs. Ruth A. Mead, vice president; Miss Amy Ferris, treasurer; Mrs. Gilberta Goodwin, secretary; Miss E. C. Cozzens, publicity; Miss Caroline Lawton, sales. Any artist may join the group by paying the annual dues. Exhibitions will be held in the gallery near the Chappaquiddick beach ferry.

The Edgartown School of Painting feels that it is most fortunate in having Vaclav Vytlacil as instructor. Mr. Vytlacil is instructor of drawing, painting and composition at the Art Students League in New York City.

Howard Devree of The New York Times, in his comments on Vytlacil’s show at the Feigl Gallery last November, spoke in glowing terms of this painter. “He has emerged,” wrote Devree, “from a decade of teaching with a surge of gloriously colorful work. In subject he turns from beaches to boats to figures or still-life, use of color, a remarkable sense of movement through all the work, and a kind of wizardly in his combinations of opaque and transparent passages.” The Island is fortunate indeed to have in its midst so great a teacher and painter.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox