#DidYouKnow Melody Millicent Danquah: The First Ever Female Pilot In Africa?

#DidYouKnow Melody Millicent Danquah: The First Ever Female Pilot In Africa?

Black history will never be complete without reference to this pace setter, a pioneer who paved way for other women in aviation, trailblazing Ghanaian Melody Millicent Danquah who in 1963 forever carved her name in the history books as the first female pilot in Africa.

The historic feat was powered in 1963 all thanks to then President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah who had asked for the inclusion of women in efforts towards building an effective armed force as well as improving the aviation sector

Melody Millicent Danquah was one of three ladies recruited into the Ghana Air Force to be trained. She enrolled in the Air Force after reading an advert in a newspaper.
Danquah finished first in her class and was therefore was able to achieve the impressive feat.

On 22 June 1964, Flt. Cadet Danquah flew solo for the first time in a de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk aircraft, becoming the first Ghanaian to fly an aeroplane solo. She received her Wings qualifying her as a pilot from Kofi Baako who was the Minister of Defence on 15 April 1965.
Due to ill-health, Danquah was discharged from the Force in 1984 and was given a Long Service award and The Efficiency Medal.

In 2006, she was honoured by former president John Kufuor with the Companion of the Order of the Volta in recognition of her groundbreaking spirit and courage.

Upon retirement from the military, Danquah worked briefly for the World Food Programme and National Service Secretariat. At age 60, she earned a Diploma in Bible Studies and Theology and began to preach to military audiences. She later joined the Board of Directors for the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

Born 6 January 1937, Melody Millicent Danquah passed away on March 18, 2016, at the age of 79.

Her legacy lives on.

 

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