Captain Irene N. Wirtschafter had a distinguished
32 year career in the United States Navy. In 1944 she was commissioned an ensign -- the first woman to receive a direct commission
without a college education. Assigned to the Supply Corps, after some shore duty she was the first female officer
assigned to sea duty and served aboard the USS Bretner when it transported troops from New York to Bremerhaven, Germany after
Beginning her flying career in 1958, she currently
holds a commercial license with IFR land and seaplane ratings. Irene has owned an Ercoupe, Tripacer, Cessna
182 and Cessna 172. She has participated in over 23 air races, and is listed in Who's Who in Aviation.
Among numerous civic and military memberships, CAPT
Wirtschafter serves as a trustee of the National Association of Naval Aviation. In addition, she is a member of the Spaceport
Chapter of The Ninety Nines, the National Advisory Committee for the Naval Reserve Association and the Veteran's Administration
Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. She is and accredited TROA scholar, and is on the Board of the Forest of Friendship,
has been National Secretary of Silver Wings and Staff Secretary of the Navy's Advisory Committee For Retired Personnel, and
has served as a delegate to the World Aerospace Education Organization Congress.