Canadian Aviatrix #46 – Rosie Campbell (1918-1996)

Born Irene Rose Campbell on 29 July 1918 in Ontario to Durand Campbell (a farmer) and Elizabeth Jane “Mabel” Vines.


1921 census

1931 census


Kent ON

Rodney ON



Died 1922















Died 1922





Mabel was born in England and moved to Canada in 1911. She worked as a servant, before marrying Durand in 1914, when he was 35 and she was 28. They had five girls, including twins.

Durand died in July 1922 of tuberculosis of the lungs, which he’d had for three and a half years. Dora (one of the twins) died of the same thing two months later. She was only one and a half years old and had had TB for three months. In December, Mable sold the farm and bought a house for the family.

Rosie joined the London (Ontario) Flying Club and took her first flying lesson in September 1935.

On 16 November 1935, Rosie passed her flying test and received her PPL, making her the 46th female pilot in Canada. She was 17 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #46 – Rosie Campbell (born 1918) 

Photo: The Leader Post (March 9, 1936)

In 1936, Rosie was in a plane crash, but not injured. Her plane developed engine troubles, so she attempted an emergency landing, but got caught in telegraph wires. The plane somersaulted and landed on the ground on its back.

An article in 1937 listed the stories of many female pilots of the time and mentioned Rosie, “who, although lamed so that she had to be carried to and from the plane, persisted in her lessons and made a solo flight”. It’s unclear if this is referring to a temporary condition or something more serious.

In 1950, Rosie married Joseph Laskov. He was a Canadian mining engineer who served in the RCAF for six years. They lived in Mexico, where they had two children, before moving to Kearny, Arizona. Joseph died in 1971.

Rosie was an officer of the Kearny Woman’s Club (second VP in 1968, secretary in 1970). In 1974, she was appointed as head of the Kearny Authority for Recreation and Enterprise (KARE), which was set up to assist the city with acquiring equipment and other recreational development. She was also assistant to Councilman Ray Hughes and, when he was appointed vice-mayor in 1975, he recommended that she fill his post. She was also the coordinator for the county’s cervical cancer screening program and the Kearny Health Fair.

Rosie died in 1996, aged 77.

Note: Rosie was listed with an asterisk in No Place for a Lady – meaning the author hadn’t been able to find her.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots


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