Canadian Aviatrix #97 – Gloria Large (1924-1988)

Gloria Kathleen Large was born on 24 January 1924 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to Heber Rowan Large and Kathleen Isabel Beales.

Heber was a pilot during the first world war and pursued a career in aviation in California before returning to Charlottetown to enter the coal business.

1921 census

1930 census

Edmundston NB

West Virginia, USA














Gloria graduated from Mount Allison Ladies College in Sackville, New Brunswick, and began her flying lessons in Los Angeles. After civilian flying was stopped in America, she moved back to Canada and continued her training in Ontario.

On 4 June 1942, Gloria passed her flying test and received her PPL, making her the 97th female pilot in Canada and only the second one in Prince Edward Island. She was 18 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #97 – Gloria Large (1924-1988) 

Photo: The Montreal Daily Star (August 14, 1942)

She immediately joined the Air Transport Auxiliary of the RAF. While local newspapers reported that she was a Flight Lieutenant, she was only ever a Cadet and her ATA contract was terminated shortly after starting, as she was “unlikely to become an efficient ferry pilot”.

Gloria returned to Prince Edward Island and obtained her commercial licence and instructors rating.

Gloria married Allison Ernest Foster and had two sons. The couple divorced in 1953 and she was remarried to Don C Wilson (a furniture buyer). By 1962, she was divorced again and remarried to John David Walker.

Gloria died in 1988, aged 64.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots


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