oscotto wrote:Hello Erik,
I was unable to locate a copy of A Royal Divorce, so I’m a bit envious. I have no way of giving it a fresh assessment. Ruth did a tremendous amount of research in preparation– she spent three months in France visiting all the places connected with Napoleon and Josephine. Unfortunately, critics were not kind to the film or her performance.
Ruth’s close friend/co-star/director Auriol Lee, was the first woman to fly across the equator (1927) en route to Kenya. She was influential in Ruth’s own passion for flying. Ruth had boarded one of the first commercial air-mail planes (c. 1926). “After that,” said Ruth, “I wanted to fly everywhere and did a lot of it abroad. But then, when a friend of mine was badly injured on the R-101 , I suddenly became afraid.” It was a French pilot who got Ruth back up in the air in 1932. She finally won her license in 1934. She became friends with Amelia Earhart (there’s of photo of Ruth, Amelia and Kay Francis in the biography). Leland Hayward encouraged Ruth to sponsor her own air derbies in 1935 and 1936. They were highly successful and received a great deal of nationwide news coverage. Ruth’s instructor was Bob Blair, winner of the Carnegie Medal, who had over twenty years experience as an aviator. He also taught Henry Fonda, Cary Grant and Wallace Beery. At the completion of her 1935 derby, Ruth was feted by Major Jimmy Doolittle, Eddie Rickenbacker and Penny Rogers (cousin of Will Rogers).
During WWII Chatterton was ranked Captain in the “Queens Own” as well as flight lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Air Force. She received similar honors from the U.S. Air Corps.
Thanks for showing interest in Chatterton’s passion for aviation.
I did not know about her being a Captain ... but I knew her in the Royal Canadian Air Force because I visited several museums in my many visits in Canada in my lifetime. And a bonus for knowing Earhart as well. I just wanted to say thanks for answering these questions ... I appreciate it very much.