The trailblazer: Marie Marvingt's nickname was "Finacée of Danger," so you know she's badass. Marvingt was a French woman who, among being a balloonist, mountaineer, flight nurse and pilot, managed to become the first female combat pilot in history.
Marvingt was a well-known pilot in France and in America, where she made headlines (lots of which fawned over her beauty). She was a nurse in the French military during World War I, and, while the French military as a whole wasn't open to letting women pilot combat aircraft, they were more relaxed about it than the United States. While she wasn't allowed to head into battle, she was allowed to train men to fly.
She along with Helene Dutrieu also performed scouting missions, which, while not wholly embraced, was acceptable enough. But the real breakthrough came on March 25, 1915. After a bomber pilot was too injured to fly on his mission to bomb a German airbase near Metz, she convinced the base commander to let her pilot the plane. She and five other male French pilots set out and bombed their target.
"After that, she made several solo reconnaissance flights over the Italian front, but her activity as a war pilot was irregular, unrecorded and usually extemporaneous," writes Rosalie Maggio in her book, "Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger." "If anyone inquired, Marie was a volunteer nurse."