This is The Jerrie Mock Story. I didn’t know that she was the first woman to fly solo around the world. I only discovered this because I met Nancy Roe Pimm. She wrote this book to help people to learn about Jerrie.
I’m writing this post because I want to help Nancy. Her latest mission— to see Jerrie Mock selected for the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
PS - It was a good try, but it didn't succeed. I'm glad that I still have this post about Jerrie and Nancy. Updated 3/14/22
Jerrie Mock is the first woman to cross both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, the first woman to land a plane in Saudi Arabia, the first to fly across the Pacific Ocean in both directions, the first to fly across the Pacific Ocean in a single-engine airplane, the first woman to fly from the United States to Africa via the North Atlantic, and on April 17, 1964 Jerrie Mock became the first woman to fly solo around the world.
Geraldine (Jerrie) Lois, the daughter of Timothy and Blanche Fredritz, was born in Newark, Ohio on November 22, 1925. Jerrie took her first airplane ride in a Ford Trimotor at age seven and declared, “I’m going to be a pilot when I grow up.” As Jerrie grew, so did her dream.
In middle school she announced to her friends, “I’m going to be a pilot, and I’m going to fly around the world.” As a young girl she followed the flying adventures of Amelia Earhart. Jerrie was devastated when Amelia disappeared in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
Jerrie studied aeronautical engineering at The Ohio State University before she married Russell Mock in 1945. Jerrie earned her private pilot’s license in 1958, and she managed Price Field airport in 1961, making her the first woman to manage an airport. In 1962, Jerrie and Russell Mock purchased a nine-year-old Cessna 180.
As she planned and prepared to follow her childhood dream, Jerrie discovered that if successful, she would be the first woman to fly solo around the world. Brigadier General Richard Lassiter and Capitan Art Weiner from the United States Air Force helped Jerrie prepare navigation maps, check weather forecasts, and get the necessary clearances from embassies around the world.
Jerrie accomplished her dream in a single engine plane with no GPS. She relied on a Bendix VHF radio, dual short-range radios, long-range radio, twin radio-direction finders, maps, compasses, and a plane with added gas tanks capable of carrying 183 gallons of aviation fuel.
She earned the Aero Classic Aviation Progress Award, Amelia Earhart Memorial Award, the American Institute of Aeronautics Distinguished Service Award, Experimental Aircraft Association Special Award, Louis Bleriot Silver Medal, Milestones in Manned Flight Trophy, National Aviation Trades Association Special Award, Ohio Governor’s Award, Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame, and the National Pilot’s Association Pilot of the Year Award.
After her historic flight, President Lyndon Johnson invited Jerrie Mock to the White House to receive the Federal Aviation Agency Gold Medal for Exceptional Service. The United States Air Force invited Jerrie to fly in a supersonic F-101 Vodoo Fighter and they named a street at Rickenbacker Air Force Base in her honor (Jerrie Mock Avenue).
When Jerrie learned that the three Russian women, Marina Raskova, Polina Osipenko, and Valentina Grizodubova had taken the international record for straight -line distance from her childhood hero Amelia Earhart on September 24-25, 1938, Jerrie vowed to take it back.
Jerrie Mock shattered the Russian record when she flew for thirty-one hours non-stop (4,528 miles), on April 9-10, 1966, to bring the record back to the United States! She went on to set a many more records: non-stop flight over a closed-course on July 1-2, 1966, 500-kilometer closed-course speed record on September 28, 1966, and a world closed-course record for speed over a recognized course on June 28-29, 1966.
When Jerrie Mock delivered and donated her Cessna P-206 on October 30, 1969 to missionaries in Papua, New Guinea, she set nine records in eleven days. A bronze statue of Jerrie Mock was unveiled on April 17, 2014 at Port Columbus International Airport.
On December 17, 2015, Jerrie Mock was honored as a person outstanding in the field of aviation, nationally and internationally, with an induction into the First Flight Society at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. An American-Afghan refugee met with Jerrie Mock in 2014. Jerrie gave Shaesta Waiz advice and encouragement to fly around the world. In September 2017,
Shaesta followed her dream and became the first woman from Afghanistan, and the youngest woman to fly around the world. Shaesta considers Jerrie Mock her hero and mentor. Jerrie Mock inspires us all to believe that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, girls and women included!
Shaesta Waiz is in the first photo. The second is her hero and mentor, Jerrie Mock.
We didn't get her into the Hall of Fame, but Jerrie is on the list of candidates. Check her out!
Link: Candidates for Induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame : National Aviation Hall of Fame
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!