Jerrie Mock

Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz Mock
Jerrie Mock 1964c.jpg
Mock on April 17, 1964
Born(1925-11-22)November 22, 1925
DiedSeptember 30, 2014(2014-09-30) (aged 88)
Occupationaviator, writer
Spouse(s)Russell Mock
ChildrenValerie Armentrout, Gary Mock, Roger Mock

Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz Mock (November 22, 1925 – September 30, 2014) was the first woman to fly solo around the world, which she did in 1964. She flew a single engine Cessna 180 (registered N1538C) christened the "Spirit of Columbus" and nicknamed "Charlie." [1][2] The trip began March 19, 1964, in Columbus, Ohio, and ended April 17, 1964, in Columbus, Ohio,[3] and took 29 days, 21 stopovers and almost 22,860 miles (36,790 km).[4] An almost forgotten part of this flight is the "race" that developed between Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith who had flown from a field near San Francisco CA on March 17, 1964. Joan's departure date and flight path was the same as the aviator Amelia Earhart's last flight[5] and though not in direct competition with each other, media coverage soon began tracking the progress of each pilot fascinated with who would complete the journey first. The story of this race is told in a book written by Taylor Phillips entitled, Racing to Greet the Sun, Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith Duel to Become the First Woman to Solo Around the World. Jerrie Mock was subsequently awarded the Louis Blériot medal from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1965. In 1970 she published the story of her round-the-world flight in the book Three-Eight Charlie.[6] While that book is now out of print, a 50th anniversary edition was later published including maps, weather charts and photos.[6] Three-Eight Charlie is a reference to the call sign, N1538C, of the Cessna 180 Skywagon Mock used to fly around the world.[1] Before her death, Mock, mother of three children, resided in Quincy, Florida; northwest of the state capital, Tallahassee.[7]

Early life

Mock with father on April 18, 1964

Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz Mock was born November 22, 1925 in Newark, Ohio.[8] During her childhood, she found that she had more in common with the boys. Her interest for flying was sparked when she was 7 years old when she and her father had the opportunity to fly in the cockpit of a Ford Trimotor airplane. In high school, she took an engineering course of which she was the only girl and decided flying was her passion. She graduated from Newark High School in 1943 and went on to attend Ohio State University.[8] At OSU, she became a member of Phi Mu. She would leave her studies at OSU behind to wed her husband, Russell Mock in 1945.[9]

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