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." The trip began March 19, 1964, inColumbus, Ohio, and ended April 17, 1964, in Columbus, Ohio, and took 29 days, 21 stopovers and almost 22,860 miles. She 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.
While that book is now out of print, a 50th anniversary edition was later published including maps, weather charts and photos. Three-Eight Charlie is a reference to the call sign, N1538C, of the Cessna 180 Skywagon Mock used to fly around the world. Before her death, Mock resided in Quincy, Florida and was the mother of three children.
Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz Mock was born November 22, 1925 in Newark, Ohio. 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 majoring in aeronautical engineering. She would leave her studies at OSU behind to wed her husband, Russell Mock in 1945.
Accomplishments and recognition
Official world aviation records: 1964–69
(Sanctioned and accepted by the National Aeronautic Association and theFédération Aéronautique Internationale)
- Speed around the world, Class C1-c
- Speed around the world, Feminine
- Speed over a closed course of 500KM, Class C1-b
- Distance in a straight line, Feminine
- Distance in a closed course, Class C1-c
- Distance in a closed course, Feminine
- Speed over a recognized course
- Speed over a recognized course
- First woman to fly solo around the world
- First woman to fly around the world in a single engine plane
- First woman to fly U.S. – Africa via North Atlantic
- First woman to fly the Pacific single-engine
- First woman to fly the Pacific West to East
- First woman to fly both the Atlantic and Pacific
- First woman to fly the Pacific both directions
Awards and honors
- Federal Aviation Agency Gold Medal for Exceptional Service
- Ohio Governor’s Award
- Louis Bleriot Silver Medal(World-Wide award of Fédération Aéronautique Internationale)
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Distinguished Service Award
- Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Award of the Year
- Experimental Aircraft Association Special Award
- Ohio Aviation Trades Association Sparky Award
- Amelia Earhart Memorial Award, 1964
- Aero Classic Aviation Progress Award, 1965
- National Aviation Trades Association Pilot-of-the-Year Award, 1964
- Glenn Hammond Curtiss Silver Medal, Pittsburgh OX-5 Club
- Milestones in Manned Flight Trophy, Trans World Airlines
- Wadsworth, Ohio, Aero Club Special Award
- Kansas 99’s Special Recognition Medallion
- Special Award of Bexley Civic Association
- Women’s Aero Association of Wichita Award
- Award of Appreciation, Licking County (Ohio) Historical Society
- Columbus Transportation Club Special Award
- Sports Woman of the Year, Columbus Citizen-Journal, 1969
- Citation of Wichita, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce
- September 14, 2013 was declared Jerrie Mock Day by an official proclamation from Newark, Ohio mayor Jeff Hall.
A life-size bronze sculpture of Mock, sculpted by Renate Burgyan Fackler, was unveiled in the courtyard of The Works museum in Newark, Ohio on September 14, 2013. Mock's younger sister, Susan Reid, modeled for the statue while wearing Mock's knit skirt, sweater, and leather shoes that she had worn on her round-the world flight. According to Wendy Hollinger, the publisher who reissued Mock's book about her flight, Mock did not especially like skirts, but "was in a skirt because she thought it would be socially acceptable, especially in the Middle East."
Mock’s Cessna 180 which she flew around the world, “The Spirit of Columbus,” hangs in the Udvar-Hazy Center of theNational Air and Space Museum in Virginia. The Columbus chapter of Women in Aviation, International chose the chapter name Spirit of Columbus because of the name of Mock’s aircraft.
The United States Air Force named a street in honor of Mock at Rickenbacker AFB (presently Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base and Rickenbacker International Airport) in Lockbourne, Ohio (near Columbus).
A plaque bearing Mock's accomplishments can be found in the Tallahassee Regional Airport's Aviation Wall of Fame inTallahassee, Florida.
Mock was found dead in her home in Quincy, Florida by a relative on September 30, 2014.
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