Jerrie Mock, First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World, Dies Age 88

  • Oct 1, 2014 10:54am GMT

Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock, a native of Newark, was found by a relative in her bed in Quincy, FL around noon on Tuesday.

The 38 year old mother of three took off from the Port of Columbus on March 19, 1964 in The Spirit of Columbus, an 11 year old Cessna 180 with it's cracks and corrosions painted over. Despite only having been a licensed pilot for 7 years, Mock dealt with storms, communication errors, and mechanical problems to complete the voyage.

Upon her landing in Saudi Arabia, a country where women can not drive let alone fly, Mock recalls in her book Three-Eight-Charlie “His white-kaffiyeh-covered head nodded vehemently, and he shouted to the throng that there was no man. This brought a rousing ovation.”

It took her 29 days, but she landed back in Columbus on April 17, 1964, to a cheering crowd of 5,000. She was presented the Federal Aviation Agency’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service by President Lyndon B. Johnson on May 4, 1964 for her accomplishment.

In September, 2013, a bronze statue was dedicated to her at The Works museum in Newark.