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Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz Mock
Jerrie Mock 1964.JPG
Jerrie Mock in 1964
Born (1925-11-22)November 22, 1925
Died September 30, 2014(2014-09-30) (aged 88)
Occupation aviator, writer
Spouse(s) Russell Mock
Children Valerie 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 christened the "Spirit of Columbus" and nicknamed "Charlie." The trip began March 19, 1964, in Columbus, Ohio, and ended April 17, 1964, in Columbus, Ohio, and took 29 days, 21 stopovers and almost 22,860 miles (36,790 km).

Early life

Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz Mock was born 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. She would leave her studies at OSU behind to wed her husband, Russell Mock in 1945.

First woman to

  • 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.


Spirit of Columbus in Udvar-Hazy Center, February 2015
Jerrie Mock's Spirit of Columbus, a Cessna 180

A life-size bronze sculpture of Mock was unveiled in the courtyard of The Works museum in Newark, Ohio on September 14, 2013.

Mock’s Cessna 180 which she flew around the world, “The Spirit of Columbus,” hangs in the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum in Virginia. In June 2007, Mock flew to Chantilly, Virginia, to see “The Spirit of Columbus” for the first time in many years. Mock "was so pleased to see her plane 'airborne' again".

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 in Tallahassee, Florida.

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