Thursday, April 17, 2003

Ohio Moments

Columbus woman was aviation pioneer


On April 17, 1964, Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock landed her Cessna 180 in Columbus, becoming the first woman to fly around the world. Twenty-seven years after Amelia Earhart failed to accomplish the feat, Mock, a 38-year-old mother and homemaker from Columbus decided to do it - solo.

Mock had discovered that a woman had never completed such a flight. She visited the embassy of every country she planned to fly over to ask permission. Her flight, which left Columbus on March 19, had some harrowing moments. She once had to fly above the clouds to de-ice the wings, put out an onboard fire and do some fast talking when she mistakenly landed at a secret Soviet missile base.

On May 4, 1964, President Johnson awarded Mock the Federal Aviation Administration's Exceptional Service Decoration.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361.

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