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Thursday, 17 April 2014

JERRIE: the first woman to fly solo around the world; in 'CHARLIE', Spirit of Columbus !!!

Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz Mock (born November 22, 1925 in Newark, Ohio) 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." 
Geraldine "Jerrie" Fredritz was born to Timothy and Blanche Wright Fredritz in Newark, Ohio. She was the oldest of three daughters, but during her childhood, she found 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 (Ohio) in 1943 and went on to attend The Ohio State University majoring in aeronautical engineering. She would leave her studies at OSU behind to wed her husband, Russell Mock in 1945.

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. 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 and weather charts and photos. Three-Eight Charlie is a reference to the call sign of the plane Mock used to fly around the world. Mock now resides in Quincy, Florida. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity and the mother of three children.

Official world aviation records: 1964-1969
  • Speed around the world, Class C1-c
  • Speed around the world, Feminine 1965
  • Speed over a closed course of 500KM, Class C1-b 1966
  • Distance in a straight line, Feminine 1968
  • Distance in a closed course, Class C1-c
  • Distance in a closed course, Feminine
  • Speed over a recognized course 1969
  • 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

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. The Columbus chapter of Women in Aviation, International chose the chapter name Spirit of Columbus because of the name of Mock’s aircraft.