Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Jacqueline Cochran

Jacqueline Cochran
(unknown - 1980)

Ms. Cochran, in 1953, was the first female to break the sound barrier (approximately 768 mph!) In 1971, she was the first woman honored at the Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, OH.

She earned her pilots license in 1932 and over the course of her career won MANY records and set MANY records.  Even today, she still holds more international speed, distance and altitude records than any other male or female pilot

After first being rejected by General Hap Arnold, in 1941 she was the first woman to pilot a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean. There she organized a group of 25 American female pilots to fly for Great Britain.  In 1942 she was appointed Director of Woman‘s Flying Training for the United States.  In 1943, she was appointed to the General Staff of the U.S. Army Air Forces to direct all phases of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program at 120 air bases all over America.

In 1945 Ms. Cochran received the U.S. Distinguished Service Medal, and had the opportunity to see in person General Yamashita’s surrender in the Philippines and was the first woman to enter Japan after WWII.


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