JERRIE COBB: A PIONEER WOMAN IN AVIATION


HER CARREER

At the beginning, due to gender bias she got less wanted job, under her skills. Nevertheless she never gave up and before her 21st birthday, Jerrie valided her multi-engine, instrument and airline transport license. At this moment she was able to be flight and ground instructor. Then she worked for military Air forces as carrier, she delivered aerocraft fighters in worldwide. Jerrie COBB beat world records of speed, altitude and distance on propeller aircraft and became the first women take part in the Salon du Bourget, a French Air show where she won the Amelia Earhart Gold Medal of Achievement. The same year she was the first of nine women nominated to the «100 most important young people in the US » in a famous magazine.

Overall she won at least 13 awards and nominations in diverse areas, particullary in pilots fields, like once when by the National Pilots Association named her “Pilot of the year”. But egally in aviation and women causes, in 1973 the president NIXON maked a ceremony at a White House and awarded Jerrie COBB with the Harmon International Trophy.

MERCURY 13 PROJECT

In 1961 Jerrie COBB became a consultant for the NASA space program. Thanks to this job she helped to select 12 women for a secret project : MERCURY 13. In fact astronauts have to make a complete series of medical test before a mission to know if they’re able to go in space and if they can handle the travel. This project aimed to medically test 13 women as astronauts considerations. Miss COBB was the first lady of this little group to finish all physical and psychological exams. The expectation was to send some of these women in space but NASA refused the project. Despite her pilot’s carreer and her vast knowledge in the whole area, Jerrie like the other women of the program, didn’t have the skills required by NASA to became an astronaut i.e. an engineering degree or a considerable experience on jet fighters.

After introducing the project to an unit of the U.S. Congress specialized in the selection of astronauts, NASA declared women unable to be astronauts, as a consequence the organization started to automatically exclude women.

Jerrie COBB wasn’t only a great women in her career, she excelled during all her life.

HER YOUTH

Jerrie born in 1931, in Oklahoma. She flew with her father for the first time at age of 12. Then at 16 she strated to drop brochure over little town with a light aircraft. To keep continue to training, she strated a job where she dropping leaflets. At night she slept under the wings of her aeroplane for kept more money for practicing. Thank to her perseverance Miss COBB got her private pilots license and her commercial pilots license before her 18.

HER LATER LIFE

After her carreer Jerrie COBB applied all her knowledege about aviation to engage herself in various missionary humanitarian work, especially in South America. For example she transported supplies to people in need in certains tribes. For her dedication to this causes she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1981. In 2019 she peacefully passed away aged 88.


Bibliographie et articles relatifs au sujet qui peuvent vous intéresser :

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/geraldyn-jerrie-m-cobb-papers-1952-1998 ,Smitthsonian National Air and Space Museum

Photo credits : https://www.nasa.gov/ ,NASA

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