Lori Wyer’s WS320 Blog

The Early Years

Jerrie Cobb, Pilot     Born in Norman Oklahoma in 1931, to Harvey and Helena Cobb, Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb was never your typical little girl.  Not one to play with dolls or have tea parties, Jerrie preferred the outdoors where she could ride horses, run free, climb trees, and crawl around on her belly playing soldier with an imaginary rifle.  As a child, she struggled in school and had to endure the torments and tortures of her classmates, who made fun of her speech impediment.  Jerrie never quite fit in.  She preferred to be alone and didn’t feel comfortable interacting with other children.

Jerrie’s first ride in an airplane was at the age of 12, with her father at the controls.  Jerrie wasn’t even big enough to sit up in the seat unassisted; she had to sit on a stack of pillows.  The first time she went up in the sky, she knew this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.  The joy and the freedom she felt when she was up in the sky compared to nothing else.  From that moment on, she spent every moment that she could in the airplane with her father.  This was the beginning of an absolutely incredible journey for a remarkable young woman.

The joy lasted until the Cobb family had to move to Denver Colorado during Jerrie’s high school years.  Her father was forced to sell the plane and Jerrie no longer had immediate access to a plane.  That, however, didn’t deter her.  Jerrie joined the Civil Air Patrol, which was a corp of volunteer pilots that flew missions along the borders or searched forests and deserts for disabled aircraft.  Jerrie was a cadet, and as such, she was rarely allowed to command the controls.  But as luck would have it, her junior year in high school led her to a remarkable biology teacher that would serve as her flight instructor.  Jerrie’s goal was to earn her pilot’s license.  To do that, she needed solo hours in the plane.  From that day on, she spent as much time as possible at the airport washing, waxing, and gassing planes in exchange for flying time.  She also worked odd jobs around town to earn money for flying time.  On her sixteenth birthday, March 5, 1947, with two hundred flying hours in her logbook, Jerrie got her pilot’s license.

Jerrie started teaching others to fly when she was eighteen. By the time she was twenty-one, she was flying all over the world as a commercial pilot, delivering bombers and military planes to foreign Air Forces.  Undoubtedly, Jerrie Cobb was definitely well along the road to becoming one of the world’s best pilots.

The Early Years

Jerrie the Astronaut

What Happened to the Women-in-Space Program?

Awards and Honors

Trends

Technology at the Time

Jerrie Now

Conclusion

Bibliography

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