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Jacqueline Cochran Odlum

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Born: 1910 AD
Died: 1980 AD, at 70 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Aviators

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1910 - Jacqueline Cochran Odlum, born in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. She was an American pilot who held more speed, distance, and altitude records than any other flyer during her career.

1918 - At age eight she went to work in a cotton mill in Georgia.

1931 - She later was trained as a beautician and pursued that career in Montgomery, Alabama, in Pensacola, Florida, and from roughly in New York City.

1932 - She took her first flying lessons and soon mastered the technical aspects of aviation and navigation, later studying privately with a navy pilot friend in San Diego, California.

1934 - She organized a cosmetics firm that grew and prospered under her management.

1935 - Became the first woman to enter the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race.

1937 - She came in third in Air Race.

1938 - She won the Bendix Trophy, flying a Seversky pursuit plane.

1941 - In June, she piloted a bomber to England and there, as a flight captain in the British Air Transport Auxiliary, trained a group of female pilots for war transport service.

1943 - Upon her return to the United States, she undertook a similar program for the Army Air Forces and in July was named director of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots—the WASPs—which supplied more than a thousand auxiliary pilots for the armed forces.

      - At the end of the war she served for a time as a Pacific and European correspondent for Liberty magazine.

1945 - She became the first woman civilian to be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

1948 - Was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

1953 - Became the first woman to break the sound barrier, piloting an F-86, and that year set world speed records for 15-, 100-, and 500-km courses.
1954 - Her autobiographical The Stars at Noon, written with Floyd B. Odlum.

1959 – 1963 - Was the first woman president of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, and she was also a member of many other aviation and service-connected organizations.

1961 - Continued to break her old records and set new ones, including an altitude mark of 55,253 feet (16,841 metres).

1964 - She flew an aircraft faster than any woman had before.

       - She set the standing women's world speed record of 1,429 miles (2,300 km) per hour in an F-104G Super Star jet.

1965 - She was inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame.

1969 - She was promoted to colonel in the reserve.

1970 - She retired and continued as a special National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) consultant after her retirement.

1971 - Inducted in the U.S. Aviation Hall of Fame.

1980 -  Died in Indio, California in the 9th of August.


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Page last updated: 12:13pm, 10th May '07