Jerrie Cobb - Pilot
When God creates a human being, God has a purpose for that human being. Jerrie was six when she discovered God's plan for her life. Camping out in the back yard during the hot summer nights in Oklahoma Jerrie fell in love with the wide-open sky, the clouds, the stars, and knew she was meant to be "up there". At 12 she learned to fly, at 16 she left home to explore the sky, barnstorming in a circus Cub.
Jerrie was teaching others to fly when she was 18. By the time she was 21 she was flying around the world, delivering America's sleek fighters and four-engine bombers for the U.S. Air Force. Working as a test pilot, Jerrie was soon flying higher, farther and faster, setting world Aviation Records for speed, distance and absolute altitude (2). In 1959, Jerrie, 28, was named America's Top Pilot.
Never on to go slow Jerrie was overjoyed to be selected as America's first woman astronaut. After passing weeks of grueling Mercury astronaut tests with flying colors, Jerrie was sworn in as a consultant to the NASA Administrator, James Webb, and eagerly awaited her flight into space as the world's first woman astronaut. But the year was 1960 and her gender kept her grounded. Three years later Russia astounded the world by sending the first woman into space, Valentina Tereshkova, a factory worker.
Setting her disappointment aside Jerrie, 32, flew to an area almost as remote as the moon--the enormous uncharted headwaters of the Amazon jungle of South America--to use her flying talents exploring "inner space," serving the indigenous tribes of the rain forest. For more than 38 years she has found joy, adventure and delight flying through magnificent jungle skies bringing hope, health and help to her primitive friends.
Jerrie has earned many awards, including the Amelia Earhart Medal and the Harmon Trophy for the best woman pilot in the world. The governments of France, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have honored Jerrie. But perhaps the most meaningful recognition comes when minds and hearts consider a courageous woman with an extraordinary talent for flying who chose not to exploit it, but rather to use it in a cause larger than self. For her humanitarian work in the Amazon jungle Jerrie was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.
Like Amelia Earhart, Jerrie is an inspiration and role model to young and old alike. Today, Jerrie continues to pursue her deep love of the sky and her passion to fly in space. The shy pilot explains, "it's what I was born to do, my life won't be complete until I fly in space."
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