I first became aware of this fabulous story when Jerrie Mock’s sister, Susan Reid, made a presentation on Jerrie’s historic around-the-world solo flight at our local EAA (Experimental Aviation Association) meeting. Susan was raising funds to place a bronze sculpture of Jerrie in her hometown at TheWorks® Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology (Newark, OH.) When I learned this book was out of print and difficult to acquire, I immediately volunteered to recreate and publish this new edition. My partner, Dale Ratcliff, and I flew our Cherokee 180 to meet Mrs. Mock in Florida and review her memorabilia. (Arriving by car or commercial flight to meet this historic aviator just didn’t seem right!)
Jerrie’s memories of her 1964 flight are still clear, and we were honored to meet and spend time with her. While newspaper articles made much of the “race” between Mrs. Mock and Joan Merriam Smith, Jerrie made clear, and documentation supports the fact, that was never the case. Jerrie’s planning began months in advance of the trip and the two women only became aware of one another in the final weeks leading up to Jerrie’s departure. She had dreamed of experiencing the world, and would have preferred to linger at each stop to see the sites and enjoy the local culture. However, constant pressure from sponsors and home for stories and a “win” made that impossible, and she pressed on to complete the 22,860 miles in 29 days.
While a great deal of Jerrie’s paperwork was discarded en route to lighten her load, and film sent home never arrived (said to have been diverted to the CIA!), the paperwork and photos that did make it home were captivating to Dale and me. Three-Eight Charlie is a great story for any reader, but we knew the aviation community would be as interested in Jerrie’s materials as we were, though some are faded and worn after 50 years. Many preparatory documents, awards, magazine articles, proclamations, letters of support, FAA correspondence, and more could not be included, due to space. We hope the included images will help the reader further connect to and enjoy Jerrie Mock’s well-written and insightfully detailed account of her trip.
The 50th anniversary of this historic flight is the perfect time to release this new and updated edition. We are grateful to have met Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world, and delighted to make Three-Eight Charlie available again to the next generation of aviators and all those who dream big dreams.
Phoenix Graphix Publishing Services