aviator, test pilot, spokesperson, and businessperson
(1910–80) aviator; born in Pensacola, Fla. An orphan, her first career was as an owner of a profitable cosmetics company. Receiving her pilot's license in 1932, she was the first woman to fly in the Bendix transcontinental race three years later. She won the Bendix Trophy in 1938. The first woman to pilot a bomber across the Atlantic in World War II, she directed the Women's Air Force Service Pilots. In 1953 she became the first woman to fly faster than sound; in 1964 she flew faster than twice the speed of sound. At her death she held more flight records than any other pilot.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE - Edwards honored two of its heroes: Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, and the late Jackie Cochran, a woman who pulled herself out of poverty to become a record-setting pilot and the first woman to break the sound barrier.