Due to work by the city inside the building we will be opening at 1230pm on our Resident's Free Tuesday on May 14th.

Post-War Activities

Following World War II, Cochran became a war correspondent for Liberty magazine. She witnessed and documented the immediate aftermath of the war around the world, including the surrender of a Japanese general in the Philippines and the Nuremberg Trials in Germany. By 1948, she joined the United States Air Force Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel. During her 22- years of service she earned three Distinguished Flying Cross awards and was promoted to colonel. 

Among the many clothing items in SDASM's collection that belonged to Jackie Cochran, is this USAF uniform with Lt. Colonel insignia.

Award from the Air Force Association signed by Jimmy Dolittle and Jimmy Stewart is just one example of the unique documents in the Jackie Cockrane collection.

During this time, Cochran continued to run her cosmetics business and lead flight organizations. In 1951, she was recognized by the Boston Chamber of Commerce as one of the 25 most outstanding businesswomen in the United States. She was also voted “Woman of the Year in Business” by the Associated Press for two consecutive years and recognized by Woman’s Home Companion for her outstanding contributions to American life. Additionally, she was a two-term president of the Ninety-Nines, a female pilot organization, and became the only female president of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.

Woman's Home Companion 1955 silver distaff presented to Jacqueline Cochran for "outstanding contributions by a woman to American Life" in the SDASM Collection.

Wooden gavel presented to Jackie Cochran when she was President of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale from the SDASM Collection.

Cochran simultaneously continued to pursue speed, distance, and altitude flight records. One of her most notable flight records during this time occurred on May 18, 1953. Flying a Canadair F-86 Sabre 3 jet aircraft at 652.337 miles per hour above Rogers Dry Lake in California, Cochran went supersonic, making her the first female pilot to break the sound barrier. By 1964, she was flying a United States Air Force Lockheed F-104G Starfighter aircraft, in which she became the first female pilot to fly twice the speed of sound. 

Document from the Cochran collection from North American Aviation commemorating Jackie breaking the sound barrier.

Top: Jackie Cochran after flying twice the speed of sound.  Bottom: Jackie's helmet in SDASM's collection, which can be seen in the photo above on the F-104s canopy.

Cochran also became involved in the Space Race occurring between the United States and the Soviet Union at this time. She became a sponsor of the Woman in Space program designed to test female pilots as potential astronauts for human spaceflight. Although thirteen female pilots passed the exams and screening process, the program was cancelled before any of them could go to space.  

Non flight related material in our Cochran collection includes this robe Jackie wore while receiving an honorary degree, possibly from Northeastern University. 

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San Diego Air & Space Museum

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