After having had several jobs, Geraldine (Jerrie) Mock (1925 – 2014), née Fredritz became manager of the Colombus Airport (Ohio). She had married Russell Mock in 1945 and they had 3 children. In 1962, she decided to fly around the world in a 1953 Cessna 180 christened “The Spirit of Colombus”. Two ferry tanks were fitted in the cabin, bringing the total fuel on board to 178 gallons, giving her an endurance of 25 hours and a range of 2400 Nautical Miles. Jerrie was very thorough in her preflight preparations, taking some eighteen months to get ready, including studying the route she was going to take, and checking out the aircraft and all the equipment necessary for the flight.
She left Colombus on March 19, 1964 and arrived home in Colombus on April 17th. She had covered 22,858 miles in 30 days, and had flown 158 flying hours. She received awards and recognitions for completing her flight. President L.B. Johnson awarded her the Gold Medal of the FAA, and many other countries awarded her medals and decorations. The FAI presented her with the prestigious Louis Blériot Silver Medal.
She establish many records during the flight including: feminine record, speed around the world; speed around the world, Class C1-c; first woman to fly solo entirely around the world; first woman to fly from the US to Africa via the North Atlantic; first woman to fly across the Pacific in a single engine aircraft; first woman to fly the Pacific from west to east; first woman to fly both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Geraldine Mock did not fly her record setting airplane again, as the Cessna Company gave her another Cessna in exchange for the Spirit of Colombus which was then put on display in their factory in Wichita, before being given to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. Jerrie continued to fly her new Cessna in which she set many speed and endurance records, all the way to Porto Rico, and Rabaul in New Britain.