Thermal in Riverside County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
First Woman to Break the Sound Barrier
Woman Pilot, Record Setter, WASP, Ninety-Nine
First Woman to Break the Sound Barrier
Charter Member of the Coachella Valley Chapter of Ninety-Nines
Jackie Cochran learned to fly in 1932. She was a 15-time winner of the Harmon trophy for outstanding female pilot of the year. She was accorded numerous other awards and honors in addition to the trophies she won for her flying skills. She became the first female pilot to break the sound barrier in an F-86, and she set a speed record of 1,429 miles per hour (faster than Mach 2) in a Lockheed Starfighter.
During World War II she founded and headed the Women's Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) Program.
Jackie Cochran was a long time resident of the Coachella Valley, and along with four other women pilots, began the Coachella Chapter of Ninety-Nines in 1949.
Sculpture by: Dorothy Swain Lewis
Coachella Valley Chapter of Ninety-Nines
Coachella Valley Chapter of the Ninety-Nines, was designated a chapter of the
Southwestern Section of Ninety-Nines on November 1, 1949.
The signing charter members were:
Claire Mc Millen
99s Mission Statement
networking and scholarship opportunities for women
and aviation education in the community
the unique history of women in aviation
We are a group of women who love to fly!
Erected by Coachella Valley Chapter of Ninety-Nines.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Women. In addition, it is included in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 18, 1953.
Location. 33° 38.191′ N, 116° 9.822′ W. Marker is in Thermal, California, in Riverside County. Marker is on Warhawk Way, on the right when traveling south. Memorial is located at the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 56850 Higgins Dr, Thermal, CA 92274, Thermal CA 92274, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the Water Trough (approx. 3 miles away); Veterans Remembrance Memorial (approx. 3.8 miles away); Martinez Indian Agency (approx. 5.1 miles away); History of Electricity in the Coachella Valley (approx. 6˝ miles away); Dr. June Robertson McCarroll (approx. 6.6 miles away); Smiley Place (approx. 6.8 miles away); USS Liberty Tree - USN Captain William L. McGonagle (approx. 6.8 miles away); Jimmy Swaggart's "Date" (approx. 7.4 miles away).
More about this marker. Memorial contains donor names and organizations on left and right sides.
Regarding Jacqueline Cochran. From the nationalaviation.org website:
Flew in the London, England to Melbourne, Australia race in 1934.
In 1935, she became the first woman to fly in the Bendix Trophy Race, which she won in 1938.
Became the first woman to make a blind instrument landing in 1937.
Set new women’s records during 1939-40, in altitude and open class speed.
During World War II she was the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean, leading to the formation of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) program for which she received the Distinguished Service Medal.
Received the Harmon Trophy in 1950 as the Aviatrix of the Decade.
In 1953, she became the first woman to exceed the speed of sound.
In 1962, subsequently setting 73 records in three years. She exceeded Mach 2 in 1964.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 2, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 340 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 2, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. 3. submitted on March 31, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 2, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.