Mercury 13 logo Mercury 13 banner

The Ladies


Bea on Columbia


Contact Info




Jerrie Cobb Bernice Steadman Janey Hart Jerri Truhill Rhea Woltman Sarah Ratley
Jan & Marion Dietrich Myrtle Cagle Irene Leverton Gene Nora Jessen Jean Hixson Wally Funk

Jean Hixson

Considered by the other Mercury 13 gals to be the best of the crew, and generally considered to be the most experienced of them all, Jean was 37 when her call came in 1961. She had been a WASP in WWII, one of the heroic women who fought the very same barriers in WWII that the Mercury 13 fought. These wonderful aviators flew everything in the Army Air Force (forerunner to the USAF) inventory in a variety of missions. They towed targets for live gunnery practice, ferried aircraft domestically and overseas, they instructed, you name it they did it. Everything but combat.

Jean was a graduate of WASP Class 44-6 at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas, and went on to fly the B-25 twin-engine bomber as an Engineering Test Pilot, and also took an advanced instrument course. After WWII, she became a flight instructor in Akron, Ohio. After hours, she attended Akron University and received a degree in Elementary and Secondary Education. In 1952, she began a new career as a teacher. It was there she began an Astronomy Course, and took her kids on field trips to NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland.

After testing at Lovelace, Jean went to work at the Flight Simulator Techniques branch of the USAF Reserve at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. In 1982, she retired from the Air Force Reserves as a bird Colonel, and that same year chaired a WASP reunion. In 1983 she completed 30 years of service with the Akron (Ohio) School system. Sadly, Jean died of cancer at age 62. What a woman, but more so, what a PILOT.

Copyright ©1999-2012 Al Hallonquist
Questions or comments about site? Contact Al Hallonquist -
Page designed and coded by Dana Holland -
Dana's Web Site