Tag Archives: Eleanor Roosevelt

4 April 1938

Aviatrix Given Harmon Trophy

     WASHINGTON, April 4. (AP)—Mrs Franklin D. Roosevelt presented to Jacqueline Cochran of New York today the Harmon trophy for the outstanding American aviatrix of 1937.

     The trophy is awarded by the Ligue Internationale Des Aviateurs.

     Miss Cochran broke the national women’s record for 1000 kilometers and on three occasions established new national records for the 100-kilometer distance in 1937. She also set a world’s record for women over a three-kilometer course.

Los Angeles Times, Vol. LVII, Tuesday, 5 April 1938, Part I, Page 5, Columns 3–5

On 26 July 1937, Jackie Cochran set a United States Women’s National Speed Record ¹ of 203.895 miles per hour (328.137 kilometers per hour) over a 1,000 kilometer (621.4 mile) course between the Union Air Terminal at Burbank, California, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and return, flying a Beechcraft D17W “Staggerwing,” NX17081, serial number 136.

Beechcraft D17W Staggerwing, NC17081, c/n 136, National Speed Record holder, 203.895 mph (328.137 kph). This airplane is painted “Merrimac Diana Cream” with “Stearman Vermillion” striping outlined in black. (Beech Aircraft Corporation)

On 21 September 1937, Jackie Cochran flew the Seversky Aircraft Corporation SEV-S1, civil registration NR18Y, over a 3 kilometer course at Detroit Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Michigan, averaging 470.40 kilometers per hour (292.29 miles per hour). This was a new Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) world speed record.²

Jackie Cochran in the cockpit of the Sikorsky Executive, NX18Y. Note the passenger windows below and behind the cockpit. (Unattributed)

This was the first of five Harmon Trophies which were awarded to Jackie Cochran.

¹ A check with the National Aeronautics Association on 25 February 2016 was unable to verify this record. —TDiA

² FAI Record File Number 12026

© 2019, Bryan R. Swopes


15 June 1939

Jackie Cochran arriving at Cleveland, Ohio, 1 September 1938. (Eisenhower Archives)

Miss Cochran Again Gets Harmon Trophy

     NEW YORK, June 15. (AP)—Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt today presented the Harmon Aviatrix Trophy to Jacqueline Cochran for the second year in succession as “the world’s outstanding woman flyer.”

      In addition, Miss Cochran, who in private life is Mrs. Floyd Odlum, was awarded a medal stamped in memory of the late King Albert of Belgium—the first American to receive it.

Los Angeles Times, Vol. LVIII, Friday, 16 June 1939, Part I, Page 13, Column 1

Seversky AP-7 NX1384, c/n 145. (San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives)

Ms. Cochran was awarded the trophy by Mrs. Roosevelt at an Advertising Club luncheon in New York City. It was the second time she had won the Harmon International Aviatrix Trophy. The 1939 trophy was in honor of Cochran’s winning the Bendix Trophy Race, 1 September 1938.

Jackie Cochran is presented the Harmon International Aviatrix Trophy by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Acme)

Jackie Cochran departed the Union Air Terminal, Burbank, California, at 3:00 a.m., 1 September 1939, flying her Seversky AP-7, NX1384, c/n 145. Her destination was Cleveland, Ohio, the finish line for the Bendix Trophy Race, 2,042 miles (3,286 kilometers) away.

Ms. Cochran was the third pilot to leave Burbank, but the first to arrive at Cleveland. Her elapsed time for the flight from California to Ohio was 8 hours, 10 minutes, 31.4 seconds, for an average speed of 249.774 miles per hour (401.895 kilometers per hour). For her first place finish, Ms. Cochran won a prize of $12,500.

Vincent Bendix congratulates Jackie Cochran on her winning of the Bendix Trophy Race, 1 September 1938. (NASM-155034)

© 2020, Bryan R. Swopes