Recently I came across a couple of old newspaper articles documenting the “feud” between Joan and Jerrie following their respective world flights. Because I had not come across these articles before, I thought it would be fun to share them here for anyone interested. (Links to articles follow below.) Reading the full text offers an interesting glimpse into the past.
Article #1 – Jerrie Calls Joan a “Poor Loser,” Wants Guam to Oakland Race
Pacific Stars and Stripes | May 16, 1964
(Note: same text with different headline also ran in the Pasadena Independent on same date.)
The growing feud between America’s two long-distance women pilots leaped into the open Thursday when Mrs. Jerrie Mock charged Mrs. Joan Merriam Smith as “a poor loser.”
Mrs. Mock became the first woman to fly solo around the world April 17 when she landed her single-engine plane here to end a 29-day flight. Mrs. Smith, who left Oakland, Cal., several days before Mrs. Mock left Columbus on her flight, arrived back in California Wednesday in her twin-engined plane.
Article #2 – Aviatrixes Fly at Each Other in World Hops
Long Beach Press-Telegram | May 15, 1964
A feud which had been smoldering for weeks between Long Beach’s Joan Merriam Smith and Mrs. Jerrie Mock of Columbus, Ohio, who both recently completed solo global flights, broke into the open Thursday.
“I think she’s a poor loser,” Mrs. Mock charged in a Columbus interview.
“That’s the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard from a licensed pilot,” Joan snapped back.
Mrs. Mock’s ire apparently had been raised by a comment made by the Long Beach pilot on her arrival at Oakland to complete her flight.
Joan was asked if she considered herself the first or second woman to fly alone around the world.
“I believe if you check any almanac it will say the distance around the world is 25,000 miles,” she answered.
Mrs. Mock flew a 22,800-mile distance to back up her claim. Joan’s route, which followed that planned by Amelia Earhart in 1937, covered 27,750 miles.