Jean Hixson

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Jean Hixson
Born(1922-09-30)September 30, 1922
DiedSeptember 21, 1984(1984-09-21) (aged 61)
Military career
Service/branchUnited States Air Force Reserve

Jean Hixson (1922–1984) was a teacher, a Women Airforce Service Pilot and part of the Mercury 13. She was also the second woman to exceed Mach One.

Early life[edit]

Jean Hixson was born in Hoopeston, Illinois.[1][2] Hixson began taking flying lessons at age 16 and was able to get her pilot's license by the age of 18. After Hixson received her license, she began to train with the Women's Air force Service Pilots (WASP). During World War II Hixson flew B-25 Mitchells as an engineering test pilot. After the war, she became a flight instructor in Akron, Ohio. After hours, she attended Akron University and received a degree in Elementary and Secondary Education.[3]

In 1957 Hixson also became the second woman to exceed the speed of sound, in a Lockheed F-94C Starfire flying at over 840 miles per hour (1,350 km/h).[4]

Mercury 13[edit]

The Mercury 13 was a group of women who underwent training in 1959 to train for mission Mercury. Hixson was a member of this group.[5]

Life after Mercury 13[edit]

After testing in the Mercury 13 program, Hixson went to work at the Flight Simulator Techniques branch of the USAF Reserve at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.[3]

In 1982, she retired from the Air Force Reserves as a Colonel, and that same year chaired a WASP reunion.

In 1983 she completed 30 years of service with the Akron, Ohio school system.

Hixson died of cancer at age 61 on September 21, 1984.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Endres, Kathleen L. (2013-09-11). "Jean Hixson, 1922–1984". Akron Women's History. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  2. ^ Starzyk, Edith (2011-03-14). "Akron teacher, pilot Jean Hixson joined pioneering group of women: Women's History Month". Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  3. ^ a b Hallonquist, Al. "Jean Hixson". Mercury 13 - the women of the Mercury Era.
  4. ^ Wlegand, Virginia (1984-09-23). "Jean Hixson, flier, former teacher, dies". The Akron Beacon Journal. p. B5. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  5. ^ Madrigal, Alexis C. (2012-07-24). "The Women Who Would Have Been Sally Ride". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  6. ^ "Biographies of Astronaut and Cosmonaut Candidates: Jean Hixson". Space Facts. Retrieved 2021-07-12.