Segments in this Video

Jackie Cochran: Introduction (01:30)


Cochran was the first woman to win the Los Angeles to Cleveland Bendix race. She established the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, set a speed record for a propeller craft, was the first woman to break the sound barrier, and flew the F-104 Starfighter 1,429 mph.

Cochran's Beginnings (03:08)

Cochran was born Bessie Mae Pittman around the year 1906 in Florida. She was raised by foster parents, learned to style hair, chose a new name, and went to New York City. Cochran traveled with society ladies and met Floyd Odlum.

Cochran becomes a Pilot (02:43)

Cochran planned to start a cosmetics company and Odlum suggested she get a pilot's license. She began flying in 1932 and learned "the Navy way." Cochran participated in air races and exhibitions, setting dozens of records.

Cochran's Public Presence (03:26)

Cochran established Cochran Cosmetics, brought attention to the field of medical research in aviation, flew a Hudson Bomber for the British Ferry Command, and decided to train female pilots to help ferry aircraft during WWII.

Women's Air Force Service Pilots (02:42)

Cochran became a flight captain in the British Air Transport Auxiliary and established a female volunteer corps. In 1942, she returned to the U.S. and became the direct of W.A.S.P. in 1943.

Civilian Organization (02:55)

Cochran began training female pilots in Texas and faced opposition from Congress and Col. Oveta Culp Hobby; W.A.S.P. stayed civilian. Cochran convinced Hap Arnold to pay for the mass production of W.A.S.P. uniforms.

W.A.S.P. Performance and Dissolution (01:47)

The organization shuttled thousands of aircraft and proved female flying abilities. In 1944, Congress ordered W.A.S.P. disbanded and Cochran became a consultant to Arnold.

Post-War Career (04:27)

Cochran received the Distinguished Service Cross. She returned to racing and running Jackie Cochran Cosmetics. She pushed for an independent air force, became a test pilot, and set several records. Cochran was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1971; W.A.S.P. was officially recognized in 1977.

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Jackie Cochran (00:30)

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Jackie Cochran

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Legends of Air Power: Jackie Cochran

Part of the Series : Legends of Air Power
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $69.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $104.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $69.95



She began her career as a beautician named Bessie Mae Pittman, but Jackie Cochran grew to become one of the most celebrated aviators of the day. After only ten years of flying, Cochran set 17 world records; she also founded the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots, inspiring countless women to pursue their dreams in the sky.

Length: 24 minutes

Item#: BVL129020

ISBN: 978-1-64023-386-7

Copyright date: ©2001

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.