Full record for rocketman n.

Definition someone who pilots, or works on, a rocket or rockets
OED requirements antedating 1931
Earliest cite Salt Lake Tribune
Comment The OED entry currently has cites from 1964 onwards.

There is one entry in the Incomings database from a 1968 reprint of Heinlein's 1959 collection 'The Menace From Earth'. Fred Galvin submitted two 1949 cites from the same issue of Startling Stories: one from Rene LaFayette's (L. Ron Hubbard pseudonym), 'The Unwilling Hero' for the sense of a rocket pilot, and one for for the sense of a rocketry hobbyist, from "Review of the Science Fiction Fan Publications" by "THE EDITOR". Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1958 reprint of Manly Wade Wellman's "Men Against the Stars" which Mike Christie verified in its June 1938 first publication. The OED found a 1931 cite in a SFnal context in a local newspaper.

We would also like to see any earlier cites from any author.

Last modified 30 July, 2019

Citations for rocketman n.

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1938 M. W. Wellman Men Against Stars in Astounding Sci.-Fiction June 8/1 In ship No. Fifty-one, half-way from Moon to Mars, four stubbled faces turned to a common, grinning regard as the pounding roar of the rockets died away at last. The skipper, the rocketman, the navigator, the spacehand.
1949 ‘R. Lafayette’ Unwilling Hero in Startling Stories July 102/2 To see Earth and the Moon grow small, to behold the Sun dwindling to an unimpressive star, is an experience which has unnerved many a hardy rocket man.
1949 Startling Stories July 158/2 THE ROCKET NEWS LETTER, 5747 University Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Editor, Vincent Story. Published monthly. 15¢ per copy, $dollar.1.50 per annum. If you're a hot rocketman, this is your dish.
1959 R. A. Heinlein Menace From Earth (1968) 115 He held a torcher's contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman's bias in terms of years–trips that a torch ship with steady acceleration covered in days.