Navy to honor first female jet pilot with all-woman flyover

Julia LeDoux
January 30, 2019 - 3:47 pm

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution

Capt. Rosemary Mariner will be honored with the Navy’s first all-woman flyover Saturday during her funeral in Maynardville, TN.

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Officially known as a “Missing Man Flyover,” the special tribute honors the service of aviators who have died serving the nation, according to USNI . During the maneuver, four aircraft will fly above the funeral service in formation. One of the aircraft will leave the formation and soar vertically into the sky. 

Mariner graduated from Purdue University at the age of 19. She joined the Navy in 1973, earning her pilot’s wings in 1974, flying the A-4[E/L> and the A-7E Corsair II. Her accomplishments did not stop there. Mariner was the first female to pilot a tactical jet fighter in 1975 and became the first woman to command a Naval aviation squadron in 1990.

She retired from the U.S. Navy in 1997 after 24 years of service, 17 carrier landings, and over 3,500 military flight hours. Mariner continued to mentor and connect with other women aviators as the as the president of Women Military Aviators. 

All of the aviators participating in the flyover are from squadrons based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana and will be flying F/A-18E/F “Super Hornets.”

Participants in the flyover include: Stacy Uttecht, commanding officer, Strike Fighter Squadron Thirty-Two (VFA-32); Leslie Mintz, executive officer, VFA-213l Cmdr. Paige Bloc, VFA-32; Cmdr. Danielle Thiriot, VFA-106; Cmdr. Jennifer Hesling, NAS Oceana; Christy Talisse, VFA-211; Amanda Lee, VFA-81; and  Emily Rixey, Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic. 

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