The U.S. Navy will conduct the first-ever, all-female flyover on Saturday during the funeral of the Navy’s first female jet pilot.
Retired Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner, a pioneer in naval aviation, passed away on Jan. 24 after battling cancer, according to the Navy.
Mariner completed flight training in 1974 and became the Navy’s first female jet pilot after receiving her Wings of Gold. She flew the A-4E/L “Skyhawk” and the A-7E “Corsair II”.
The Navy says Mariner was also the first female military aviator to achieve command of an operational air squadron, leading Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty-Four (VAQ-34) during Operation Desert Storm.
Mariner was among the first women to serve aboard USS Lexington in 1982 and qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer.
She retired in 1997 as a Captain after logging 17 carrier arrested landings, or “traps,” and completing over 3,500 flight hours in 15 different aircraft, the Navy says.
The aviator group, made up of women that are all based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, will conduct a “Missing Man Flyover” during Mariner’s funeral service in Maynardville, Tennessee to honor her legacy.
Flying in F/A-18E/F “Super Hornets,” the four-aircraft group will fly above the funeral service in formation as one of the aircraft leaves the formation and climbs vertically into the heavens.
The participants are:
– Cmdr. Stacy Uttecht, Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron Thirty-Two (VFA-32)
– Cmdr. Leslie Mintz, Executive Officer, VFA-213
– Lt. Cmdr. Paige Blok, VFA-32
– Lt. Cmdr. Danielle Thiriot, VFA-106
– Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Hesling, NAS Oceana
– Lt. Christy Talisse, VFA-211
– Lt. Amanda Lee, VFA-81
– Lt. Kelly Harris, VFA-213
– Lt. Emily Rixey, Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic