All-female flyover to honor life of first Naval woman jet pilot

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NORFOLK, Va. – The U.S. Navy announced its first ever all-female flyover will be conducted to honor the life and legacy of a female pioneer in Naval aviation.

Photo: U.S. Navy. Capt. Mariner’s first A-7E flight, VA-174, 1976, NAS Cecil Field.

Officially referred to as a “Missing Man Flyover,” the tribute will be part of the funeral service for retired Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner, who passed away on January 24 following a long and brave fight with cancer.

Mariner completed flight training in 1974, where she was then designated a naval aviator and received her Wings of Gold to became the Navy’s first female jet pilot, flying the A-4E/L “Skyhawk” and the A-7E “Corsair II”.

She also was the first female military aviator to achieve command of an operational air squadron.

During her time with the Navy, Mariner was monumental during Operation Desert Storm. She also became one of the first women to serve aboard a U.S. Navy warship (USS Lexington) and qualify as a Surface Warfare Officer.

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,” the Navy said.

Here are the participants:

  • Stacy Uttecht, Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron Thirty-Two (VFA-32)
  • Leslie Mintz, Executive Officer, VFA-213
  • Cmdr. Paige Bloc, VFA-32
  • Cmdr. Danielle Thiriot, VFA-106
  • Cmdr. Jennifer Hesling, NAS Oceana
  • Christy Talisse, VFA-211
  • Amanda Lee, VFA-81
  • Emily Rixey, Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic
  • Lt. Kelly Harris, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213

The flyover will take place on Saturday, February 2 in Maynardville, Tennessee.

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