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Captain Rosemary Mariner was the first female military aviator to fly a tactical fighter jet and the first to achieve command of an operational air squadron. She breathed her last on 24 January in Knoxville, Tennessee. She died at the age of 65 after fighting a five-year battle with ovarian cancer. Her husband, Tommy Mariner was by her side in her last moments.

To honour the life and legacy and give tribute to the path-breaking navy pilot, Navy’s historic “Missing Man” flyover (the special tribute that honours aviators who have died serving their country) will feature all female pilots. They will conduct a flyover beginning at Air Station Oceana, Virginia, and ending in Maynardville, Tennessee. This will be the first time in history that all female pilots will conduct the flyover of fighter jets. Several female pilots, personally mentored by the captain will also be the part of the flyover.

Source: abc7ny.com

Mariner, born in Rosemary Bryant in Texas in 1953, wanted to fly before she could even drive. After her father, an Air Force pilot who was killed in a plane crash, she washed airplanes to make money for flying lessons at a small field near San Diego, where she lived with her mother and two sisters.

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She was chosen in 1973 as one of the first eight women to enter military pilot training. She went on to become the first woman to fly the A-4C and the A-7E Corsair II. She later served on the Staff of the Joint Chiefs in the Pentagon. In 1997, she retired from the Navy with the rank of captain. After retirement, she taught military history at the University of Tennessee and was an advisor to the Department of the Navy as well as PBS and ABC News.

U.S. Naval Air Forces posted on Twitter – “A huge loss for our nation. Rosemary was a remarkable person, an incomparable aviator, and a badass. RIP, Captain. We stand on the shoulders of giants like Rosemary Mariner.”

Source: www.twitter.com

Mariner used to live in Norris, with her husband, retired Navy Commander Tommy Mariner, and their daughter, Emmalee, who is presently studying at Duke University.

Picture Source: nbcnews.com

Sonakshi Goel is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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