U.S. Navy to Conduct First All-Female Flyover Above Maynardville
After a long, brave battle with ovarian cancer, Captain Rosemary mariner, a military trailblazer, died at the age of 65 on January 24, 2019. To honor the life and legacy of this extraordinary female pioneer in Naval Aviation, the U.S. Navy will conduct the first ever all-female flyer this Saturday, February 2, 2019 in Maynardville, TN. Officially referred to as a “Missing Man Flyover,” the tribute will be part of the funeral service for Mariner,
Mariner was a resident of Anderson County prior to her death but was born Born in Harlingen, Texas, raised in San Diego, and graduated from Purdue University with a degree in aeronautics at 19. She served 24 years in the Navy and held a career of historic firsts which included being the first woman to ever command an operation air squadron and being one of the first women ever to pilot a tactical jet aircraft.
After completing flight training in 1974, Mariner was 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 Operation Desert Storm, Mariner commanded Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty-Four (VAQ-34). In 1982, she reached yet another milestone by being among the first females to serve aboard a U.S. Navy warship, USS Lexington, and qualifying as a Surface Warfare Officer.
Mariner retired from the U.S. Navy in 1997 after obtaining the rank of Captain and logging seventeen carrier arrested landings, or “traps,” and completing over 3,500 flight hours in fifteen different aircraft.
The Missing Man Flyover is a special tribute honoring the service of aviators who have died serving their country. The maneuver features four aircraft flying above the funeral service in formation as one of the aircraft leaves the formation and climbs vertically into the heavens.
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 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
Our thoughts and prayers are with the those that Captain Rosemary Mariner has left behind and we are grateful for her service to our country and hope that her story continues to influence women in the future as much as it has already. The first female fly-over is a great way to honor Mariner’s memory and all the women that paved the way for the military women of today.