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Capt. Rosemary Bryant Mariner
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Capt. Rosemary Bryant Mariner, U.S. Navy (ret.) (deceased) earned her private pilot certificate on her 17 th birthday. She was the first woman admitted to the Purdue University Professional Pilot program, and after graduation was selected in the first group of eight women to train as naval aviators in 1973. Rosemary received her Navy wings of gold in June 1974, and became the first military woman to qualify in a tactical jet aircraft, the A-4 Skyhawk, in 1975. The following year, she broke another barrier, becoming the first female naval aviator to fly the A-7E Corsair II. Rosemary continued to add many "firsts” to her accomplishments including the first Navy woman to fly the vintage F-86, the first woman aviator to qualify as a Surface Warfare Officer, and the first military woman to command an operational aviation squadron. She flew over 3,500 flight hours and 17 carrier landings and was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal among many other awards in her Naval career. Rosemary passed away at age 65 and was honored by the Navy with a four F/A-18F aircraft flyover at her funeral in East Tennessee.