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Rosemary Mariner, first woman to fly tactical fighter jet for Navy, dead at 65

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Rosemary Mariner, a pioneer in Naval aviation and the first woman to fly a tactical jet, died last week after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 65.

Mariner served in the U.S. Navy from 1973 to 1997. The daughter of an Air Force pilot and a Navy nurse, she graduated from Purdue University with a degree in aeronautics. She joined the Navy and completed her flight training in 1974. After that, she made history by becoming the first woman to fly a tactical jet.

Mariner also was the first woman “to command a naval aviation squadron,” USNI Newsreported. She was also one of the first women to “serve aboard a U.S. Navy Warship,” NBC News reported.

She died on Thursday, Jan. 24, after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. The Navy is set to honor her with an all-female flyover at her funeral, a first. The tribute is referred to as “a Missing Man Flyover.”

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Her funeral is slated to be held Saturday, Feb. 2 in Maynardville, Tenn.

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