Capt. Rosemary Mariner


The U.S. Navy is set to conduct its first-ever all-female flyover this week to honor the life of Capt. Rosemary Mariner, a pioneer in Naval aviation.

Mariner, the service’s first female fighter pilot, died on Jan. 24 after a long battle with cancer, the U.S. Naval Institute news site reported on Wednesday. The flyover will take place at her funeral on Saturday.

Mariner completed flight training in 1974 and went on to become a naval aviator. In that role, she received her Wings of Gold to become the branch’s first female jet pilot.

She flew the A-4E/L Skyhawk and the A-7E Corsair II and was the first woman to command an operational air squadron as a military aviator.

Mariner also commanded the Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty-Four (VAQ-34) during Operation Desert Storm and was among the first women to ever serve on a U.S. Navy warship and qualify as a Surface Warfare Officer, according to the Naval Institute.

She retired in 1997 as a captain.

The Navy said the aviators participating in Saturday’s flyover in Maynardville, Tenn., will be flying F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.