Rosemary Mariner, Navy, Mary Louise Griffin discussed on All Things Considered


In one thousand nine hundred seventy four that included this without doubt, the navy's most ambitious plans for women have been in the flight training program. Dick, young women have been selected pave the way for future women in naval aviation. Rosemary mariner was one of the six here. She is speaking to NPR in two thousand thirteen my role models were African American men who had led the vanguard in integration of race in the armed forces in studied, many of the lessons that they had to pass on another one of the pioneers was Mary Louise Griffin. She and Marriner formed a life. Among bond as they crack the navy's gender barrier. It was quite honestly, an experiment, and they really had many detractors, but Admiral Dumont who is chief of naval operations and said we're going to do this Griffin spoke from her home in Georgia. She'll give the eulogy at Saturday's funeral for mariner outside Knoxville, Tennessee, she recalled the reception they faced from male pilots in the seventies. Well, no disrespect to my buddies. But some of them took a long time to come around to the idea there were other challenges like uniforms, we were told to bring three weeks of dresses and heels because our uniforms where custom-tailored and wouldn't be ready for about three weeks. We marched in our companies in our heels and our dresses. It was pretty darn funny. Mariner became the first woman to pilot and attacked yet in nineteen seventy. Four flying in a four Skyhawk in the one thousand nine hundred ninety one Gulf war. She was the first woman to command an air squadron. She logged more than thirty five hundred hours in fifteen different aircraft in her career Griffin remembers mariner most vividly as a friend a very quiet introspective thoughtful person with a really dry sense of humor. And you kinda caught yourself missing it sometimes. And then just laugh uproariously mariner was a strong advocate for women in the military during and after her career here, she is in one thousand nine hundred ninety seven speaking to NPR just after she retired from the navy. You have to have an integrated cohesive force that is identified as a common soldier, sailor marine or airman not as boys and girls who are wearing the same uniform. And she's still paving the way for women pilots. Mariner's funeral on Saturday will include the navy's first ever, all female flyover. It's so unprecedented. The navy doesn't yet have a proper name for what it's still calls. The missing man flyover, Greg Mary NPR news, Washington..

Coming up next