LTjg Barbara Allen Rainey became the first woman to qualify as a U.S. naval aviator when she earned her Wings of Gold (1974) and was among the first women naval aviators to qualify as jet pilots. She was assigned to fly C-1s in Alameda, California, and became the first jet-qualified woman in the U.S. Navy to fly the T-39. She transferred to the Navy Reserve in 1977 until 1981, when she was recalled to active duty to help the Navy fill a shortage of flight instructors. She was assigned to VT-3 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Florida, flying the T-34C Mentor. In 1982, she was killed in a crash while teaching touch-and-go landings at Middleton Field near Evergreen, Alabama.
27 March 2023 at 23:36
Sad story. Rest in Peace, Lieutenant Rainey.
I never know whether to give stories such as this a “Like,” but I generally do, as the information we learn from all such tragic biographies does help us learn more and better understand the hazards of military service, even in a time of peace and a non-combat zone.
You will never be forgotten, Lieutenant Rainey.