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Barbara Allen Rainey

Lt. j.g. Barbara Allen Rainey became the first woman to qualify as a U.S. naval aviator when she earned her “wings of gold” in 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. In 1982, she was killed in a crash while teaching touch-and-go landings at Middleton Field near Evergreen, Alabama.

Last Updated: 29 March 2023

  

 

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