Wings of Gold

The Story of the First Women Naval Aviators

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Pub Date 01 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 10 Dec 2021

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Description

On Feb. 2, 2019, the skies over Maynardville, Tennessee, filled with the roar of four F/A-18F Super Hornets streaking overhead in close formation. In each aircraft were two young female fliers, executing the first all-woman Missing Man Formation flyover in Navy history in memory of Captain Rosemary Mariner, a groundbreaking naval aviator who broke down barriers for women pilots wanting to serve their country. Recruited in an experiment in 1972, Mariner and her five fellow graduates from the inaugural group of female Navy pilots racked up an impressive roster of achievements, and firsts: first woman to fly a tactical jet aircraft; first woman to command an aviation squadron; first female Hurricane Hunter; first pregnant naval aviator; plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that overturned limits on women's ability to fulfill their military duty. Leading by example, and by confrontation when necessary, they blazed a trail for women toward the highest levels of command, challenged deep skepticism within the fleet and helped win the repeal of rules preventing women from serving equally with men.


Beverly Weintraub is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose coverage of aviation, education and social services has appeared in the New York Daily News and the Washington Post. Weintraub is a member of the Ninety-Nines, International Organization of Women Pilots; a former director of the Air Race Classic, the annual all-women cross-country airplane race; and a five-time ARC racer. She lives in New York City.


On Feb. 2, 2019, the skies over Maynardville, Tennessee, filled with the roar of four F/A-18F Super Hornets streaking overhead in close formation. In each aircraft were two young female fliers...


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ISBN 9781493055111
PRICE $32.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

One of the only, if not the only, history of women in U.S. naval aviation. Focuses on the very first class of females permitted to enter flight training. The book follows their careers with the backdrop of how policies changed that ultimately resulted in unrestricted access of women in U.S. naval aviation. The only drawback is extensive excerpts of Navy messages, which while pertinent, could have been edited down to their core points.

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Beverly Weintraub tells the tale of the integration of Women into military squadrons during the 1980s and 1990s. Like all pioneers, they faced seemingly unfair obstacles and entrenched opposition. to the new paradigm. The women in this book all were willing to sacrifice equally with their male counterparts up to and including their very lives all while navigating different social and cultural minefields present. In many cases, the most difficult situations were not within the world of the military but outside. No greater example of this is the double standard created externally by social and political pressure and accepted by the United States Navy Training Command was of Lt. Kara Hultgren who due to rushed training and political pressure was killed in 1994 due to pilot error caused by outside influences.

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