Marie Therese Rossi Cayton - Career

Career

What I'm doing is no greater or less than the man who is flying next to me or in back of me...

Rossi served as a CH-47 Chinook pilot with the 18th Aviation Brigade, commanding B Company, 2d Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia. Her company deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield in 1990. Rossi was interviewed by CNN prior to the ground assault by Coalition forces. She said, "Sometimes, you have to disassociate how you feel personally about the prospect of going into war and, you know, possibly see the death that's going to be out there. But personally, as an aviator and a soldier, this is the moment that everybody trains for -- that I've trained for -- so I feel ready to meet a challenge."

Rossi led a flight of her company's CH-47 Chinook helicopters 50 miles (80 km) into Iraq on 24 February 1991, ferrying fuel and ammunition during the very first hours of the ground assault by the Coalition Forces. Her company would be involved in supply missions throughout the war. Rossi was killed when her helicopter crashed into an unlit microwave tower in Northern Saudi Arabia on March 1, 1991, the day after the ceasefire agreement. She was buried in Section 8 of Arlington National Cemetery on 11 March 1991.

Read more about this topic:  Marie Therese Rossi Cayton

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