- ISBN/SKU: 9781557503350
- Binding: Hardcover
- Era: Current
- Number of Pages: 256
- Subject: Women, Minorities Military
- Date Available: March 2000
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When the USS Abraham Lincoln left San Diego in April 1995 for a six-month deployment in the Persian Gulf, it was the first Pacific Fleet ship to go to sea with female combat pilots. Before they had even gotten underway, one of the eighteen women aviators had been killed. By the time the ship returned to California, another had turned in her wings, and a third had been sent home for poor performance. But most thrived in their demanding new environment despite the pressures. This is the story of one of those pilots, Loree Hirschman, a twenty-seven-year-old navy lieutenant and the only female pilot in the carrier's S-3B Viking antisubmarine warfare squadron. She describes the historic cruise with rare candor and balance.
In the center of one of the most pressing social issues facing the military today, Hirschman offers both a personally revealing and professionally insightful account of breaking into the world of the male combat pilot. She writes frankly about the strained interaction between men and woman on the Lincoln as they struggled to define their new roles and about the women's attempts to overcome mistrust and resentment by proving their skill, courage, and determination. She describes the typically competitive route to the deployment and reflects on the irony of flying her jet to defend Arab countries that won't allow women to drive cars, bare their arms, or even go out alone in public.
Informative as well as entertaining, her chronicle of life at sea is a testament to the accomplishments of these pioneering women. No matter which side of the debate a reader takes, Hirschman adds a significant new dimension to the controversy over female integration of navy combat aviation squadrons. As co-ed deployments become routine and women like Hirschman can be accepted as just another pilot, her journal will serve as a reminder of the navy's struggle to adjust to a new era.
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