Marie Therese Rossi

Fallen Hero’s Hometown and State: Oradell, NJ

Branch of Service: U.S. Army

Rank: Major

Marie Therese Rossi was the first woman in American military history to serve in combat as an aviation unit commander. She was commissioned as an Air Defense Artillery Officer through the US Army Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1980. After ADA Officer Basic Training, she was assigned to the 1st Air Defense Artillery Training Brigade in Ft. Bliss, TX.

Marie was selfless. Her soldiers came first and they loved her for it. She was famous for adopting and feeding all the stray cats she could find during Desert Storm. Whatever Marie did, she did to the utmost. She wasn’t afraid of anything. She was a pioneer who didn’t think of herself as doing anything out of the ordinary–it was just the next challenge to be met.

On March 1, 1991, Rossi was killed when the CH-47 Chinook she was piloting crashed in Saudi Arabia. She was buried on March 11, 1991 with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1992, MAJ Marie Rossi was inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame

Age: 32

Date of Death: March 01, 1991

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