: New: Book Report: She's Just Another Navy Pilot

A memoir by Loree Draude Hirschman about being one of the first women combat pilots for the US Navy, mostly about her first voyage as such on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. As if learning to land planes on a ship's deck isn't stressful enough, try it while under the scrutiny of everyone with an agenda. And indeed, just about everybody had an agenda—this was soon after the Tailhook scandal. Our narrator becomes a good pilot. Depending on where she is, her peers are rooting for her to fail or succeed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she's unhappy when surrounded by people who hope she fails; she thrives when surrounded by people who hope she succeeds.

Maybe "hope she succeeds" isn't the right phrasing? In the book's appendix, she included other folks' take on events in the book. (This is a darned awesome thing to see in a memoir.) There's an element of men pilots saying they still don't think women should be USN combat pilots but they were glad Lorree did well.

But it's not just that; there's also the story of learning to live aboard an aircraft carrier, learning some darned tricky flying, shipboard shenanigans. An interesting read.

Tags: book maritime

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