Lt. Julie Antonacci

Pilot : CH-46 Sea Knight

antonacci_2265A_150.jpg Lieutenant Julie Antonacci is a 31-year-old US Navy pilot currently serving aboard the USS Peleliu somewhere in the Arabian Sea as part of support for the Afghanistan offensive

Navy helicopter pilot Lt. Julie Antonacci checks her CH-46 helicopter on the flight deck of the American amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu, in the Arabian Sea Sunday Nov. 4, 2001.

Antonacci, 31, won $45,000 on the TV show The Weakest Link in July but had to keep the story secret until the show was aired in October. (AP PHOTO/Nicholas Kamm/POOL)

Sadly her work as a skilled navy pilot seems only to have come to light when she won a quiz show - such is the continuing fight for recognition of women in the military [Ed. 0902]

US pilot connects with Weakest Link

by Claudia Parsons

which says in part...

On board USS Peleliu, Nov. 4, 2001 NAVY Pilot Julie Antonacci says appearing on the gameshow The Weakest Link was almost as nerve-wracking as landing her helicopter at night on a heaving ship relying on night vision goggles.

antonacci_2265B_150.jpg Antonacci, 31, won 45,000 USD on the TV show The Weakest Link in July but had to keep the story secret until the show was aired in October. (AP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM, POOL)

"It was close," she said, sitting on the steps of her CH-46 Sea Knight on the deck of the USS Peleliu somewhere in the Arabian Sea on Sunday Nov. 4, 2001. "She's not scary until the camera starts rolling," Julie, 31, said of the sarcastic British host of The Weakest Link, Anne Robinson.

Lieutenant Antonacci, who is qualified to pilot a ship and fly a helicopter, admits she was intimidated into getting a question wrong that she should have known - in Physics, what "P" is the smallest particle of light. "It's a photon. I knew but I couldn't get it out because she was staring at me."

No one on the ship knows that she has won and Julie is hoping the next mail run will bring the tape which will be shown on the ship's internal TV station. The biggest challenge was keeping a secret she had won. "I don't think anybody thought I'd won." (Reuters)

Helo Pilot Proves She is the Strongest Link on TV Game Show

By Seaman Journalist Ahron Arendes, Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

which says in part...

Lt. Julie Antonacci, a CH-46 Sea Knight pilot from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 11 on Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) in San Diego, was recently a contestant NBC's game show The Weakest Link and ended up the winner of a $45,000 prize.

"My sisters and I always watched game shows with my late grandmother when we were young, and we've continued to enjoy them throughout the years."

Cmdr. Scott Galbreaith, commanding officer of HC-11 said,

"All of us at HC-11 are proud of Lt. Antonacci. She performed well on the show and that is no surprise. She's an excellent officer -- intelligent and quick witted. I also believe her experiences in the Navy helped prepare her to do well on the show."

Julie served as a cryptologic technician and a Russian linguist prior to becoming an officer.

More info about Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 11 can be found at their website :

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