Lieut.j.g. Kristin Marilyn "Rosie" Jungbluth (Dryfuse)

Pilot/Navigator and weapons' officer : F-14 Tomcat

Knitting Booties

by Lt. Kristin M. Jungbluth, callsign "Rosie"

Woman Pilot, May/June 2002 Vol.10 Issue 3

Not too long after I, along with the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group left on this deployment on September 19th, my mother was voicing concerns about my safety to my sister. She, like all mothers, was very worried about my welfare in the skies over Afghanistan.

Would I be OK? Would I be in danger? Would I actually be running the risk of getting shot down and not coming home? What on earth had I decided to do with my life? My sister was realistic and asked her point blank, "What do you think she's doing over there? Knitting booties?"

Long gone are the days when women are restricted to knitting booties for a living and there are plenty of women out here to prove it. I am one of 8 women aviators and one of about 500 women on the USS Theodore Roosevelt currently located off the coast of Afghanistan.

Back in August, my husband and I flew a 172 to Long Island for a wedding. As we passed by the New York skyline, he pointed out several of the landmarks that were significant. Quite frankly, the WTC meant nothing to me. What two buildings? Whatever, who cares. How far to Islip on the GPS? I would be caring a lot more in 2 weeks.

On 9/11, I was sitting in my sister's living room enjoying pre-deployment leave. Flipping through channels, I stopped, permanently, on Fox News. The Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group was scheduled to deploy in a matter of days, on 19 September. I knew all the plans, and all the ports were all out the window. It was all going to be different. ...more

Life on the CoEd Carrier

A historic experiment on the U.S.S. Eisenhower proves a rousing success

by Douglas Waller/U.S.S. EISENHOWER

The night was moonless, the kind of darkness that pilots liken to flying into a black hole. On the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lieut. John ("Tuba") Gadzinski inched the F-14 Tomcat forward so a deck crewman could hook it to the catapult that would hurl the fighter skyward at 160 m.p.h.

In the Tomcat's back seat, radar-intercept officer Lieut.j.g. Kristin Marilyn "Rosie" Jungbluth (Dryfuse) glanced out of the cockpit to another deckhand holding a lighted box that flashed "66,000 lbs.," the plane's weight. Dryfuse circled her flashlight to signal that the weight was correct.

Gadzinski, 31, got his nickname because he plays the instrument with symphony orchestras and aboard ship. Dryfuse, 24, got hers after a port call when her male squadron mates discovered she took kidding well, snapping out comebacks that would make Roseanne blush.

Tuba powered up the engines and made one last scan of his panel. Tonight they would practice intercept maneuvers over the Adriatic Sea with the carrier's F/A-18 Hornets. Rosie grabbed a bar over her instrument panel and tensed every muscle in her body. Launch! ...more

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