CLEVELAND - The International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) has a new exhibit on Captain Jennifer Harris, a Marine Corps Casualty Evacuation pilot. She served three tours of duty between 2003 and 2007, the first in Kuwait and the next two in Iraq. Captain Harris saved countless lives by flying in and out of combat areas for the emergency evacuation of injured soldiers and Iraqi citizens.
After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 2000, Captain Harris learned to fly the CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter. She was then assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron HMM-364, Purple Foxes, and immediately deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). A legendary squadron, the Purple Foxes became famous in Vietnam for repeatedly going into harm's way, under any conditions, in order to evacuate the wounded. That dedication continued in OIF. Harris was the first deployed female pilot in the Purple Foxes Squadron, and she eventually became promoted to the rank of Captain.
Captain Harris was one of the best CH-46 pilots in the Marine Corps. Unfortunately, on February 7, 2007, the very last flight of her third deployment and after completing a successful casualty evacuation mission, Captain Harris was killed in action when her helicopter was shot down by insurgents.
Currently, on display in the museum are her military uniform jacket, a model of the CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter she flew, her Aviator Flight Log Book, her military dog tags, her Naval Academy class ring, and personal photographs.
The museum offers free admission. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Office, gift shop and research center hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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