Monday, July 14, 2008

African American Black Hawk Test Pilot

This is my cousin by marriage, but she was a regal person. I got to know a little bit about her from the family reunions we had in San Antonio, TX.

Jennifer Yevette Robinson
Born in Trinidad, West Indies on April 10, 1955, Died June 30, 2008 and resided in Boerne, TX.

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery

Jennifer Yevette Robinson, age 53, passed away June 30, 2008.

She was born April 10, 1955, in Trinidad, West Indies, the youngest of three girls, to the late Vivian Arthur and Neutres Vena Wilson.

Jennifer came to the U.S. in 1969 to reside in New York with her sister, Maudrilla and graduated from George W. Wingate High School, Flatbush, NY. She went on to receive a business degree from Siena College, Albany, NY, where she also became an Army ROTC cadet member of the Mohawk Battalion.

After graduation, Jennifer entered active duty and her illustrious military career covered two overseas tours in Germany and Korea. Jennifer had the distinction of being the second black female test pilot for Black Hawks in the Army.

Jennifer received her commission through Siena College, Albany, New York, Army Reserved Officers Training Corps in 1980. She was commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the Transportation Corps. She attended the Transportation Officer's Basic Course in 1980.

In 1981, she qualified to attend the Army's Rotary-wing Aviator school, aircraft maintenance officer repairer technical course at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Upon graduating from the Flight school, she was selected to attend the Transportation Officer's Advance Course. Her next adventure was off to Fort Bragg, North Caroline assigned to 18th Airborne Corps.

After three years of flying numerous missions to include support of the Special Forces School and delivering and transporting recondition UH-1H Huey and OH-58 from Corpus Christi Army Depot back to Fort Bragg, the army assigned her to 2nd Infantry Division, Korea. After a one year tour in Korea, she requested and received an inter-theater transfer to Germany.

While in Germany, where she got her first taste of command, she commanded an Aviation Maintenance Company. Her company's mission was to repair and maintain rotary aircraft for Fifth Corps. In addition to commanding her company, she was the only African-American female test pilot to certify that the aircraft was fixed and ready to be returned to the assigned unit.

After a three year tour of duty in Germany, she returned to the Army's Transportation School, Fort Eustis, VA., where she successfully developed and taught a 200 hour aviation logistics mid-level management training course. Jennifer's awards and declarations include: Meritorious Service Metal, Army Commendation Metal with second award. Army Achievement Metal with second award, National Defense Service Metal, Armed Forces Reserve Metal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon two tours, Army Superior Unit Award and the Army Aviator Badge.

Jennifer left the active army as a captain in 1992 after 12 years and 2 months of Honorable service. The day she left active duty she was promoted to the rank of major in the Army Reserves. Jennifer moved with her husband to San Antonio, where she joined the ranks of USAA and worked until her illness in 2007.

This was posted in the (San Antonio Express News):