KIA February 7, 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California
Marine Capt. Jennifer Harris was killed February 7, 2007, when the helicopter she was piloting was shot down by enemy fire, while supporting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. Also killed were 1stLt. Jared M. Landaker, Sgt. Travis D. Pfister, Cpl. Thomas E. Saba, Sgt. James R. Tijerina, Navy HM1 Gilbert Minjares, Jr. , and Navy HM3 Manuel A. Ruiz.
Upon graduating from the Naval Academy in 2000, Harris was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, and earned her Wings of Gold from The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, in September 2002. From there she was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Training (HMMT) Squadron 164 where she learned to fly the CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter. Upon completing her training, Capt. Harris was assigned to the Purple Foxes of HMM-364, she attended The Weapons and Tactics Instructor’s Course (WTI), the Marine equivalent to Top Gun training. Capt. Harris was the first female pilot in the Purple Foxes Squadron.
Service to others was the core value guiding Jennifer Harris. Over the years this value was demonstrated through her compassion for people. However, her commitment to service was the most evident in her decision to serve our country. As a Marine, she combined commitment with her sense of compassion to be one of the best CH-46 pilots in the Marine Corps. She performed her military duties as a Casualty Evacuation pilot flying in and out of combat areas for the emergency evacuation of injured soldiers and Iraqi citizens, saving a countless number of lives.
Capt. Jennifer Harris was 28 years old from Swampscott, Massachusetts
Original portrait was presented October 21, 2011, to her family during a special event hosted by The Fort Worth Airpower Council and American Airlines.