A funeral service was held yesterday in Annapolis for Ensign Cary Page Jones of Gainesville, Va., the first female graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy to die in line of duty since women were first admitted in 1976. But the Navy turned down her parents' request that she be buried in the academy's small cemetery.
Jones was among six persons killed last week when two propeller-driven Navy planes collided on a training mission near Corpus Christi, Texas.
Her parents had asked that she be buried at Annapolis, but academy spokesman Dennis Boxx said that limited space dictates that the facility is available only to Navy personnel who die while stationed at Annapolis and to officers of flag (admiral) rank and their spouses. Jones was buried instead with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery, itself now generally restricted to high-ranking officers or those who die under heroic circumstances.
Jones came from a Navy family. Both her grandfathers were Annapolis graduates, and so was her father, retired Air Force Col. David Jones. She had hoped to become an astronaut.
In addition to being the first Annapolis-graduated woman to die in line of duty, she was the first Navy woman pilot to be killed in a flight training accident.
"She was very enthusiastic, very energetic," said Ensign Dennis Sawyer, her class president, who was among those who attended yesterday's funeral service.
"She was battalion subcommander her senior year, one of the leadership positions . . . I knew her very well. I was really shocked."