Mary Grace P. Baloyo
Air Force Captain Mary Grace Baloyo in the uniform of an Aviation Cadet
Nickname(s)"Amazing Grace"
Born(1973-10-30)October 30, 1973
Bacolod, Philippines
DiedMarch 26, 2001(2001-03-26) (aged 27)
Mabalacat, Philippines
Burial Site
AllegiancePhilippines Philippines
Service/branch
Philippine Air Force
Years of service1995 - 2001
Rank
Captain
Unit
15th Strike Wing
Awards
Medal of Valor

Mary Grace Pango Baloyo (October 30, 1973 – March 26, 2001) was a Filipino flight officer in the Philippine Air Force who posthumously became the first female member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to receive the Medal of Valor.[1]

Early life

Mary Grace P. Baloyo was born in Bacolod, Negros Occidental to Rommie Baloyo and Annie Pango, who were meat vendors at the city's Libertad Market. Baloyo took up her primary and secondary education in her hometown, and graduated from the St. Scholastica's Academy in 1991. She then entered Cebu Institute of Technology – University and took up Bachelor’s Science degree in Airline Management. Upon earning her bachelors degree, she applied and passed for the Philippine Air Force Flying School (PAFFS) at Basilio Fernando Air Base in Lipa City, Batangas, taking up her wings on Cessna T-41 Mescalero and SIAI-Marchetti SF.260. She completed her flight qualifications and finished with the PAFFS Class of 1997.

Military career

Upon graduation from PAFFS, Lt. Baloyo was assigned to the 15th Strike Wing in Danilo Atienza Air Base, Sangley Point, Cavite City, where she was one of 36 flight officers of the unit, and one of 6 combat rated female pilots of the PAF on OV-10 Bronco.

On 26 March 2001, Lt. Baloyo flew with Capt. Ben Nasayao on a proficiency flight from Danilo Atienza Airbase to Clark Air Base. While in the vicinity of Mabalacat, Pampanga, approaching Clark's Runway 20 at 1,000 ft above ground level the aircraft's engine failed and thus rapidly descended into a heavily populated area. Capt. Nasayao ejected at 300 ft above ground level sustaining injuries, while Lt. Baloyo remained on board and diverted the aircraft in an open field of Fil-Homes Subdivision, Barangay Mabiga. Lt. Baloyo was instantly killed by the crash.[2][3] She was posthumously promoted to the rank of Captain.[4][5]

Honors

To date, Lt. Baloyo is one of only four recipients of the Medal of Valor from the Philippine Air Force, and the only female officer.[4][5]

References

  1. ^ Gomez, Carla (4 April 2001). "Gloria Confers Medal of Valor on Heroine Pilot". Philippine Daily Inquirer. pp. A4. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  2. ^ Batongbakal, Luisito. "Amazing Grace". Manila Bulletin Newsbit. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  3. ^ Villa, Kathleen de. "Reaching for the Skies". newsinfo.inquirer.net. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b Gomez, Carla (9 April 2001). "She Showed All of Us How a Soldier Should Die". Philippine Daily Inquirer. pp. A6. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b "OV-10 Bronco". Huey Bravo. Retrieved 12 May 2020.