Lt. Colleen Cain did not serve in the Coast Guard for very long, but she made an impression that many will never forget.

Cain was the first female Coast Guard pilot, earning her wings in 1978. She flew many important, lifesaving missions as a helicopter pilot, including the rescue of a three-year-old boy who had fallen into the water while fishing with his family.

It was that dedication to saving lives that put her on a mission in 1982 to assist a crew whose craft was in danger of sinking. Despite dangerous weather, Cain flew to their rescue. Sadly, she and her crew never made it, crashing in Molokai, Hawaii’s Wailua Valley.

Not only was Cain a barrier breaker, she was also a role model for other Coast Guard women. Rest in peace, Lt. Cain.

We honor you, Colleen Cain.