Marcella A. Hayes Ng was the first African American woman pilot in the United States Armed Forces.
Ng was born in 1956 in Mexico, Missouri. Hayes was born in 1956 in Mexico, Missouri. She was raised by her grandparents in Centralia, Missouri. She graduated from David Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri in 1974. She later received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1978. She initially wanted to become a doctor but made the decision to join the army instead.
While in college, Ng joined the ROTC during her second semester. After graduating from college, Ng joined the army in 1978. On November 27, 1979 at the U.S. Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama, she became the first black woman, and the 55th woman, to become a pilot in the United States Armed Forces. Ng went on to serve 22 years in the army, and retired in 2000 as a lieutenant colonel.