Capt Mary Cameron-Kelly was born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She was a member of 562 Air Cadet Squadron, having always being interested in flying. Mary joined the military in 1981 as an airframe technician. Her first posting was to Greenwood, where she acquired her private pilot license. She became the first female technical instructor in 404 Sqn in 1986. In 1988, she began military pilot training with the Canadian Forces. In 1991, Mary became the first female Aurora pilot in the CF. Three years later, Mary qualified as Aircraft Commander on the Aurora and, in 1995 the world’s first female Maritime Patrol Crew Commander.
Back at 404 Sqn, she became the first female pilot instructor on the Aurora and instructed for the next 5 years. Moving to 405 Sqn in 2001, she assumed new duties in Standards and Training. In May 2003, she flew to the Arabian Gulf and participated in Operation Apollo in the fight against terrorism.
Mary is currently the pilot instructor and a standards and training pilot at 404 Sqn. Her recent accomplishments include over 7200 hrs on the Aurora aircraft, a 2018 recipient of a stamp issued by the Ninety-Nines signifying 37 years of military service, and this year selected as one of the top 20 military women in defense.