Q: How did you come to enter the WASP program?|
Well I got a telegram around Christmas time to report to Houston, in the third
class. And so naturally I reported to Houston. And this was pretty
interesting. I don't know if you've heard about Houston.
Q: I'd love to hear about Houston.
Well, it was pretty primitive the way it was set up. But of course she was
just figuring out how to do this. There was no flying school there or
anything, there were just some airplanes. And we were assigned to motels and
it turned out that we were assigned two to a bed, not two to a room. And
several girls dropped out because they didn't like that . . . but I had a very
nice bedmate, Louis Hollingsworth-Zyler her name is now. And most everybody
laughed about it. We didn't have a nurse or anything either and we had
these . . . just these old tired out cubs and these instructors hated us and so
they did all they could to upset us! But that was short-lived. Soon we got
some decent airplanes and the same trainers that the men had. And
unfortunately though I got the measles and, they had no nurse so I was just
sent back to a room by myself in the motel and I got a terrible sore throat and
took some medicine that some doctor over the telephone told me to take, sulfa.
And I came back when the quarantine was over and the instructor said "Go ahead
out and fly." And so I had absolutely no feeling at all. The earth was going
around like this and voices were just double. But I went out with a parachute
and got in and took off and realized I had no feeling whatsoever of flight in
the plane. And so, just by watching the instruments I just brought it around,
going sort of wobbly, and somehow got it landed. It more or less landed by
itself. It was BT-13. And I told the instructor that I was having some
trouble. He said I saw you and I was giving a little prayer for you. So they
found I had no red blood corpuscles, no white ones, so I was sent back to New
York, to Memorial Hospital. Maybe I had leukemia, but it was just the sulfa.
So by eating all kinds of liver, and so on and exercising I got back and I went
back and by that time they'd moved to Sweetwater. And so continued the
training in Sweetwater.
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