Segment 1


Flournoy was born in Wheaton, Missouri on March 30th, 1921. The Depression affected her family but as a kid she did not know anything different. She remembers not having much money but she assumed that was the way things were. She recalls men coming to her home looking for work. Her mother always fed them when they could. She grew up in a country town, Wheaton only had about three hundred people. It had a bank, a tiny hospital, and two grocery stores. Her father was a dentist and her mom was a homemaker. She had one brother who was a year and a half younger. Flournoy was in Joplin Junior College and graduated in 1939. There was a program called CPT (Civil Pilot Training.) Ten percent could be girls. Flournoy listened to a girl talk about her experiences in the CPT and it inspired her to fly. It was not a lifelong ambition to fly. Flournoy was twenty years old when she got her pilotÂ’s license. She got her license after about thirty five hours of flight time.Flournoy worked in a dime store and a defense plant. They made die's for bullet shells. She made good money at the defense plant. She was contacted to interview for the WASPs in Kansas City so she took a bus there. She joined, but her friend who she went to pilot school with did not join. She was twenty one at the time and was able to join without her motherÂ’s position. From there she went to Sweetwater, Texas. She was concentrating on her own career at that point. She arrived in Sweetwater in the middle of the night. Flournoy met the other WASPs she was with. They stayed in the Blue Bonnet Hotel in Sweetwater. The next day they were picked up and sent to their barracks. They had primary, basic, and advanced training. There were some men at the base when she got there but they left to make room for the women.


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