Segment 2


In primary training they flew the PT-19. It was an open cockpit aircraft. Basic training was BT-13's and BT-15's. Her advanced training was split between flying the AT-6 and the PT-17 which was a twin engine, fabric covered aircraft. They called the PT-17 the "bamboo bomber." She was then sent to Hondo Army Air Field which was a navigation school. Seven of the ladies she was with were assigned to that depot which involved testing the aircraft and flying them. Sometimes they delivered parts.FlournoyÂ’s mother had moved to Los Angeles at that point. She would go on her graduation flight to Los Angeles. They flew there navigating by the sun. At night they flew by reading the stars. Pilots had to learn how to fly at the right altitude and the right direction. They had a radio and instruments to help. The instruction she received in the WASPs was much more intense then the Civilian Training program. One of the rituals for the WASPs included getting dunked into a pool after the completion of their first solo flight. FlournoyÂ’s first solo flight was in the Civilian program. She was good at flying. She remembers having to get used to aircraft that were heavier and that had more horsepower. She never had any close calls when she was flying, however one of her classmates was killed at Sweetwater. Flournoy did not detect any animosity directed towards women pilots. There was a major however who made it clear that when the women arrived that he thought they should stay at home where they belong. He was not mean about it. The major was transferred away and a captain took over who was younger and was more supportive of the women. Flournoy cannot recall the names of her commanding officers. She stayed in Sweetwater training for about six months. The flying gear they had was all hand-me-down equipment. She remembers having to deal with dust storms in Sweetwater. Flournoy and the other women were not allowed to socialize with the other male pilots. They had plenty of equipment to train with. From Sweetwater they went to Hondo Air Base. At Hondo they focused on navigation.


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