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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Dorothy Avery to Eunice, 1943

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Object ID: WV0204.4.004

Description: Avery describes her first day of flying, including being allowed to do maneuvers and land the PT-19. She also mentions watching a movie on base, attending vespers, their first physical training (PT) exercises, the showers, and how everyone enjoys letters from home.

Creator: Dorothy Avery

Biographical Info: Dorothy Avery (1917-1999) was a pilot in the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) from 1943-1944, then worked as an inspector for Navy-Lockheed Service Center.

Collection: Dorothy Avery Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Dear Eunice

Today was the big day and what a day. Classes and P.E. in the morning and flying this afternoon. Boy it is a swell little ship they call is a P.T. 19 A Fairchild with a 175 hrsp. Ranger engine. Was a little nervous but snapped out of it alright. It is a faster heavier ship than any of us are used to, and has flaps. I never used flaps before. The instructor let me take off and then I did maneuvers in the air, then he showed me how they do lazy lights, chandels [sic], then where the Auxilary [sic] fields were and the terrain around the airport. He gave me fancier stunts because he said he could tell that I could handle the ship. Then he let me land, he didn't let any one else but me land. As we came in I had the controls and I thought he would take over, but he was watching my approach and said through the ear phones you've landed in cross wind before go ahead and take her in. So I did, and he said it was and [sic] excellent landing. I was a bit shaky when I climbed out though. First time I have flown for a long time. Lots of the girls got sick I think it was from lack of flying lately and nervousness of the new type of plane etc.

Yesterday we had a picture here for us rookies as we are confined to post for two weeks, the rest of the classes had open post & went to town. The picture was "Man Hunt" old, but it took up our time. Then in the eve (now don't faint) I went to Vesper Services last night and enjoyed it.

We will be very busy from now on so I might not get out quite so many letters. I finished my home work for tonight, that's why I can write you. I only hope I can keep it up. I like to write to you, and I sure enjoy those letters you write, all of them, funny or otherwise, and like wise if you get any problems you would like to discuss with me, please do.

You don't have to write if your [sic] to [sic] busy, but I get such a kick out of those letters, and all we live for is letters from home. I took that note you had with my St. Christopher medal with me when I flew today and of course I had my medal on.

This Bay is really a riot sometimes. The shower is like Grand Central Station most of the time. June is always playing with her yo yo. We will all be very stiff tomorrow from our first calisthenics today. Oh well we'll get used to it. We’ll get used to Taps to [sic] which means I must close as lights will be out any minute

Love, Sunny

P.S. If you can find some 620 Film please send it. Thanks.