|The aircraft developed mechanical problems after take off from the
Camp Davis runway, and it was necessary for Mabel and her instructor,
who was checking her out at night, to come back for landing. Last year
I talked with another WASP who was eyewitness, in fact, she was
supposed to follow Mabel in her aircraft, but had to return to the ramp
because of an aircraft problem.
have this documented if anyone wants it.
|I remember well receiving the call in the middle of the night on
August 23, 1943. A loud voice read my mother and me a telegram, "We
regret to inform you that your daughter has been killed . . . . . . . .
. . .."
We were told by
who accompanied Mabel's body home that the aircraft caught fire in the
air. Last year I talked to the widow of the flight instructor, and she
said he had talked about the crash a lot. He said there was nothing to
do but follow procedures and "take it in." Mabel was in no way at
fault. What was at fault was the latch -- yes, the latch could not be
opened from the inside of the aircraft -- there was no way Mabel could
have exited. It has been my hope always that she was unconscious from
fumes prior to the crash.
Here is a summary of the
Army Air Force accident
|Another correction, please -- Mabel would not have liked being
billed as a "librarian and a singer" -- she was a professional
secretary for Flora Roberts at the Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL) and
she sang only for the church choir and her own (and our) entertainment.
She and your grandmother signed up each year for the Kalamazoo
community production of "The Messiah." (Knowing I couldn't carry a
tune, I was not invited to participate.)