Monday, July 27, 2009

WASP Marjory Foster Munn, 44-W-5 July 25, 2009

Marjory passed away Saturday, July 25, 2009 after a three year battle with cancer. In her own words, from Betty Turner's "Out of the Blue and Into History" -- what a wonderful life.


I was born March 17, 1921, in Huntington, West Virginia. Our family moved to Miami, Florida, when I was three. I graduated from Miami Senior High School in 1939, and became a beautician. I also entered flight training at Embry Riddle School. I obtained my private license with a seaplane rating. I was a member of the Women Flyer's of America, CAP.

I joined the WASP class 44-5. I was assigned to Basic Training school, testing aircraft the flew administrative missions. I applied for and completed Officer Training at Orlando FL, and Advanced Instrument course at Sweetwater, Texas, then was assigned to the Air Proving Ground Command, Eglin Field, Florida. There I ferried AT-6's to and from gunnery schools and maintenance field. I also qualified in the P-39 and B-25.

After deactivation, I applied for CAA Aircraft Communications, was assigned to New York and Boston for training, with operational assignment to Norfolk, Virginia as aircraft radio communicator. Later, I transfered to the War Department, as aircraft dispatcher at Washington National Airport. Following the 1946 reduction-in-force, I returned home to Miami, and was accepted as a Pan American World Airways stewardess. I began flying in 1948, out of New York to Puerto Rico and Bermuda.

In 1949 I transferred to Miami and flew trips to Central, South America and the Caribbean. I flew the inaugural flight ("El Presidente") from New York to Buenos Aires in the new Boeing Stratocruiser.

In 1949, I accepted a direct commission in USAF Reserves as a 2nd Lt. I was called to active duty in 1951. I reported to a troop carrier wing in Miami as Administrative Officer. A year later, I was transferred to Okinawa, and assigned to Hdqtrs. 20th AF, serving as Personnel Officer with duties for personal records and Casualty Officer. When eligible, I was promoted to a 1st Lt. For my service I was awarded the Bronze Start decoration.

I met my husband, Captain James Munn, on Okinawa in 1952, while he was assigned as Intelligence and Briefing Officer to Hdqtrs. 20th AF. Jim had been a B-17 pilot (in WWII) with the 8th Air Force. He had been shot down over Germany and spent time as a POW, was discharged at the end of WWII, and recalled to active duty in 1951.

We were married on Okinawa in April 1953. On our return to the states in 1954, we were assigned to 9th AF at England Air Force Base, Alexandria, LA where I was promoted to Captain. After two years seeing the draw down of the Air Force, we decided to return to civilian life.

We traveled the US and Canada before moving to Spokane, WA, where Jim worked for Kaiser Aluminum. We both attended Gonzaga University, he at night law school, and I during the day. In 1960, we adopted our first son.

In 1962, we settled in Seattle, WA, where Jim worked with the King County Prosecuting Attorney, later into private practice. We both remained active in the Air Force Reserve program. We adopted two more sons, two years apart. In 1965, I graduated from the University of WA with a BA degree.

In 1983, I was selected by the Sec. of Defense, for a three-year appointment to the Defense Advisory Committee On Women in the Services (DACOWITS). This appointment carried the protocol grade of Lt. General when visiting bases for inspections and gathering information regarding treatment and utilization of female personnel. I remain active in my Pan Am Flight attendant group (World Wings), my garden club and look forward to WASP reunions.


Marjory was another one-of-a-kind extraordinary WASP.
God bless her and her family--and ever life she ever touched.

Will post more as information becomes available.

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