Ann Criswell Madden
April 10, 1922 – March 15, 2004
Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.)
Planes flown: BT-13, PT-19, UC-78
Assigned bases: Long Beach Army Air Base (Calif.)
Ann “Cris” Criswell Madden grew up in Ohio and Maryland. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, where she also earned a pilot’s license.
Ann Criswell graduated in the class of 43-W-6 on 9 Oct 1943. During her time with the WASP she was assigned to Long Beach Army Air Base (CA). In the performance of her duties she flew many types of military aircraft, including the PT-19, BT-13, UC78 and attended Pursuit School to enable her to ferry pursuit aircraft from factories to airfields.
She met her future husband, Paul Madden, an Army Air Corps captain, at a base in California. They were married in 1945 and had 10 children. In 1966, while they were living in Merion, he died in an automobile crash. Fortunately, their daughter Laura Grant said, her father, who owned an insurance company, had sufficient coverage so that Mrs. Madden did not need to work to support her family.
Mrs. Madden encouraged her children to speak in public, her daughter said, and took her own advice. She developed slide lectures on art appreciation and on her travels, and she included her war experiences in a lecture, “These Magnificent Young Women in Their Flying Machines.
She was posthumously awarded a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal for her service in WWII as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
Texas Women’s University, Denton, Texas. WASP collection
Wings Across America