Madeleine Allaire Bennett
February 15, 1918 – August 3, 2001
Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.)
Planes flown: PT-17, AT-6, B-25
Bases assigned: Mather Army Air Base (Sacramento, Calif.) and March Army Air Base (Riverside, Calif.)
A native of New York City; Bennett grew up in California. After one year of college, Bennett started working and eventually got a job at an aircraft factory. She took flying lessons and in May, 1943 entered the WASP in class 43-W-7 and graduated in Nov. 1943. She received B-25 training at Mather Army Air Base in Sacramento followed, after which Bennett served at March Army Air Base in Riverside.
This period of her life serving as a WASP was one of the high points of her life. She continued to be active in promoting women in flying the rest of her life. She belonged to the WASP organization and the 99th (International Organization of Women Pilots). At one time she and a group of her WASP friends bought and assembled an ultra-light plane and flew it in the Tucson area. She was also an active supporter of the Pima Air and Space Museum and the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum.
In the interview below that was done in 1995, Bennett discusses her childhood and growing up in in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, her early fascination with flying and seeing Amelia Earhart at the San Fernando Airport. Bennett discusses her WASP training and her assignment at Mather Field flying the B-25 as well as her life after WASP deactivation when she worked at various jobs, eventually moving to Tucson, Arizona.
In 1994 Bennett received DAR Medal of Honor. This is awarded to an adult man or woman who is a United States citizen by birth and has shown extraordinary qualities of leadership, trustworthiness, service and patriotism.