Madge Leon Moore
January 22, 1922 – December 22, 2016
“I don’t think of myself as a pioneer but maybe I am. I was a girl who liked to fly.”
~WASP Madge Leon Moore
Every WASP who trained at Avenger has a special ‘connection’ to Sweetwater-but not like Madge. She not only graduated from the flying training program for women pilots at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, but several years before that, she was a 4th grade student in an elementary school in Sweetwater! Madge was born in Rule, Texas, but she grew up in Haskell.
Moore went to Haskell High School. She studied dance at the University of Southern California and Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman’s University) before earning a B.A. in art from Southern Methodist University in 1941. When she learned to fly at Stamford, the only airfield in the area. and received her private pilot’s license, she took her mother up for her first airplane ride. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she applied for WASP training, was accepted, graduated and was assigned to Perrin Field in Sherman, Texas.
She began training in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in November 1, 1943 at Avenger Field. Her parents, who supported her desire to serve, drove her to training. She graduated from her WASP training on May 23, 1944. Moore was stationed at Perrin Field in Sherman, Texas. As a WASP, she ferried planes, some of which no longer had functioning instruments, forcing her to use dead reckoning. Many of the planes she flew were from Kelly Field, which was closing and she most often ferried BT-13s and AT-6s. She also tested planes after they were repaired.
After the WASP were deactivated, she married the young pilot, Captain Stanley L. Moore, who offered to carry her parachute when she was flying as a WASP.
She went on to live as a homemaker and stay at home mother.
In 2010, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her service as a WASP