Maxine Edmondson Flournoy
March 30, 1921 ~ April 5, 2023
Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.)
Assigned Bases: Hondo Army Air Field (Tex.) and Kingman Army Air Base (Kingman, Az.)
Planes flown: BT-13, AT-6, PT-19 and B-26
Maxine was the daughter of Dr. John Edmondson DDS and Mary Ruth Edmondson Jones. She grew up in Joplin, Missouri and attended Joplin Junior College. The Depression affected her family but as a kid she did not know anything different. She remembers not having much money but she assumed that was the way things were. She recalls men coming to her home looking for work. Her mother always fed them when they could. She grew up in a country town, Wheaton only had about three hundred people. It had a bank, a tiny hospital, and two grocery stores. Her father was a dentist and her mom was a homemaker. She had one brother who was a year and a half younger. Flournoy was in Joplin Junior College and graduated in 1939.
In 1941 she obtained her pilots license through the Civil Pilots Training program after about thirty-five hours of flight time. Flournoy was twenty-years old when she got her pilots license. She joined the WASP (Women Air force Service Pilots) in 1943 and trained at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas and afterwards she was assigned to the navigation school at Hondo Army Navigation School.
She arrived in Sweetwater in the middle of the night. Flournoy met the other WASP she was with. They stayed in the Blue Bonnet Hotel in Sweetwater. The next day they were picked up and sent to their barracks. They had primary, basic, and advanced training. There were some men at the base when she got there but they left to make room for the women.
When the WASP were deactivated in December 1944 she obtained a job as a company pilot in Alice, Texas where she met her husband, Lucien Flournoy. They raised three lovely daughters and together they operated Flournoy Drilling Company and Alice Aviation over many decades.
Maxine was active in civic life becoming a member of The Texas Historical Commission. Maxine was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as a member of the World USO Board of Directors. She was active with the local USO in Ingleside and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.
In 2002 she served as the president of the WASP Association. The Commemorative Air Force in Ingleside was named the Maxine Flournoy Third Coast Squadron CAF in her honor in 2004. In March of 2010, she traveled to Washington D. C. to accept the Congressional Gold Metal in recognition of her role as a WASP in the military.