As Her Sister Remembers
|The following was provided by Mary Creason, Mabel's sister, on March 13, 1999, and her niece has provided a detailed bio of Mary Ralwinson as she requested so you will not see the words she quotes below.|
|The aircraft developed mechanical problems after take off from the Camp Davis runway, and it was necessary for Mabel and her instructor, who was checking her out at night, to come back for landing. Last year I talked with another WASP who was eyewitness, in fact, she was supposed to follow Mabel in her aircraft, but had to return to the ramp because of an aircraft problem. I have this documented if anyone wants it.|
|I remember well receiving the call in the middle of the night on August 23, 1943. A loud voice read my mother and me a telegram, "We regret to inform you that your daughter has been killed . . . . . . . . . . .."|
We were told by Bertha Link who accompanied Mabel's body home that the aircraft caught fire in the air. Last year I talked to the widow of the flight instructor, and she said he had talked about the crash a lot. He said there was nothing to do but follow procedures and "take it in." Mabel was in no way at fault. What was at fault was the latch -- yes, the latch could not be opened from the inside of the aircraft -- there was no way Mabel could have exited. It has been my hope always that she was unconscious from fumes prior to the crash.Here is a summary of the Army Air Force accident report.
|Another correction, please -- Mabel would not have liked being billed as a "librarian and a singer" -- she was a professional secretary for Flora Roberts at the Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL) and she sang only for the church choir and her own (and our) entertainment. She and your grandmother signed up each year for the Kalamazoo community production of "The Messiah." (Knowing I couldn't carry a tune, I was not invited to participate.)|
|Additional information about Mable has been prepared by her niece.|