Katharine Joy Moore, Class 43-7
Page available since 7/13/97 - last updated 4/30/2018
Joy is remembered by her son, Matt Moore
|I am more than willing to share the few stories that I have of mom's history with you and anyone else on this site. What I am really hoping for is that either yourself or someone else surfing this site will have some more detailed stories about my mother. I crave information from those times.
|My mom (Katharine Joy Merritt-Moore[ went by the name of Joy]) never spent much time recounting stories of that earlier life. She talked briefly of towing targets and having her aircraft hit in such a matter-of-fact fashion as to have me believe that it was no big deal. She recounted a couple of times to me an occasion where she litterally trimmed a hedge with the propellers of her airplane much to the shegrin of her instructor. Just what they were flying, I don't recall. But, I distinctly remember that she said "props". She would occassionally [sic] recount riding in the nose of a B-24 on landing as one of her favorite thrills. Watching the tarmac come up to within a couple of feet of the glass with someone else at the controls. I liken this to crewmen on aircraft carriers who stand at the end of the catapult foor thrills.
|I don't know if there is a place to go for copies of the pilot's logs, but I would love to see just how many hours she had in each type of aircraft. We recently were honored with the presence of the Colling's Foundation's B-24 & B-17. I commented to the pilot that he was probably the first person I had met with more time in the 17 than my mother. His response was "probably not". Even though he had flown 30+ missions, the average mission was maybe seven hours, totaling only 210 hours plus thier training time. Far less than most of the ferry pilots who never saw any combat.
|Recently, at the Watsonville antique fly-in, I was talking with a gentleman from the antique aircraft museum in San Martin, California. He had been a radio operator on a B-17. He recounted to me a story of stopping at an unfamiliar base to refuel. The captain and first officer had gone into the ops building to update their flight plan and check weather reports. Himself and the navigator had stayed with the airplane awaiting the fuel truck.
|They watched two P-47's execute a high speed fly-by at low altitude then peel off into the pattern and land side-by-side. The 47's taxied up and parked along side of their aircraft. When the pilots removed thier caps to reveal long tresses, these men were amazed to see women pilots.
|The two women also entered the ops building. They came out ten minutes later, climbed into another B-17 accross the line from them and took off. For those of us who grew up around the WASP's, this seems to be no big deal. When you take the time to realize that male pilots were type rated for particular aircraft and that was pretty much all that they flew, it was a big deal. The WASP's had to be able to move from type to type with little or no consideration. Something most male pilots would'nt even have considered.
|"Joy" went from Sweetwater basic training, class 43-7, to Mather Army Air Field in Sacremento, Ca., for training on B-25s, to March AAF, and finally to Las Vegas Army Air Base.