November 1, 1920 - April 17, 2008
"I was born November 1, 1920, in Charleston, West Virginia. I decided I wanted to fly when I was seven years old. That was when Lindberg flew across the Atlantic. It was nothing but a dream until the summer after my sophomore year at West Virginia Wesleyan. I got into the summer class at Kanawha Flying School (seaplanes) in Charleston, West Virginia, and got my private license. I graduated from Wesleyan in 1942, and worked for Thomas, Field & Co. (a wholesale dry good store) in Charleston until late February of 1943. I didn't know how they knew about me, but the WASP contacted me. i had one landing in a land plane, as all my time, 85 hours, was in seaplanes."
"I reported to Sweetwater in early March of 1943, in class 43-4. I was assigned to Camp Davis, North Carolina, for the tow target squadron. I was then sent to Liberty Field at Camp Stewart. Both were antiaircraft training bases. I flew the L-2, L-5, A-24 (SBD), A-25 (SB2C Helldivers), BT-13, and all Twin Beechcrafts, (C-45, AT-7, AT-11, B-34, PQ-8, and PQ-14. I was active in the radio control program."
"After deactivation, I worked as an aircraft communicator, CAA in Montana, Idaho and Washington. I remained active in flying during this period, but stopped when I married Ed Volkomener, January 14, 1950. Ed was in charge of maintaining the electronic aids to aviation with the FAA, until he retired in 1972. I renewed my teacher's certificate and taught in the Catholic schools in Great Falls for a few years. I also was very active in the Campfire Girls program there. I also sang in my church choir and was a soloist.
We have three children: Margaret Nygard and Mark Volkomener, both in the Great Falls, Montana area, and Lucy Linn-Mckie with US Bank in Seattle, Washington. We have six grandsons and one great granddaughter."
"We moved to "The Pines" on Fort Peck Lake when Ed retired in 1972. He died in 1984. I have remained at the lake and have been going to Corpus Christi, Texas in the winter. However, I plan to go into a retirement home in Glasgow this winter of 1998...and will keep the cabin to be out here during good weather."
"In her own words" taken from "OUT OF THE BLUE and INTO HISTORY" by WASP Betty Stagg Turner.
From the Great Falls Tribune, Sunday, April 20, 2008:
Martha Virginia (Lawson) Volkomener, 87, of 224 29th Ave. N.E., a retired teacher and Air Force WASP, died of natural causes April 17, 2008 in Kirkland, Wash.
Survivors include her daughters, Lucy McKie of Duval, Wash., and Margaret Ann Nygard of Fort Shaw; a son, Mark Volkomener of Great Falls; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.She was preceded in death by her husband, Edwin John Volkomener.
Visitation is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at O'Connor Funeral Home. Her funeral is 1 p.m. Monday, April 22, 2008 at the LDS 4th Ward in Riverview, with burial with military honors in Mount Olivet Cemetery.