CLENT BREEDLOVE
CIVILIAN PILOT TRAINING PROGRAM
PRE-FLIGHTS PROGRAM
1939-1945

Florene Miller Watson
Florene Miller Watson was a pilot instructor for Clent Breedlove at the Lubbock Municipal Airport in early 1942.  Watson was later a WAFS pilot.  The WAFS were incorporated into the WASPs in 1943.  The WAFS were the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service.

I interviewed Florene Watson at her home in Borger, Texas on Saturday, July 28, 2007.  The interview started at 2:45 p.m. and ended at 11:30 p.m.  I used four 90-minute cassette tapes and we poured over numerous photographs.  I met her husband, Chris, during this first visit with her.

When I was about to leave that evening, she told me that my interview was the best interview she had ever given.  When I asked her why, she explained that it was because I had taken the trouble to drive to her home instead of calling her for an interview over the phone or interviewing her at an event in another city.  She said that she was always a bit uncomfortable being interviewed at other locations.

She said that by coming to her home, I made her very comforable and she was able to relax and just talk about her life stories.  She served me one tall glass of ice water after another -- and I really needed it.  It was about 98 degrees F that day when I arrived in Borger, which is about 45 minutes northeast of Amarillo.  She also had a very large plate of chocolate chip cookies ready for me, too; and that was very much appreciated.

I was very, very tired when I left her home that night and I had a long drive back to Amarillo where my hotel room was reserved.  I should have reserved one in Borger, but I was not expecting the interview to last for so long.  Florene was as fresh as a daisy at 11:30 o'clock that night and was sorry to see me leave.  She still have so much more to discuss.

On Saturday, May 30, 2009, I drove Florene to the WASP Homecoming event.  It was her first trip to the WASP Museum.  She was very glad to be there.  Because it was in late May, I rented a Hertz car from the Lubbock airport instead of taking my car so that I could be sure that she would have air conditioning.  My car's A/C was out of coolant at the time.  I picked her up at the McDonald's in Post and drove her to Sweetwater.  Her son-in-law had drive her to Post on his way to a business appointment.  I then drove her back to her daughter's home in Silverton late that afternoon.  Florene really enjoyed the trip and we had a good talk going there and coming back.  I took a wrong turn just after leaving Sweetwater and somehow we ended up taking a scenic route north to her daughter's home.  Neither Florene nor I were familiar with the highway on which we drove; but we did not care too much.  The view was beautiful and we had a great time talking about WWII and her flying experiences.  Florene thought very highly of Nancy Love, who founded the WAFS.

That day at the WASP Museum, she also brought along her large collection of photos in a zipper bag.  We displayed them on the tables at the museum and she had me stand guard over them while she spoke to the crowd.  After going back to Silverton, I had a light supper of cheese and crackers with Florene and her husband Chris and their daughter.  Her husband, Chris, has since passed away.  Chris worked as an engineer for a petroleum company in Sherwood Forest in England in WWII.   It was a top-secret location from where oil was pumped.

After we arrived back at her daughter's home, Florene allowed me to take her zipper bag full of photos from WWII and the later years so that I could digitze them at the Texas Tech library on their Epson scanners.  Florene said that she had never loaned those photographs to anyone, but that she would loan them to me that one time, but only if I would deliver them to her son-in-law early Monday morning when he was on a business trip coming through Lubbock.  I digitized them at Tech on Sunday, May 31, 2009 and had them ready to return to her son-in-law about 7:30 a.m. the next morning as he passed through Lubbock

More will be added about Florene Miller Watson in upcoming weeks.



Florene Miller Watson, pilot instructor for Clent Breedlove in the Civilian Pilot Training Program at the Lubbock Municipal Airport in early 1942 and member of the WAFS and later that WASPs.