Madge Rutherford Minton
Arsenal Technical High Class of 1937
- Madge Rutherford Minton
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Memories of Madge Rutherford Minton
Madge Rutherford Minton, daughter of Tech zoology teacher E.V. Rutherford, flew transport planes with the WASP during World War II. As a Tech student, Madge led an " active life, belonging to I many clubs, and working on the Arsenal Cannon staff, becoming editor-in-chief. She was a member of the Tech Legion and received the Milo H. Stuart Award.
Madge attended Indiana University, then transferred to Butler University, from which she graduated in 1941. While at Butler she completed the Civilian Pilot Training Program, ranking third in a class of men. When she applied to take a course in aerobatics and cross country flying, she was rejected on the basis of her gender. She did not let that deter her ambition to fly, but immediately wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, expressing her concern that women would not be allowed to fly to support the war effort. Madge received a reply from the first lady that there was no regulation excluding women from this course.
In January 1943, Madge received a letter instructing her to report to Sweetwater, Texas, for training as an air transport pilot. She had to cancel plans for an April marriage to Sherman Minton, then serving as a doctor for the U.S. Navy in San Diego. Flight training proved to be rigorous and intensive. Upon graduation from the training program, Madge flew new planes from the factories where they were manufactured to the bases where they were needed. She requested to be based in Long Beach, California, to be near her fiancÚ in San Diego. They were married in October 1943. Her flying career came to a halt in 1944 when she discovered she was pregnant with the first of three daughters.
Madge and Sherman Minton have traveled extensively, and lived in Pakistan for several years, while he served with A.I.D. Together they have researched and co-authored Venomous Reptiles, Giant Reptiles and Poisonous Insects. Madge has published a collection of her letters to her parents while serving in the WASP. She wrote articles for the 50th anniversary newsletter, and helped plan the 50th reunion of the women in training at Sweetwater, Texas, who served in World War II as , transport pilots.
The Mintons currently live in Indianapolis, IN.
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