Pat Malone
When an overseas war drew men into combat, women of World War II took over a number of military jobs

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 2:07 AM EST

By Patricia Newman

Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer

Patricia Malone was only 20 years old in 1944 when she set off to join the Navy during World War II.

She had just graduated from high school two years earlier and was working with her dad as an engineering aide in Quincy, Mass.

"At that time the whole world was at war," she said. "I went into the service because everybody was in the service. It was the thing to do."

With the demands placed on America during WWII and most of the men at war, women played an important role in the military. Some took care of the children and homes while others like Ms. Malone took over military jobs while men went to battle.

"We came in to allow men to go to war," she said. "We literally were set up to prepare men to go into combat."

Women taking over military jobs while the men went into combat thrilled some and disappointed others.

"The last thing they wanted to see is a little gal in a uniform taking over as they went to war," explained Ms. Malone, who served as one of the WAVES or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service- a branch of the Navy for women in the 1940s.

Like Ms. Malone, June Walls went into the military in 1945 because "it was the thing to do."

"At that time I had just got out of a nursing program at St. Joseph's Hospital in Detroit," said the 81-year-old Marietta resident. "Most of the other people in my class were going into the service."

Ms. Walls, who was only 22 at the time, served in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps at Terminal Island in Long Beach, Cailf. 

"They used to bring in wounded Marines from the South Pacific," she said.

During WWII, more than 400,000 women served in the military to help the men fighting on the front lines.

Today, 15 percent of the nation's 1.4 million women serve in the United States military working in jobs once restricted to female soldiers - including flying airplanes and going into combat.

"We couldn't go into combat," Ms. Malone said. "We were separate from the regular service in all aspects. There was no serving on ships, no flying, and no women pilots during WWII."

Despite the restrictions, Ms. Malone was determined get into aviation school where she could train as an air traffic controller.

"I wanted to get into aviation when I enlisted and I was looking to go to an aviation school," she said. "But unfortunately I wasn't old enough to be an air traffic controller."

The only aviation program for Ms. Malone to attend was the link trainer school at the Naval Air Station in Atlanta, which back then was at the Peachtree-DeKalb Airport.

"After boot camp I was shipped to the aviation school in Atlanta for twelve weeks," she said.

After training, Ms. Malone became a link trainer instructor at Wildwood Naval Air Station in New Jersey where she was assigned to a fighter pilot squadron training pilots in instrument flight procedures.

"I had controls that would simulate the radio signals that the pilot needed to hear in order to navigate his plane to the airports," she said.

After teaching pilots bad weather flight procedures for two years, Ms. Malone decided to get out of the military when the war ended.

"I could have stayed if I wanted to, but I wanted to move on," she said.

Ms. Malone's military service training gave her the experience she needed to work for seven major airlines over a 50 year career.

"My training in World War II gave me the background, training and the experience to move on after the war into the airline industry."

Although women today can train for any job in the military they chose, Ms. Malone and Ms. Walls have mixed feelings about women going into combat.

"If this is what a woman wants to do it is fine, but it puts women in a strange situation during combat," she said. "They don't make any distinctions from people being in the war zone or those who are behind the scenes."

Despite her feelings on women in combat, Walls believes women have their place in the service.

"Combat to me isn't the best use of their talents," she said. "But I'm old-fashioned. It's a different world all together."

Ms. Malone also has mixed emotions about women in combat.

"Front line for women is something I just feel puts a male in jeopardy because he will instinctively try to protect the female," she said. "Men have a natural instinct to protect women."

From Dave Roberts' newsletter:


Tricia Perry, Pat Malone's daughter, called with the sad news that Pat was in an automobile accident Sunday (July 27th) on the way home from church. Pat celebrated her 84th birthday three weeks ago on July 4th, and this is no way to continue that celebration.

For those who may not know Pat, she came to Delta with the Northeast merger. She taught Operations Specifications "Ops Specs" to the pilots for many years, then moved to Certificate Compliance, and has held many other positions with Delta. She was on the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of North Georgia. She has served as National President of Delta Pioneers, and is Chairperson of the Pioneers Advisory Council presently. You can google "Patricia W. Malone" and read all about her.

A young student driver, driving with his parents, made an erroneous left turn across Pat's lane of traffic and she "T-boned" him. Her car was totaled, the air bags inflated, but her right knee struck the dashboard and the femur was broken just above the knee. The same knee she had replaced several months ago. And she has had that hip replaced too.

She is in Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia, but for the moment is in ICU. Pat's kidneys have stopped functioning, Tricia said, and she is on dialysis. She's been given six units of blood trying to get her blood pressure back up, and until she stabilizes they cannot set the broken leg.

Please keep Pat and her doctors in your hearts and prayers. She has "mothered" so many of us over the years and now it's our turn to care for her.

Pat cannot have visitors in the hospital, but you can send her an email at Tricia's email address, <>. Pat's mailing address for cards or notes is 5113 Martin Farms Lane, Powder Springs, GA 30127-8430. Pat's email address is <> but she won't be able to see it for quite some time, so use Tricia's.

With best wishes for her quick recovery,


Mom was in an accident on Sunday 7/27, while on her way home from church.  She was driving through an intersection and a 15 year old with a learner’s permit, driving with his mother, took a left turn right in front of mom, instead of waiting for her to clear the intersection.  She ended up “T-boning” the other vehicle.  Her car was totaled.  Her air bags deployed right into her chest and face and her knee went into the dashboard.  She broke her right femur just above her artificial knee.  Thankfully the break is such that it can be repaired with plates, and not a total rebuild of her knee and part of the thigh bone.  The only thing we had to do was keep the leg and traction and wait for the Plavix that she had taken Sunday morning to work its way out of her system (4 to 5 days).  That’s the good news.

Now for the rest of the story.

Monday morning her blood pressure was dangerously low at 72/38.  She was at Cobb hospital.  Her orthopedic surgeon wanted her transferred to Kennestone so that he could rebuild the leg there.  Prior to moving her the gave her a unit of blood to bring her blood pressure up.  Finally getting it to 114/56 she was moved by ambulance to Kennestone.  She was lucid but in pain when we left Cobb.  By the time we arrived at Kennestone approx. 4pm she was starting to become delirious.  She didn’t know who she was, where she was, why she was.  All she knew was that she had to get up and get going.  Not easy with a broken leg tied to a traction bar.

By Monday at 1am the nurses on the Orthopedic floor couldn’t get her blood pressure by cuff, they could get a good reading on her pulse and the could get no reading on her blood oxygen level.  At that point they called the rapid response team from the ICU.  She was immediately moved to ICU.  She had slipped into unconsciousness by this time.  They started a central line (larger IV port in her upper chest) and an A line (Arterial port in her arm to measure her blood pressure from inside the vein).  They typed her blood again, and start another unit of blood.  They were giving her medicine to keep her blood pressure up.  She was on oxygen as well.  By 4:30am she was finally relaxing and not fighting the tubes so much, and not trying to take her semi cast off her leg.  She thought her leg was caught in the blankets and kept trying to peel back the ace bandages holding her splint to her leg.

On Tuesday morning, she was seen by every specialist in the hospital.  My sister and I had been asking every doctor since the accident if she had an internal bleeder, and if that was why her blood pressure was so low.  Up until Tuesday morning they all said no.  The general surgeon walked into her room on Tuesday morning, took one sniff, and said “we have a bleeder”.  Plans were made to put a scope down her throat to see if the bleeder was in her upper intestines.  By this time she was on her 4th pint of blood, and the blood pressure still wouldn’t stay up on its own.  Then the kidney specialist came in and informed us that her kidneys had stopped functioning.  She was immediately place on dialysis to help her kidneys get some rest so they could filter out the toxins in her blood, and the contrast dye used when we were trying to find out what she had broken after the accident on Sunday.  She had a relatively uneventful night on Tuesday and everything was being monitored from her blood to her kidneys.  By the end of Tuesday she had received a total of 6 units of blood.

On Wednesday morning things were looking up.  We were getting good news on her blood work, the kidneys seemed to be recovering, it looked like she might just catch a break and be able to come out of this, and then the General surgeon showed up.  They pressed her abdomen and decided that they had to get in there and find out what the problem was.  With morphine and several other medications in her system, she was squirming when they touch her tummy.  The doctor said that it was real pain and meant something bad was up.  So we threw all caution to the wind yesterday and she went into surgery.  The doctor said that if he didn’t see what was causing so much pain and it was something bad, there was a 100% mortality rate.  So off we went to surgery.  3.5 hours later, mom had lost about 10” of her large intestine.  The impact of the accident had pushed the upper part of her colon into her hernia cavity.  IT got strangulated and died.  The doctor removed the dead part and when he tried to reconnect the two pieces he discovered that the inside of those parts was also dead.  He backed up two more time before he found tissue he could work with.  She now has an ostomy bag outside her tummy.  She is on a respirator from the surgery and still on dialysis.  At 11:30 last night her blood work was looking better.

Please keep her in your prayers and I will try to keep you updated as things progress.

Patricia M. Perry


Friday, August 1, 2008

Well the general surgeon scared us a little today by telling us that the antibiotics that they had been giving mom didn’t seem to be doing anything.  They were also concerned that her platelet levels were very, very low.  So she called in an Infectious Disease doctor and a Hematologist.

The Infectious Disease doctor came in recently and told us that they are pretty sure that she is not systematically infectious and that they were going to change the antibiotics to treat a specific infection.  So we should see some change with regards to her blood pressure and heart rate if there isn't as much fighting the infections because the antibiotics should take care of them.

The Hematologist came in at the same time and said that they were going to start giving her platelets so that her blood would have clotting ability.  Most of hers had been absorbed or abused by the dialysis machine and the fact that we have given her 9 units of just red blood cells.  That should also help her blood pressure and heart rate.

On the brighter side…She was removed from dialysis today because they thought that it too was now doing more harm than good.  They will watch her closely for the next 24 hours to see if her kidneys start to pick up their end of the workload.  She has started to fill the catheter bag much more now that she is responsible for removing the liquid than the dialysis machine.  She also opened her eyes this morning, and focused on one of her nurses.  The nurse said she seemed to be “angry” about all the lines and tubes, but when the nurse asked her to squeeze her hand mom did!

The doctors are guarded optimistic in that she is having a “good” day today.  They did caution us that she is on a tight rope still though.  She could still go either way if one of her systems (heart, lungs, vascular or kidneys) don't fully come back online.  So please keep praying.

On behalf of my sisters, Alison and Peggy, I want to thank everyone for their emails and cards.  We bring them to the hospital everyday and in the morning we read mom her emails and cards and then hang them on her wall.  The nurses encouraged us to bring in some of her favorite music and pictures of the family so we have Nat King Cole serenading her and her nurses and all of the family members are represented in pictures.  We have even put some up of her pilots too!

Because she is still in a very fragile place, we ask that you not try to visit her or send flowers. 

As things progress I will let you know.



Subject: Good Days for Pat
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2008 17:37:23 -0400

Saturday, August 2, 2008 and Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hello Everyone.

Saturday was very good for mom.  When we arrived at the hospital her ventilator was turned off.  They were testing her to see if she could pull her own air in without assistance and to start waking up her swallowing and gag reflexes.  After the machine had been off for an hour and a half, they drew blood to test her blood gases to see how she did on her own.  Then they turned the machine back on to assist her.  She did very well.  Her blood gases indicated that she could indeed sustain herself.

The doctors also had good things to say.  Her platelet count was up significantly and had remained up after her platelet infusion.  The “blood” doctor said that she would monitor her to make sure they don’t drop too low and to see if she will start making her own.  The surgeon came in to check her ostomy and said that everything there looked good and clean and that her abdomen was making the appropriate noises.  The kidney doctor was please that mom was producing a sufficient amount and that her kidneys appeared to be kicking back into gear.  Heart and lungs checked in and said that her heart and lungs appear to be doing their job as well, and that today was a good day.  Infectious disease also stated that the antibiotics were doing their job and that her blood work showed that she was fighting the infections.

Sunday started with the same good news.  Her daily exercise now is to turn the ventilator off and let her work on her lungs and reflexes.  Again she was able to sustain herself for about and hour and half.  Her blood gases looked good as well, so they turned the machine on to assist.  She is starting to get very fidgety again trying to move her head out from under the tube, but most of the movement is unconscious self preservation movements.  All doctors are please with their respective results and have basically told us that she is doing what she needs to be doing to get well.  We have been told through the weekend not to stimulate her, as stimulation would distract her from the business at hand, getting well.  We are waiting for her to wake up now.  So my sisters and I just go in there and read the newspaper and stare at her most of the day.  We are almost trying to will her awake with our eyes.  The doctors aren’t concerned that she hasn’t woken up yet.  They told us today that if she isn’t awake and able to respond to simple commands by Wednesday they will start to get concerned.

We had placed her on a restricted information, password protection, status at the hospital when we first moved to ICU.  Mom is loved by so many people that we didn’t want the ICU staff bombarded with phone calls and visitors.  We found out though that if anyone called the hospital they were being told that she wasn’t there which panicked several people, including the family.  We have removed the restriction, but we ask that you DON’T call or visit the ICU unit.  There isn’t a phone in every room and we would prefer that the nurses focus on mom rather than handling her messages and visitors.  We need for mom to also concentrate on fixing her body and waking up.

Please do continue to send me emails and cards to her house.  My older sister Alison is staying at mom’s so she brings the cards in to the hospital in the morning, and I run by my office to print emails to share with each other and mom.  We are putting together a notebook to share with mom when she wakes up.

I know that right now God is getting an earful from around the world, so keep on praying that we see those beautiful blue eyes very soon.

In case you don’t have her mailing address I am including it below.

Pat Malone
5113 Martin Farms Lane
Powder Springs, GA 30127

Thank you again for all the wonderful stories and prayers.  It has been comforting and entertaining to share them.  I will send out another status tomorrow.  For now have a good evening.



Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 20:21:08 -0400

Hello all.

Well, we had another day like Saturday and Sunday today.  All of the doctor’s checked in and said that their piece of the puzzle was looking good.  The level of concern is starting to rise as to whether mom can make the rest of the trip back.  Right now it is up to her, to stay here with us or to gain clearance for her final approach.  We know we want her to stay here with us and that is what we are praying for, but if she decides that would add too much of a burden to us she won’t stay.  You all know how she hates to be a burden to anyone.

The primary doctor has asked for a neurological work up tomorrow.  So we should know in the next few days whether she is in a holding pattern, or whether the movements she is making are just her primal brain trying to keep the her body alive.  This has been a difficult week for all of us and I want to let you know now that we are feeling the love from all of her pilots and Delta family, her ABWA friends, our church, and our family. 

We have not reached the point of having to make any decisions on her behalf or requesting that family come to say good bye, but the doctors are still telling us that she is not out of the woods yet.  I pray every night that I will receive the call that she is awake and asking for us.  Or that when I get to the hospital she is ready to squeeze our hands or open her eyes.  Keep praying for mom to wake up.

I will send word tomorrow on the outcome of the tests.

Thank you all again for the pictures and emails, we are reading them to her and entertaining our nurses with your stories.  And there are boat loads of them!



August 5, 2008

Hello All,

We got a little glimmer of hope today.   All of the doctor’s are very impressed and pleased with mom’s progress.  Her kidneys are functioning so well that they started giving her Lasix again.  She had some severe edema in her left leg (the non broken leg) and her hands from the surgery.  The swelling has come down significantly. 

Later in the day the Neurologist came in to do a preliminary evaluation.  She said that she believes that mom is still in there.  She did respond to some of the pain tests on her fingers, and a couple of her reflexes checked out.  They took her for a Cat Scan this evening and we should have the results from that tomorrow.  She is also scheduled for an EEG.  Based on the results of those two tests I will be able to give you news as to whether we are circling or preparing for her final approach. 

The neurologist was positive that mom can make a recovery with minimal impact to her faculties.  She said that there may be some short term memory loss, but who doesn’t have that!?!  She wants to see the test results first to confirm her hypothesis.  Those scientific types.  Based on her age and the challenges she has had to face in the last week, they are impressed that her body is healing as well as it is.  Depending on the outcome of the tests, the neurologist believes that we can have the leg set this week as well.  The orthopedic surgeons say they can do that without having to put her under general anesthesia, which would be just another insult to her already tired system.  She is resting comfortably and the nurses have been fabulous.

We are going home to rest so that we can be fully prepared to receive the results tomorrow.  Keep on praying that she has enough fuel to keep holding.  But if I know you guys there was an extra cushion added to the tanks.  I can’t thank you enough for the messages, cards and pictures that you have been sending they really keep our spirits up.

Good night.



Wednesday, August 6, 2008 – Thursday, August 7, 2008

Well I apologize for no report yesterday.  It was mostly the same. BUT….

This morning when I entered the room mom was responding to basic commands.  She was asked to squeeze my hand and did!  Then they asked her to wiggle her foot and she did!

The infection is under control, her white blood cell count is down, her kidneys are working very well and she is starting to wake up!  We are very excited, but we are still guarded.  The cat scan came back with no additional injuries and her EEG though a little weaker than the average brain activities, look very good.  The Neurologist said that the weakness was probably as a result of the medications they have her on and the slight infection that she is running.

Things are looking up and as my sister says “We are not out of the woods yet, but now we can see the meadow!”

Thank you again for all the support, prayers and emails.

More to come.



Dear God,

"They will be done"

but---Please hear my plea.

Mother Pat Malone is in a holding pattern.
A couple of years ago I was in a holding pattern
over Almaty--low on fuel, big mountains to the S,
desert all other directions. Her words like yours,
lead me where I needed to go. I owe You & Her
sooooooo much.   

So - - - P L E A S E

Many of her fold have much more to learn
from her, so please sent her a tanker full of grace
and blessing to her holding pattern,
thus allowing her to put  off her final apporch for a while.

Bob Pfister


Dear Friends:

At 4:00pm yesterday afternoon (Monday - 08/11/08) Mom was given clearance for her final approach.  She landed without incident at 5:01am this morning and touched the face of God.

Thank you all for your emails and pictures.  They have been very precious for us to have during the last two weeks.  The last 3 days have been very difficult for us and I apologize for not sending a status but the final decisions that have to be made for a loved one were private for us.

Mom was able to communicate with us and she left us peacefully.

I will let you know the details for the next several days as soon as we have them all solidified.

Tricia ;-(


Pat Malone, Delta’s ‘Mother’ took great pride in ‘her pilots’


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Her pilots called her “Mother Malone,” and she called them “my little darlings.”

It’s been 14 years since Pat Malone retired as Delta Air Lines’ manager of certification compliance after three decades on the job. But she remains an invisible co-pilot on many of its flights.

John Spink/Special
Pat Malone joined Delta in 1972 and became a beloved figure there. She retired 14 years ago.

Some of those who trained with her still hear Mrs. Malone’s deep, raspy voice beside them, reminding them of the rules and regulations.

When she joined Delta in 1972, no one would have predicted she’d become such a beloved figure there. She was asked to create its operations specifications curriculum, but she faced two obstacles: a dull, dry subject matter and a largely male audience. She soared over any low expectations of her.

How did she do it?

“She just started talking. That’s all it took,” said her daughter Patricia M. Perry of Kennesaw. “She took the most boring, mundane subject in flying and made it interesting.”

The memorial service for Patricia W. Malone is 1 p.m. today at First United Lutheran Church in Kennesaw. Mrs. Malone, 84, of Powder Springs died Tuesday at WellStar Kennestone Hospital of complications from a July 27 car accident. The body was cremated.

The Massachusetts native enlisted during World War II as a training instructor in the U.S. Navy. After the war, she served as a civilian instructor for the U.S. Air Force and went on to train pilots for major airlines.

She moved to Delta and taught instrument flying and Federal Aviation Administration compliance classes. Before long, she won skeptical pilots over with her wisecracks, her quick smile and her commanding 6-foot frame.

“The reason she earned the ‘Mother’ title is because she was more than just an instructor,” her daughter said. “She was all about education. I don’t think the subject matter made a difference. She just loved to teach.”

Her colleague Chuck Schramek of Stockbridge began teaching Delta’s rules and regulations classes under her tutelage. He quickly learned why she was a company legend.

The first time he met her, she asked, “And who the hell are you, Sweetie?”

“That kind of started the bond with her,” he said.

With all the places it flies now and the regulations behind that expansion, “she was the one blazing all these trails for Delta Air Lines,” Mr. Schramek said.

For the rest of her life, Mrs. Malone continued to refer to “my pilots.” She liked to tell people, “Every white hair on my head is a stripe on some pilot’s sleeve somewhere in the world.”

She devoted much of her retirement years to volunteer work. As past president of the American Business Women’s Association, she focused on mentoring other women.

In a 1987 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, Mrs. Malone acknowledged the emotional support of her second husband, the late Peter James Malone Jr.

“Basically, I agree with the saying that women today need wives, not husbands,” she said. “And women need to be recognized for what they do, not told that ‘she’s doing OK — for a woman.’ “

“She didn’t have that ‘I’m good and I know it attitude,’ ” her daughter said. “If she was helping somebody, that was enough. It could be a woman who was trying to understand why her husband was a jerk or a man who was learning to fly. As long as she was helping somebody, she was a happy human.”

Survivors include two other daughters, Alison D. Romig of Weymouth, Mass., and Peggy L. Nicholson of Powder Springs; three sisters, Susan Fekete of Cape Coral, Fla., Jackie Bigelow of Westwood, Mass., and Robin di Campi of Durham, N.H; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandson.