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Gateway to Women's History

Martha Harmon Rountree grew up as a minister's daughter. While in college she entered the Civilian Pilot Training program (CPT). She entered WASP training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, in November 1943 in class 44-W-4. Because of difficulty with the instrument training, she was held back to 44-W-5.


After graduation, Rountree was assigned to Moore Field in Mission, Texas. Other assignments included B-26 school in Harlingen, Texas and additional instrument training in Sweetwater, Texas. After the WASP were deactivated in December 1944, Rountree moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she was reacquainted with a man she dated while at Moore Field. They eventually married and had an adventurous life together travelling the globe.


Rountree acquired the collection from L.W. Detzer who was a representative of Bethlehem Steel in Manila, Philippines, and his wife, Florence Detzer. Florence Detzer made buying trips to Hong Kong to assemble the collection of historic Chinese textiles. Chinese imperial clothing from the Qing Dynasty period and wedding accessories from the Peranakan Chinese; woven panels, embroidered scrolls, and fabric lengths including Thai silk from Bangkok, as well as embroidered silk jewelry boxes. The primary pieces of the collection consist of five women's Chinese robes and five skirts, all semi-formal and of varying colors and styles.

Featured Items
Pale Blue K'o-ssu Silk Panel
Woman's Purple Pleated Skirt
Red silk embroidered box with carved chop inside
Other Resources
Contact Information
  • Email: womenshistory@twu.edu
  • Phone: (940) 898-3751
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