GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) More than 70 years ago, when America was embroiled in World War II, something amazing happened, women from all over the United States made a sacrifice for their country. Those women were trained, as civilians, to become military pilots, members of WASP, Women Air Force Service Pilots. One of those women, 94-year-old Jane Doyle now lives in Grand Rapids.
Doyle, even though she was interested in aviation, says she never intended to be a pilot. After being enrolled in an engineering drawing class in college, became interested in a civilian pilot training program. She transitioned from her college classroom to the seat of a World War II aircraft, setting the course for history books as a member of WASP. Their role was kept quiet for awhile, because of the opposition to women being a part of the effort. She trained in Sweetwater, Texas in a program for the first women in history who would fly American military aircraft.
After the war and WASP was disbanded in 1944, Jane didn’t stay in aviation. Most of men who returned from the war took over those jobs. Doyle does have a degree from the University of Michigan and worked for many years with visually impaired children, and also at Aquinas College.
Doyle will celebrate her 95th birthday this fall.