Cascade Historical Society to Host Veteran’s Event
Featuring One of First Women WWII Pilots
Jane Doyle, 95, will present about her time as a WWII Women's Airforce Service Pilot
Cascade Township, Michigan, Nov. 2, 2017 – Cascade Historical Society, in collaboration with Ada Historical Society, will host a Veterans Day event featuring World War II Women’s Airforce Service Pilot Jane Doyle on Thursday, Nov. 2.
Doyle is one of the few remaining members of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, otherwise known as WASP, according to a July 2017 news article. The group was organized during WWII and included the first women to fly U.S. military aircrafts. Doyle, now 95, had flown a host of military planes during the last two years of WWII.
“We are really looking forward to hosting Jane and learning more about her experience as one of the first women pilots during World War II,” said Vic Gillis of the Cascade Historical Society. “History is really an incredible thing, and to have access to hear about Jane’s life and experience is just an amazing opportunity to learn about a time that to most is taught in a history book – and to others is a very distant memory.”
Doyle’s presentation, titled, “WASPs of WWII,” will take place at 7 p.m. at the Roselle Park Resource Building, 1010 Grand River Dr., Ada.
Doyle obtained her private pilot’s license when she graduated from Grand Rapids South High School in 1940. She completed her 70 hours of ground school at the junior college, now Grand Rapids Community College, and her 30 hours of flight training at what was then the Kent Country Airport.
Three years later, Doyle was contacted by the director of the WASPs who was searching the country for women who had a commercial pilot license with the intention to get them to join the organization. Those who would join would fly military planes in non-combat situations. And while the director was only instructed to find those with commercial licenses, she extended the invite to those with private licenses as well.
According to a news article released in July, Doyle was one of 25,000 female pilots invited to join the training program, which included the same courses as male Army Corps pilots. At the end of it, Doyle was one of 1,074 women who made it through the program. These women pilots would replace male pilots, who were then sent to war.
Only one year later, the program was disbanded, but Doyle continued to fly, with a brief stint with the Civil Air Patrol.
Several years later, in 1977, the women in WASPs were given military status and in 2009, were issued the Congressional Gold Medal honoring their service.
About the Cascade Historical Society
The Cascade Historical Society is dedicated to ensuring that present and future generations will not only know the significance of traditions of the area, but also will learn from the past and recognize the need to preserve the historical heritage that has been bestowed upon them. The Society maintains photos, newspaper clippings, journals, diaries and other memorabilia, as well as a database.
About Cascade Township
Home to more than 18,000 residents, Cascade Township is committed to serving the public by providing the finest community services possible with respect, efficiency and integrity. With the Thornapple River at its heart, Cascade Township is recognized as an excellent place to live, work, recreate and raise a family.