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Jane Doyle: WWII Fly Girl Featured in Detroit Free Press

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Cadets from the Class 44-W4, from top left, Dorothy Allen, Mildred (Jane) Baessler, and Odean Bishop, from bottom left, Ina Barley and Stella Jo Baker at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. (Photo: Mildred Jane Doyle) 

Jane Baessler Doyle (BDes 1943) is featured in a Detroit Free Press profile that discusses her time as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, pioneering aviators who helped win World War II.

It took an Act of Congress to give the medals to Doyle and the 1,073 other WASP fly girls who boosted the war effort. The women were recruited to fly stateside for the U.S. Army Air Forces during the war, freeing up male pilots to serve in combat overseas.

Doyle is the last living WASP in Michigan, according to Texas Woman’s University, the repository for the history of the group. In all, just 69 remain nationally. 

She was a trailblazer unafraid to be the first girl or woman to do just about anything — practically a poster child for today’s feminist mantra: nevertheless, she persisted.

Michigan’s last surviving WWII fly girl recalls her time in the sky, blazing new paths | Detroit Free Press