GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids native who was among the first women to fly a U.S. military plane has died.
Mildred Jane Doyle passed away Friday at the age of 97, her daughter told 24 Hour News 8.
Doyle was among more than 1,000 women who first flew military planes in the 1940s as part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots program, also known as WASP.
During World War II, more men were needed to serve the U.S. military in combat overseas. In an unprecedented move, women were suddenly called on to fly stateside. Doyle was among them.
"They call us pioneers now," Doyle said in a 2017 interview with 24 Hour News 8 . "I said, 'I never thought I'd be a pioneer, but I guess I am.'"