When we think about the contributions women made during World War II, the image of Rosie the Riveter comes to mind. Her bandana-clad head, rolled up sleeves, flexed arm. The caption "We Can Do It!" in big, bold letters right above her head. During the war, while the men were off fighting, many women entered the workforce with a sense of duty and honor. Most stayed grounded, however, a great number of women took their talents to the air. They were the WASPs, members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots program, and their efforts helped the Allies secure a victory. One such woman, Mildred Jane Doyle of Grand Rapids, is remembered after her passing on February 1st, for her role as a test pilot. She was 97.

Mildred Jane Doyle was accepted in to the WASP program in 1944, shortly after she graduated from the University of Michigan School of Architecture and Design. As one of 1,1000 WASPs, she served as an engineering test pilot out of Seymour, Indiana. She would earn her wings, and later receive the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010.

Thank you, Mildred Jane Doyle for your contribution during the war and for paving the way for future female pilots to enter the force. To learn more about the WASPs visit the Air Zoo's WASP Exhibit.