Meet all 38 of Michigan's original World War II fly girls

Sunday, 12 November 2017, 06:57:27 AM. They got little glory and had to pay their own way, but 38 Michigan women helped turn the tide of WW II by flying as Women AIrforce Service Pilots.

In all, 38 Michigan women signed up to fly for the Women Airforce Service Pilots program and completed training during World War II.  

They got little glory and had to pay their own way, but these women helped turn the tide of the war by freeing up men to fly in combat missions overseas. 

In all, 1,074 women nationally served their country in this way from 1942-44. 

"What they did was open so many doors," said Kimberly Johnson, director of special collections at Texas Woman's University, which is home to the historical repository of the WASP program. 

They showed "that women were capable, that they could be great pilots, and have every bit of the strength, the stamina, the fortitude, the perseverance that was needed. Every woman who’s flying today for the military is flying because of what the WASP had done before."

More:WWII veteran is Michigan's last surviving fly girl

meet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 1 Pictures of the Michigan women who signed up to fly for the Women Airforce Service Pilots program and completed training during World War II. They got little glory and had to pay their own way, but these women helped turn the tide of the war by freeing up men to fly in combat missions overseas.  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 2 Mildred (Jane) Baessler, Grand Rapids  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 3 Louise Brand, Grosse Pointe  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 4 Ruthmary Buckley, Kalamazoo  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 5 Sara Chapin, Grosse Pointe  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 6 Mary Coon Walters, Baraga  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 7 Suzanne Delano, Kalamazoo  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 8 Dorothy Dodd, Lansing  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 9 Doris Elkington, Highland Park  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 10 Joanne Blair, Detroit  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 11 Janis Gregg, Britton  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 12 Rosalie Grohman, Saginaw  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 13 Phyllis Jarman, Alpena  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 14 Marjorie Johnson, Belding  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 15 Virginia Krum, Detroit  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 16 Kaddy Landry Steele, Marquette  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 17 Bertha Link, Conklin  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 18 Nancy Love, Houghton  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 19 Beatrice Medes, Grand Rapids  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 20 Marie Michell Robinson, Troy  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 21 Lois Nash, Ferndale   Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 22 B.J. Overman, Plymouth  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 23 Jean Person, Detroit  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 24 Emily Porter, Coopersville  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 25 Mabel Rawlinson, Kalamazoo  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 26 Jacquelyn Riley, Middleville  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 27 Mary Rosso, Kalamazoo  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 28 Phyllis Ryder, Muskegon  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 29 Sylvia Swartz Granader, Southfield  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 30 Mary Jane Stephens, Detroit  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 31 Phyllis Tobias, Berkley  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 32 Janet Wayne, Kalamazoo  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 33 Ruth Westheimer, Jackson  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 34 Violet Wierzbicki, Flint  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 35 Jane Wilson, Highland Park  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 36 Virginia Winson, Ann Arbor  Texas Woman's Universitymeet-all-38-of-michigans-original-world-war-ii-fly-girls photo 37 Faye Wolfe, Grand Rapids  Texas Woman's University

Here are the Michigan women who served. Of them, only one, Mildred Jane Baessler Doyle survives. Two of the women, Marie Michell Robinson of Troy and Mabel Rawlinson of Kalamazoo, gave their lives during service. 

1.)    Mildred (Jane) Baessler Doyle, Grand Rapids

2.)    Joanne Blair, Detroit

3.)    Louise Brand, Grosse Pointe 

4.)    Ruthmary Buckley, Kalamazoo

5.)    Sara Chapin, Grosse Pointe

6.)    Shirley Joy Condit, Glennie

7.)    Suzanne Delano, Kalamazoo

8.)    Dorothy Dodd, Lansing

9.)    Doris Elkington, Highland Park

10.)  Earlene Flory Hayes, Ishpeming

11.)  Janis Gregg, Britton

12.)  Rosalie Grohman, Saginaw

13.)  Phyllis Jarman, Alpena

14.)  Marjorie Johnson, Belding

15.)  Virginia Krum, Detroit

16.)  Bertha Link, Conklin

17.)  Nancy Love, Houghton

18.)  Beatrice Medes, Grand Rapids

19.)  Marie Michell Robinson, Troy

20.)  Lois Nash, Ferndale

21.)  B.J. Overman, Plymouth

22.)  Jean Person, Detroit

23.)  Emily Porter, Coopersville

24.)  Mabel Rawlinson, Kalamazoo

25.) Jacquelyn Riley, Middleville

26.) Mary Rosso, Kalamazoo

27.) Phyllis Ryder, Muskegon

28.) Kaddy Landry Steele, Marquette

29.) Sylvia Swartz Granader, Southfield

30.) Mary Jane Stephens, Detroit

31.) Phyllis Tobias, Berkley

32.) Mary Coon Walters, Baraga

33.) Janet Wayne, Kalamazoo

34.) Ruth Westheimer, Jackson

35.) Violet Wierzbicki, Flint

36.) Faye Wolfe, Grand Rapids

37.) Virginia Winson, Ann Arbor

38.) Jane Wilson, Highland Park

Contact Kristen Jordan Shamus: 313-222-5997 or kshamus@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kristenshamus. 

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