W.109 First Officer   Jane Graham Plant
 flag usa b. 25 Jul 1922, New York, NY  31 Mar-43 to Oct-45 

 jane plant ATA  RAFM

     

 

 Father: George H., mother Eleanor G. [Raup]

Ed. Lincoln School, Lock Haven, PA; Forest Park High School. MD

ata jane plant 1936 She started early...

"Beginning her interest in airplanes at the age of 12, while residing here two years ago, Jane Plant is continuing her study of the ins and outs of aviation at Atlanta, GA" - Lock Haven Express, 1936

"Tearing down motors of giant airships is Jane's idea of having fun." "I like to see what makes 'em perk", she says, "I'm just a grease monkey."

prev: Ground instructor, pilot; Instructor for Curtiss-Wright

ata jane plant 1940 Jane's 1940 school photo

prev. exp. 1100 hrs

Address in 1942: 3906 Woodbine Ave, Baltimore, MD

She sailed to join the ATA on 9 May 1943 from New York, with Marion Orr.

ata jane plant 1944 

 "Second Officer Plant also introduced her parents to some new slang in her letters. 

Landing practice for the ATA is "circuits and bumps". An easy job is a "piece of cake", and a worried person is "in a flap".

She writes of 4 o'clock tea and of the delighted discovery of apple butter by the English." [Ewww]

As an afterthought, she adds "I think I'll be a test pilot after the war." - Evening Sun, Baltimore, 1944

ata jane plant 1945

"It was farewell day for the Air Transport Auxiliary yesterday. Here, First Officer Jane Plant of Baltimore, USA, explains the controls of a Spitfire to young Michael Tinne, of Eton ATC. One day he hopes to fly, too. Jane has delivered 185 Spitfires as well as other types of machine." Sunday Mirror, 30 Sep 1945

She sailed back to the US in March 1946, with Suzanne Humphreys Ford; she had worked for the ATA for over two years, and was still only 23 years of age.

She met her husband after she had a letter published in the 'Baltimore Sun' in 1963, which made some "facetious comments on the prospects for women astronauts."

"Then the telephone rang. No, it was not NASA asking how much I weighed or whether I get airsick. It was a young man I had met that week at work... A few weeks later we were married."

 m. 1963 George D Spencer [d. 2006]

She was also the original inspiration behind the 'ATA History Project', which led eventually to www.airtransportaux.com

d. 17 Jun 2007, Baltimore

Her writings, correspondence, flight logs, lists, printed matter, videotapes of interviews, clippings, and photographs are in the Hoover Institution Library & Archives: https://www.hoover.org/library-archives

 


Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

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