Jane Dolores Champlin
May 14, 1917- June 7, 1943
Entered Army Air Force flight training: Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas, February 21, 1943
Jane was born in Chicago, Illinois to David Warren Champlin and Catherine Trottier. She grew up in Richmond, Virginia but graduated from Arcadia College and St. Louis University with a B.A. in 1937. She was the first Arcadia alumni to die in WW II and a building on the campus is named in her honor. She was interested in horseback riding, diving, tennis, and of course flying. She learned to fly in 1940 while in St. Louis and got her pilot’s license in the Civil Air Patrol.
Jane was a determined aviatrix who had two surgeries in order to fly. She entered the USAAF 318th Flight Training Detachment (FTD), Class 43-W-4 to become one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) at Avenger Field near Sweetwater, Texas on 21 February 1943.
During a night training flight on 7 June 1943, she became the first woman killed at Avenger Field, the home base for training WASP. She and her instructor (Henry S. Aubrey) were killed in a Vultee BT-15 Valiant (tail #42-41441) while on a training flight near Westbrook, approximately 40 miles west of Sweetwater, Texas.