A Grand Rapids native who was among the first women to fly a U.S. military plane has died.

Mildred Jane Doyle passed away at the age of 97, but continues to empower women around West Michigan.

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.

>>> Learn more in the video above.