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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Jane Spencer collection
    Dates: 1940-2002
    Collection Number: 80076
    Collector: Spencer, Jane, 1922- , collector.
    Collection Size: 3 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box (1.6 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The Jane Spencer collection contains writings, correspondence, flight logs, lists, printed matter, videotapes of interviews, clippings, and photographs relating to the British Air Transport Auxiliary, an organization of civilian British and American and other foreign pilots of both sexes to ferry military aircraft during World War II. The collection includes writings by and interviews of pilots.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: The collection is in English

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jane Spencer collection, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1980.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Related Materials

    Ann Wood-Kelly papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    John Leonard Yingst papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Roberta Boyd Sandoz Leveaux papers, Hoover Institution Archives

    Biographical Note

    1922 Born
    1934 Received first flight instruction
    1936 Apprentice, airplane repair shop
    1940 Received ground instructor's license
    1941 Received commercial license and instructor's rating
    1941-1942, circa Instructor, Civilian Pilot Training Program
    1943-1945 Ferry Pilot, First Officer, Air Transport Auxiliary
    1945 Became the last foreign pilot or woman to fly for Air Transport Auxiliary
    1946-1955 Photographer
    1956-1965 Technical writer and researcher
    1965 Bachelor of Science in humanities, Johns Hopkins
    1968 Master of Liberal Arts, John Hopkins
    1980s-1990s, circa Collected material for ATA History Project
    Source: British Air Transport Auxiliary, Jane Plant Spencer. http://www.airtransportaux.com/members/plant.html

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains material collected by Jane Spencer for the ATA History Project, an effort to document American participation in the British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), an organization of civilian pilots who ferried military aircraft during World War II. Formed in 1939, the ATA transported planes for the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Fleet Air Arm, and the British Army. Its membership included women, handicapped, and elderly pilots from twenty-eight countries. Because of the nature of their work, pilots were asked to fly different types of planes and were not required to receive an initial checkout before flying planes new to them. The ATA ended its services in 1945, when Spencer became the last women or foreign pilot to fly for the organization.
    The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) file contains material collected from ATA pilots, including correspondence, logbooks, and diaries, as well as materials created after World War II documenting the ATA. A significant portion of the material comes from Roy William Reisert, including diaries and logbooks from his time as an ATA pilot. Also included are letters of ATA pilot Emily Chaplin written in 1942 and 1943. Much of the collection consists of materials that were created after World War II, such as the newsletters of the Air Transport Auxiliary Association, an organization formed in 1946 for former members of the ATA. The file contains materials on Spencer's efforts to document the ATA as part of the ATA History Project, including information sheets collected from former pilots. Recorded interviews of ATA pilots can be found in the Air Transport Auxiliary videotapes.
    Source: British Air Transport Auxiliary. http://www.airtransportaux.com


    The collection is organized into three series: Air Transport Auxiliary file, Air Transport Auxiliary videotapes, and Oversize material and artifacts.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Great Britain. Air Transport Auxiliary.
    World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations.
    World War, 1939-1945--Transportation.
    World War, 1939-1945--Women.