Register of the Jane Spencer collection

Processed by Beth Goder.
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Phone: (650) 723-3563
Fax: (650) 725-3445
© 2012
Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Register of the Jane Spencer collection

Hoover Institution Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, California
Processed by:
Beth Goder
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Machine-readable finding aid derived from Microsoft Word and MARC record by Beth Goder.
© 2012 Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

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 . 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.

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.


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.

Collection Contents

Box: 1-3

Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) file 1940-2002

Scope and Content Note

Includes newsletters, clippings, diaries, logbooks, correspondence, and writings. Arranged alphabetically by format.
Box/Folder: 1 : 1

Clippings, 1940-1984

Scope and Content Note

Includes article by Spencer
Box/Folder: 1 : 2

Correspondence, 1978, 1995

Box/Folder: 1 : 3

Diaries of Roy William Reisert, 1942-1943

Box/Folder: 1 : 4

Letters of Emily Chapin, 1942-1943

Scope and Content Note

Includes notes from ATA History Project
Box/Folder: 1 : 5

List of American ATA pilots, 1992, undated

Box/Folder: 1 : 6

List of American ATA women pilots, 1969

Box: 1


Scope and Content Note

See also Oversize materials and artifacts
Box/Folder: 1 : 7

Beville, Steve (photocopy), 1940-1941

Box/Folder: 1 : 8

Reisert, Roy William, 1942-1944

Box: 1


Box/Folder: 1 : 9

ATA Memorial Museum dedication, 1983

Box/Folder: 1 : 10

"ATA Memorial White Waltham Airfield," typescript, undated

Box/Folder: 1 : 11

St. Paul's Cathedral, 1950-1951

Box/Folder: 1 : 12

Photographs, 1940-1941, undated

Box: 1-2

Subject file

Box: 1-2

Air Transport Auxiliary Association

Box/Folder: 1 : 13

Circulars, 1952-1986

Box/Folder: 1 : 14

Letters from Edwin Heering, 1984-1990

Box/Folder: 1 : 15

Membership card of Jane Plant Spencer, undated

Box/Folder: 1 : 16-17

Newsletters, 1947-1975

Scope and Content Note

Includes circulars
Box/Folder: 2 : 1

Newsletters, 1976-1988

Scope and Content Note

Includes circulars
Box/Folder: 2 : 2

Reunions, 50th anniversary, 1989

Box: 2

Air Transport Auxiliary History Project

Box/Folder: 2 : 3

Information sheets, 1991-1997, undated

Scope and Content Note

Contains information on pilots
Box/Folder: 2 : 4

Project purpose and collecting efforts, 1991, 1997, undated

Box/Folder: 2 : 5

Gragg, Robert O., 1941-1992

Box/Folder: 2 : 6-8

Reisert, Roy William, 1943-2002

Scope and Content Note

Includes excerpts from Soaring Club newsletters, ATA Association reunion writings, correspondence, photographs, clippings
Box: 2-3


Box/Folder: 2 : 9

Genovese, Joseph Gen. We Flew Without Guns, chapters 4-10, 1945

Box/Folder: 2 : 10

Reisert, Roy William. An Ace in the Devil's Hole. Published book, 1989

Scope and Content Note

Includes note
Box/Folder: 3 : 1

Roberts, Paula. "A Wonderful Experience: A Study of Women Pilots in the Air Transport Auxiliary 1940-45." Dissertation, 1991

Box/Folder: 3 : 2

Spencer, Jane. "Thoughts for Legacies," 1991

Box: 3

Air Transport Auxiliary videotapes undated

Scope and Content Note

Consists of VHS tapes. Includes Air Transport Auxiliary interviews.
Box/Folder: 3 : 3

Air Transport Auxiliary interviews (1), undated

Scope and Content Note

VHS tape
Box/Folder: 3 : 4

Air Transport Auxiliary interviews (2), undated

Scope and Content Note

VHS tape
Box/Folder: 3 : 5

Air Transport Auxiliary (Osh Kosh Air and Adventure, Tico, Air Show, ATA Ferry Pilot), undated

Scope and Content Note

VHS tape
Box: 4

Oversize material and artifacts 1943-1985

Scope and Content Note

Includes logbook of Jane Spencer and volcanic ash.
Box/Folder: 4 : 1

Logbook of Jane Plant Spencer (photocopy), 1943-1945

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence
Box 4

Volcanic ash from Mount St. Helens (R. W. Reisert), collected in 1985