Pilot, WWII Veteran
Jane Sincell Straughan, 93, a retired Social Security Administration field representative who, during World War II, ferried planes
across the country as one of the first members of the Women Air Service Pilots, died March 12 at the Berlin (Md.) Nursing Home
and Rehabilitation Center. She had myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder.
Mrs. Straughan, a Washington native, was in her early 20s when she learned to fly single-engine planes at Queens Chapel
Airport in Hyattsville.
She logged about 200 hours of flight time and belonged to the Ninety-Niners women's pilot organization, whose members were
approached at the start of World War II to sign up for a non-combat program to fly military planes. With encouragement from her
husband, Al Straughan, who was serving as an Army Air Forces pilot, Mrs. Straughan became one of the program's first trainees.
She served with the Ferrying Division of the Air Transport Command at the New Castle Army Air Base in Wilmington, Del.,
piloting fighter planes, bombers and transport aircraft in the United States and Canada.
After the war, she worked about three years as an aircraft accident analyst for the Air Safety Division of the Civil Aeronautics
Board. She also did some commercial piloting but mainly enjoyed private recreational flying until the late 1970s.
Mrs. Straughan, a graduate of Central High School, worked for the Social Security Administration for about 20 years until 1980.
She lived at Leisure World in Silver Spring for about 20 years and spent her summers on Fenwick Island, Del.
Her husband died in 1981.
Survivors include twin sons, John Wharton Jack Straughan of Olney and Charles William "Bill" Straughan of Selbyville, Del.;
three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.