Black Women Pilots Dorothy Arlene Layne McIntyre


AvStop Magazine Online

Dorothy Arlene Layne McIntyre

When Dorothy A. Layne received her private pilot's license on February 23, 1940, she was one of only two young Black women to first receive such training under the auspices of the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) and had reached a goal which began as a youngster.

Mrs. Layne, born in LeRoy, New York, got interested in flight attending annual air shows at the LeRoy Airport with her family and on occasion taking flights with aviators in the area. After high school she attended West Virginia State College, majoring in Business Administration. During the 1939- 1940 school year, a cadet flying program was introduced at the college by the CAA, in which one woman was permitted to train with each group of' ten male students. Mrs. Layne eagerly applied and was accepted for the program which was being conducted at Wertz Airport in Charleston, West Virginia. 

"When they brought the flying course to the school, a lot of people applied. You had to be strong in math and science skills and you had to pass the physical, which was very strenuous," said Mrs. Layne. After graduating from West Virginia State College in 1941, Mrs. Layne logged additional flight hours in Rochester, New York and Cleveland, Ohio. During World war II she taught aircraft Mechanics at the War Production Training School in Baltimore, Maryland. After marriage to F. Benjamin McIntyre in Cleveland, Ohio she worked as an independent accountant, bookkeeper, social worker and a Cleveland Public School teacher, retiring in 1979. Her daughter, Dianne McIntyre, produced "Take Off from a Forced Landing", a play created in 1984 in honor of' her mother.

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