Rosie the Riveters Act to Preserve Bomber Plant

The women known as Rosie the Riveters are so named for a campaign to get women on the home front to aid the war effort during the Second World War by manufacturing munitions, vehicles, and other essential equipment. Now, they are acting to save the Willow Run bomber plant and turn it into a museum which will honor the war’s Rosie the Riveters as well as aviation in general.

The original character after which they were named was a sign of women’s growing roles in society. By working in mills and factories to create supplies necessary to the war effort, many of them were doing what was once considered to be “men’s work.” Now, several Rosie the Riveters are working to preserve their legacy. Their campaign, simply titled “Save the Bomber Plant,” was arranged to reach a goal of $8 million needed to save the plant from being demolished for good, The Register-Guard reports.

Their efforts are certainly deserving of remembrance, as the hard-working women were capable of building a plane per hour. Not only will their museum honor their own efforts, but also those of the aviators for whom they were working. Their effort is about more than just the contribution of thousands of Rosie the Riveters, but about the combined effort at home and overseas to fight a fascist regime and help promote freedom worldwide. They stood for more than just women’s rights, but for the virtues of camaraderie that transcended traditional gender roles.

Spearheading the effort is Loraine Osborne, a woman who not only worked at the plant but also lived quite near it. She saw the factory go from a wartime bomber plant to a General Motors factory used to manufacture cars. She and other surviving Rosie the Riveters do not want to purchase the whole plant, but simply a small section of it that they feel will be enough to house an adequate museum. The museum in question is the Yankee Air Museum, which currently exists on another site, but that they feel will benefit from a more historic location.

Her and other Rosie the Riveters behind the Save the Bomber Plant movement have been working on raising the money for quite some time. They had already raised seven of the eight million dollars needed, but General Motors decided to stop extending their deadline.Still, the collective of Rosie the Riveters, which has gained a great deal of support from modern women and war enthusiasts, maintain optimism that their goal will be reached and the bomber plant will be preserved in their legacy.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE