'Rosie the Riveter' Factory Faces Wrecking Ball

Campaigners fight to save Detroit-area plant

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 29, 2013 11:02 PM CDT | Updated Jul 30, 2013 5:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Campaigners in Michigan are battling to save a factory famous for being the workplace of the real-life Rosie the Riveter—and for rolling out 9,000 B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II. The Detroit-area Willow Run Bomber Plant is slated for demolition this fall, but donors hope to save part of it to become the new home of the nearby Yankee Air Museum, the AP reports. The group needs to raise another $3.5 million by Thursday to save the structure.

Rose Will Monroe, a riveter and one of the many women among the plant's 40,000-strong workforce during the war, starred as herself in a government film about women's contribution to the war effort. The plant, which was churning out a bomber an hour by 1944, "was the focal point of the entire arsenal of democracy,” says the Yankee Air Museum's founder. "Detroit won the war and we can’t let that story die."

Rose Will Monroe played  Rosie the Riveter, the nation's poster girl for women joining the work force during World War II.
Rose Will Monroe played "Rosie the Riveter," the nation's poster girl for women joining the work force during World War II.   (AP Photo)
Part of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant is shown at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan.
Part of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant is shown at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The B-17G Yankee Lady is shown in front of the old Willow Run Bomber Plant at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan.
The B-17G "Yankee Lady" is shown in front of the old Willow Run Bomber Plant at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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