'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
Rose Will Monroe played "Rosie the Riveter," the nation's poster girl for women joining the work force during World War II.    (AP Photo)

(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."

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Jul 31, 2013 2:04 AM CDT
My grandmother worked at a B-17 factory. She was a towering woman. She had plastic recordings my dad sent back telling how he missed life in the states. She was working to help end the war.
Jul 30, 2013 10:25 PM CDT
Aren't there a lot of old factory buildings still standing in Detroit - Packard and several other car makers among them, some large appliance factories, and they want to save this aircraft building? Bulldoze them all along with the decaying houses throughout part of the city.
Jul 30, 2013 9:07 AM CDT
{SHRUGS} So what? "Rosie the riveter" was wartime propaganda. A assembly-line worker, turned into an ad slogan. One more old factory in Detroit gone? So what?