Voices of the WW2 Veterans

Fighter pilots, crew chiefs, bombardiers, and factory workers: All had tales to tell.

A B-17 crew in England finishes its last mission. (USAF)
Air & Space Magazine

Marjorie Walters
Riveter on the B-24 wing, Ford factory, Ypsilanti, Michigan

We had different [training] schools; they called them schools. I went to rivet school. I took to it pretty quickly…. I could look at a screw at that time and tell you how many threads there were and what kind of a screw it was and so forth. They numbered the wings, and when I started we were in the 30s. I worked until they closed down the plant, and they were in the 8,000s.

Some [of the workers] chewed [tobacco], because they couldn’t smoke out there and they would spit anyplace. Sometimes when you got into the wing it wasn’t very sanitary. It just dried up.

The factory was huge…. We weren’t allowed to go to different departments unless you had permission. And I never got to the end of the plant where the planes were really assembled. I worked in department 937, a horizontal wing, but 936 was vertical and that’s about the only two departments I got near. I met my husband there, under the wing. (Source: Air & Space Interview)

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