BELLVILLE  — The Yankee Air Museum wants to hear the stories of woman who worked in wartime industries during WWII. So the museum is launching an ambitious project to interview as many Original Rosies as possible.

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The interviews will be preserved for all time in the United States Library of Congress.

“This initiative is a part of our campaign to renovate the Willow Run Bomber Plant,” said Julie Osborne, Curatorial Director of Yankee Air Museum. “Without the stories of the women working on the home front, the building is just a structure. Their experiences breathe life into the factory and make it the beating heart of a worldwide legacy. They are the reason we are working so hard to save the Bomber Plant.”

All women who worked in wartime industries during WWII are eligible, including those in factory work, secretarial work, farming, childcare, military service, USO, Red Cross, and other occupations necessary to win the war.

“We have twenty-one trained oral historians who are excited and ready to start conducting interviews,” notes Barb Matthews, the leader of the interview committee. “It is such a privilege to ensure that the legacies of these women survive for future generations, while helping save the Willow Run Bomber Plant as a new home for the stories.”

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The interviews are conducted in three stages. The first stage is filling out a simple two-page biography form so the oral historian conducting the interview can do research and come prepared with good questions. The second stage is a pre-interview meeting between the oral historian and the Original Rosie (family members welcome) to establish a rapport. The final stage is the actual interview (family members again welcome). The Museum needs first-person interviews and at this time is not able to record second hand accounts from descendants.

Interviewees are encouraged to apply by emailing:  oral.history@yankeeairmuseum.org or calling the museum at 734-483-4030.

If having your story living forever in the Library of Congress isn’t enough, there are some additional perks the Yankee Air Museum is offering to interviewees like a DVD copy of the interview, cost of admission in the American Rosie the Riveter Association and your name inscribed on the Yankee Air Museum’s Original Rosie Honor Roll.

 

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