Women Building Airplanes During WWII, in Color

Great color photos of women working in aircraft plants during WWII. More here.

These photos were originally shot in color; the ones at the above links have been enhanced for color and contrast by the webmaster at Shorpy…the full Shorpy collection of enhanced OWI Kodachromes is here.

The originals can be found at the Library of Congress on-line photo catalog.

Via The Lexicans and Among the Joshua Trees.

13 thoughts on “Women Building Airplanes During WWII, in Color”

  1. A cousin of mine, who was away at war, had his mother and grandmother both working in a defense plant. They used to bring home the occasional reject bullet for me to play with. Just the bullet, not the casing.

  2. I think I mentioned this in comments on an earlier post, but anyhow….one of the more unusual “Rosie’s” was Helen Dortch Longstreet, who had been the second wife of Confederate general James Longstreet:


  3. That industry – so expanded during WW2 – launched California post war – now, most have left. MM as Norma Jean even worked there

  4. I will point out to all that women’s lib began in the 20s. The 50s were an aberration, not “the norm”. The Democrats, as usual, just got in front of the parade already headed the other way and marched at the head, claiming to lead it.

    “The U.S. Census Bureau found that as early as 1960, never-married women
    over 45 earned more in the workplace than never-married men over 45.”
    – Warren Farrell –

  5. Not that the men have been much better, but i have never worked for a woman who was not a raging, insecure incompetent.
    With that, I’ll head for my bunker.

  6. Cris…I keep seeing comments like this about female managers (more often from women than from men, I think)….and while I’ve never worked for a woman I’ve known quite a few excellent female managers in jobs ranging from sales manager to HR executive to CEO.

    Some of them I hired and put into their management jobs, so I might be biased, of course…but not all of them.

    If there are a lot of bad managers in an organization, of whatever gender, it reflects dismally on higher management and on the overall culture of the organization.

  7. Ask nurses about women managers. I’m surprised there are not more men getting degrees in nursing and then health management. Male nurses are rapidly promoted into management if they have any smarts at all. Female nurses would much rather work for a male manager. A friend of mine at the hospital where I used to practice keeps me entertained with stories of the turnover of operating room supervisors and directors. They are currently on the fourth or fifth “temporary director” in the past four years.

    Male nurses have an unfortunate cultural stereotype but it’s a good career move for men who want a solid mid-level career. The income of such people is often in six figures,

  8. My mother quit college in 1942/3 after her fiance’ was killed in North Africa, and went to work installing parts in B-24’s heading overseas to Europe. She told me many times she would have been a soldier gladly if it had been possible, but she did what was she could given the times.

    She wanted to be a librarian. You would have to understand how much she loved to read, and loved going to the university, to comprehend what that decision meant to her.

    I always thought of her as a soldier in her own way, and honored her for that.

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