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Rosie The Riveter

This very cool photo shows the signatures of four women war workers–top: “Allie Mae & Kitty” bottom: “Pauline & Lavina”—on the underside of the wing of a fighter plane they helped build in 1943!  And the very cool photo has an equally very cool backstory: Ceryl Johns, a retired British Royal Navy Officer, discovered the plane, a Vought F4U Corsair, in a junkyard in New Zealand. He also located the daughter of “Kitty,” whose last name was Strickland.  “Thanks! Plain and Simple,” an organization in West Virginia dedicated to honoring “Rosie the Riveters,” brought Johns, his 90-year-old mother, who was a war worker in Britain, together with Kitty’s daughter and other Rosies, at an event in Charleston, West Virginia in 2010.  I recently learned this story from material Anne Montague, executive director of Thanks! Plain and Simple, sent me. I just added the photo to my slide show on “Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II,” which I’m giving tomorrow night in Wood-Ridge, site of a statue to Rosie the Riveter.

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