Here is an account by one reporter of his visit to an American aircraft factory early in the war. His article concerns the novelty of female laborers:
"We climbed to a catwalk in the rafters and looked down on one of the most fascinating factories on earth. It was gay as a flower garden. Women in bright blouses and slacks were everywhere, doing everything. Blondes and brunettes and redheads and - well , middle-aged ones. Mostly pretty. And every one eagerly intent upon her job."
In an effort to put an end to worker absenteeism at defense plants, a fetching welder at the Albina Engine & Machine Works shipyard (Portland, Oregon), Jeannine Christiansen unhatched a sure-footed scheme to do just that. Recognizing that (most) men don't find life worth living without rubbing noses with the females of the species, Miss Christiansen instituted the NO WORK NO WOO movement (I think you can guess what Woo means). The attached report states that it was effective and spread to other factories along the West Coast.
"Sand Diego wanted women for its war industries. Since the beginning of the war boom San Diego has cajoled, bribed and appealed publicly for women. And San Diego got women, not only for the war industries, but for every other conceivable job. They became letter carriers, bus drivers, high-altitude window washers, milk deliverers, office workers."
"Thousands of American girls are traveling the same road as 21-year-old Dorthy Vogely, our new Cover Girl this month. No longer do they live at home waiting for a nice young man. Instead they've gone on their own to help win the war..."
One of the seldom remembered branches of the War Production Board was the Women's Labor Supply Services which served to eradicate the various draft deferments that were keeping too many men out of the military. Thelma McKelvey was the woman in charge of this body:
- from Amazon:
"This captain of industry expects to see women workers in factories and farms increase from 700,000 today to 4,000,000 by mid-1943."
The attached is a short article from THINK MAGAZINE that sums up the contributions made by the 87,000 American women of the U.S. Navy during World War II. These women were organized into a body called WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service):
"In 500 shore establishments of the United States Fleet, women in navy blue released enough men from non-combatant duty to man all of America's landing crafts in two important operations: the Normandy landings on D-Day and the invasion of Saipan."
"Created July 30, 1942, the Corps completed more than three years of service while the nation was engaged in war. The director was Captain Mildred H. McAfee (1900 - 1994), former president of Wellseley College."
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