Rosie the Riveter

From early 1942 to the end of WWII, the urgent need for labor to support the war effort opened up a wide variety of jobs for women. While there were many who worked in "traditional" occupations such as janitorial or clerical positions, most held production jobs such as aircraft and engine mechanics, welders, electricians, sheet metal workers, instrument repair technicians, quality control inspectors, equipment operators, security guards, warehouse workers, etc. At Tinker, women workers helped perform maintenance on such aircraft as the B-17, B-24 and B-29 and aircraft engines such as the R1820, R2600 and R3350. To the east across the north/south runway, the Douglas Plant (now Bldg 3001), with a 50.6 percent women workforce, built half of all C-47 Skytrains produced for the Allied war effort. Most were laid off to make room for veterans returning home from the war. Some left willingly to become homemakers or pursue other endeavors while others did not volunteer to be let go. However, there was a significant portion that remained in government service that went on to enjoy long careers.