American Airlines, in
partnership with the National Park Foundation (NPF) and the National Park
Service (NPS), will provide round-trip air travel for “Rosie the Riveters”
and their guests to attend a recognition event in their honor in
Washington, D.C., on May 19. Members of Congress, Secretary of Interior
Gale Norton, and other dignitaries will welcome Delana Jensen Close of
Columbus, Ohio; Genevieve De Paulis, Dearborn Heights, Mich.; Mary “Peace”
Head, Richmond, Calif.; and Lois Turner, Brentwood, Tenn. In addition,
“Rosies” from the Washington, D.C., area and West Virginia are expected to
attend, bringing the total to some 20 women honorees. “Rosie” was the nickname given to the women who worked on the home front
during World War II, many taking over jobs previously done by men who went
off to war.
Close was attending Snow College when the war began, but moved to
California and began working for Yuba Manufacturing Co. building
155-millimeter Howitzer field guns.
De Paulis was a traveling Rosie, first working for the Ford Motor Co. in
Dearborn as a machinist operating a lathe and reading blueprints to
fabricate steel pieces. She then worked for the U.S. Army, processing
prisoners of war, and for the U.S. Navy, distributing undelivered letters
to the families of fallen service men and women.
Head worked as a welder on Liberty ships at the Kaiser Shipyards in
Richmond. In addition to welding, she did scaling, buffing and painting of
steel surfaces on ships, learning every kind of welding-related job. She
earned her nickname “Peace” by praying with a multi-ethnic work group each
morning before work.
Because of her small hands, Turner was able to work on safety wiring in
the areas of the planes that others couldn’t reach. As a mechanic at Bell
Aircraft in Niagara Falls, N.Y., she often was held upside down for 15
minutes at a time to allow her to reach the smallest areas.
The Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in
Richmond, Calif., is seeking stories, memories, anecdotes and artifacts
from people who experienced life on the home front during World War II.
The project is funded through a donation from the Ford Motor Co., a Proud
Partner of America’s National Parks. Home front workers are encouraged to
share their stories by calling 1/800/497-6743. To date, more than 8,000
people have responded with stories or artifacts.
In addition to providing air travel for the four Rosies, American
Airlines, also a Proud Partner of America’s National Parks, has helped get
the word out about the project through e-mail notifications to its
millions of AAdvantage(R) members.
“We’re genuinely excited and proud to be a part of this wonderful
project,” said Dennis Cary, president-AAdvantage Marketing. “Our
communications efforts with our members alerted many people to the project
and many Rosies and families or friends of Rosies have since responded to
the request for letters describing their experiences on the home front and
their invaluable contribution to the war effort.”
For more information on the Rosie the Riveter project, go to