The iconic Michigan Plant where thousands of women constructed B-24 bombers during World War II faces its own battle this week with a wrecking ball. The Willow Run bomber plant in Ypsilanti has two days to come up with $1 million to keep its doors and history intact.
A group leading the “Save the Bomber” campaign has raised $7 million already. But they are still $1 million short. And although they have until Thursday to come up with the remaining funds, demolition has already started on some parts of the factory.
Loraine Osborne, one of the few remaining riveters today, stated that if their campaign fails, a very important piece of U.S. history will be lost forever.
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) March 29, 2014
Although she isn’t the renowned Rosie the Riveter, Loraine Osborne was one of thousands of women to have built the 8,685 B-24 Liberators from 1942 to 1945, with one aircraft capable of being built in an hour.
The Willow Run Bomber Plant
Rose Will Monroe, who was the inspiration for the character Rosie the Riveter, was the woman behind the most influential female empowerment symbol of all time. Still used today, the acclaimed poster of Rosie with rolled up sleeves and red, polka-dot bandana, still carries the same weight of decades past.
— Kelly Sellers (@Kelly_S_Sellers) April 29, 2014
Today, Rosie needs help from the public. The plant is to be demolished to make way for a vehicle research facility. However, Osborne and company have their own plans of saving that space for the Yankee Air Museum. The site’s manager has given plenty of extensions, but May 1st is the deadline.
The president of the Michigan Aerospace Foundation told the Associated Press that “time is really short…” and that they need more people to help. But he hasn’t given up hope yet. He believes that they are going to make it.
Image via YouTube