The Woodward News

October 28, 2012

Group looking to preserve stories

Gary Engel
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — OKLAHOMA CITY - The American Rosie the Riveter Association is trying to locate women in the Woodward area who worked on the homefront during World War II. The association is trying to preserve the stories of women who served during that time.

Mabel W. Myrick, the membership vice president of the organization, said thousands of women supported the war effort as welders, electricians, plant inspectors, clothing makers, parachute sewers, ordinance workers, bandage rollers, collectors of scrap metal and of course, as ship and aircraft riveters.

"We wish to include their stories into our archives," she said.

The non-profit association was founded in 1998 by a "riveter," Dr. Frances Carter of Birmingham, Ala., said Myrick. It now has more than 4,000 members nationwide.

Local chapters meet so members can recall their service and also to promote patriotism. They are assisting with development of a school curriculum spotlighting the womens' work during World War II. And they also help with producing classroom studies on the wide range of jobs performed by all women since the '20s.

The organization is unaware of any women in Northwest Oklahoma who would qualify as a Rosie the Riveter, and that's why they are staging this information effort now, Myrick said.

One woman who meets the criteria for a Rosie is Kate Grant, 88, of Moore.

"My skill was working as a track welder aboard Liberty Ships, in 1943," she said.

Liberty Ships were cargo vessels used by the U. S. and Great Britain.

"If you are a woman, or descendant of a woman, who labored for the country during WW II and would like to join us, or if you just want more information, call or email," Myrick said.

The number is toll-free, (888) 557-6743, email americanrosietheriveter2@yahoo.com, or write American Rosie the Riveter, P.O. Box 188, Kimberly, Ala. 35091.

There's also a website for information, www.rosietheriveter.net.

For information in Oklahoma you can call Grant at 405-794-1822 or contact Terry Thompson, secretary of the Oklahoma chapter at 405-826-1893. Thompson is the granddaughter of one of the women who served during the war.