Ford Celebrates Women’s Contributions to the Workforce with Special Honor Flight for Original Rosie the Riveters

  • Ford is celebrating dozens of original Rosie the Riveters with a
    special Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II
    Memorial and luncheon on Capitol Hill
  • Thousands of Rosies joined the workforce at Ford’s Willow Run Bomber
    Plant and elsewhere during World War II, helping open the door for
    women in the workforce
  • Today’s Honor Flight is part of Ford’s continuing commitment to
    supporting opportunities for women and military veterans

DEARBORN, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–They were traditional American housewives, mothers and daughters in the
1940s, when suddenly everything changed. Millions of men left home to
fight in World War II, and the country needed help to produce the
machines of war. An army of women answered the call.

They became known as Rosie the Riveters, thanks to a popular film and
promotional campaign. In addition to their work on assembly lines, they
had a lasting impact on the country, changing perceptions and expanding
opportunities for future women in the workforce.

Ford Motor Company Fund, Talons Out Honor Flight and Yankee Air Museum
today flew 30 original Rosie the Riveters to Washington, D.C., to
celebrate their critical contributions to the war effort. The Rosies,
ages 88-98, are being treated to a visit to the World War II Memorial
and a special luncheon in their honor at the Library of Congress on
Capitol Hill with members of Congress from Michigan.

Ford and its Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, was a major
force in the Arsenal of Democracy, the term given to the industrial
powers that came together to support the Allied war effort and victory.
The plant’s mile-long assembly line churned out nearly 9,000 B-24
Liberators – one every hour, or half of all the B-24s built during the
war. At peak production, Willow Run employed 42,000 workers, up to
one-third of them pioneering women industrial workers.

“These women not only helped win a war, they paved the way for future
generations to achieve economic and personal independence,” said Jim
Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, the
philanthropic arm of Ford. “It is an honor to celebrate their vital
contributions to our country and the cause of freedom.”

Today’s Honor Flight is part of Ford’s ongoing support for women and
military veterans. Ford has sponsored 11 Honor Flights of World War II
veterans to Washington, D.C. Last year, Ford Fund supported the Freedom
Sisters REBOOT Workshop, which helped integrate women military veterans
back into civilian life.

Ford’s support for veterans and their families dates back more than 90
years through its relationship with DAV, formerly Disabled American
Veterans, and the DAV Transportation Network. Ford also supports Focus
on Freedom, a program honoring veterans at the annual Ford Fireworks in

Meantime, a key section of the historic Ford Willow Run Bomber Plant
will become the new home for Yankee Air Museum following a successful
fund-raising campaign to preserve and renovate the facility. In tribute
to her lasting legacy, more than 2,000 women last year gathered at
Willow Run Airport to set the record for the most representatives of
Rosie to assemble in one place.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community
and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community
life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with
ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is
free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development
and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and
impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford
Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Next Generation Learning
and other innovative programs that enhance high school learning and
provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer
Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to
work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve
people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more
information, visit

For news releases, related materials and high-resolution photos and
video, visit


Ford Motor Company
Todd Nissen