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Rosie the Riveter - the Home Front during World War II (Miriam Shipley)

Miriam Shipley, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


I'm Miriam Shipley. I worked at the Celanese and then my husband got, he was already in the Navy and he got in hospital and he wanted me to come down there, that's how I happened to go to Florida. We stayed down there until the war ended.

What kind of work did you do in Pensacola?
I worked at the Naval Air Station. First we had to work a month to learn the tools so we would know what to do if someone wanted a certain tool. After that month I was promoted to the aircraft instruments and we worked on repairing Rate of Climbs and altimeters. They are very important things in an aircraft, you know.
I was a civilian but I worked right along with the WAVEs and the sailors in the shop, in the same shop with them.

What kind of training did you have?
Not any particular training. I don't think I accomplished very much. But I did manage to get a couple of altimeters that worked. We were supposed to learn instruments, all about the tools, so we'd know if someone needed a certain tool we'd give it to them. And we done a lot of filing on metal.

What are you wearing in the photo?
It's just an ordinary scarf we had to keep over our head. That was the rule, we had to keep our head tied up.

Were there any men in the shop?
Not many men, mostly women. And after we got working with the machines we worked along with the sailors and the WAVES who were in the Navy.

And your husband?
That's my husband there. These were late goers; they were late going into the war. But Raymond, my husband, he was a rover, he was able to go anywhere on base.

We had an apartment in town. He could live off the base.

Your brother was a prisoner of war?
My brother, yes, was. He and another man tried to escape, and luckily the old farmer took them back to the base.

What do you remember of the end of the war?
We were down there when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. There was a big celebration downtown. I kept a newspaper about it, somewhere in my attic. I think we went home shortly after that.





Miriam Shipley; Naval Air Station Pensacola (Fla.)--History; Celanese Corporation of America.

Western Maryland, 2004

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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