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rosie(CONROE, TX) — The daughter of a woman who became an iconic symbol of World War II is trying to save a historic factory.

Vickie Croston is the daughter of Rose Will Monroe, better known as “Rosie the Riveter.”

Monroe worked as a riveter in the Willow Run Aircraft Factory during WWII. She became the face of “Rosie the Riveter” in government films and newsreels promoting the sale of war bonds.

A “Rosie the Riveter” poster and song already existed, but when actor Walter Pidgeon came to the plant to film promos for war bonds and found out that a real “Rosie” was working there, it was too much for Hollywood to resist.

The Willow Run factory in Michigan where Rosie worked produced B-24s during the war. It’s now in danger of being torn down.

Croston, a Conroe pilot, is part of a campaign to try and preserve the factory as a historic landmark.

“This factory was the first one that employed women like they did,” Croston said. “The women were half of the workforce there. They had 42,000 people working at this plant at the height of production. They put one B-24 bomber off the line every 56 minutes.”

She wants to see the factory turned into Yankee Air Museum — an aviation museum in which a section would be dedicated to the “Rosies” — the women who worked there.

“If you are a student of American history and you have any family who lived and worked during World War II, this campaign that were are doing now won’t save the world, but it will save the factory that did help save the world,” Croston said.

Listen to News 92 FM’s interview with Croston:


Monroe died in 1997 at the age of 77, but her memory and that of all the Rosies could live on through the aviation museum Croston is fighting to have created. So far, more than $6.5 million has been raised. They need about $8 million total by May 1.

If you’d like learn more about the project, go to


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