The Save The Bomber Plant campaign set a goal to raise $8 million in cash, pledges, in-kind donations and pro-bono services to acquire, enclose, secure and power up 144,000 square feet of the facility. This has created a new permanent home for the Museum, its exhibits, educational programs and its flyable and static aircraft at one location. A new campaign has been launched to raise the funds to build the actual Museum and its exhibits within the Bomber Plant. The stories of the “How Detroit Saved the World” and “Rosie the Riveter” will be told on the site where they happened some 70 years ago. The Yankee Air Museum’s static aircraft and the David and Andrea Robertson Education Center will be moved inside. This will put the Museum one step closer to achieving one of its original goals, the acquisition of a Ford built B-24 Liberator. The additional space will allow the Museum to integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) into its exhibits and programs to inspire young people to pursue education and career opportunities in those fields. The Bomber Plant location re-creates the original excitement of the Yankee Air Museum by bringing the flyable aircraft, exhibits, restoration and educational programs back to a single site. Various pieces of the Museum will move into the Bomber Plant as it is renovated and it is estimated the new Museum will be open by 2019.
Enjoy a short excerpt of our interview with Irene Bokros – original Willow Run employee hired in 1942. Irene has many interesting details of her time working at the bomber plant.
We recently interviewed another original Willow Run employee, Irene Bokros. She was employed soon after graduating high school, as the bomber plant began hiring in 1942, and drove all the way from Pinkney, Michigan, every day. She talked about the snow storm of 1943, which closed many of the roads along her route to work, and how much she made in her first pay check. Stay tuned for an excerpt of the interview with this exceptional woman, now 92 years young.
We had the great pleasure to meet and interview Vicki Croston today. She is the daughter of Rose Will Monroe who was an employee at Willow Run during the war and can lay claim to being one of the original “Rosie the Riveter”s. Vicki shared some wonderful stories about her mother – a single mom, coming from Kentucky to work at Willow Run from 1942 to 1944, where she was discovered by actor Walter Pigeon, and eventually starred with him in several wartime films. Watch for clips of Vicki’s interview coming soon!
Watch for rare glimpses of the past, present, and future of historic Willow Run on Pinterest HERE.
Now on YouTube! Watch for new trailers and excerpts on the Willow Run YouTube channel.
In 2017 when Yankee Air Museum moves into it’s new home across the airport, it will take the name, National Museum of Aviation and Technology. HERE’s a great article about that.
Watch for new poster designs and historical images coming in, here and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willowrundocumentary/posts/847017055347108:0
The good folks at Detroit Public TV have been supportive of the Willow Run documentary film project since first proposed earlier this year.
“Public Television has always had a fine tradition of offering unique documentary programming like your proposed documentary on Willow Run. Your program concept is an excellent one. 20th Century history is a subject of great interest in our area and we are pleased to include it in our broadcast plans.” – Fred Nahhat, Senior VP, Detroit Public TV
Here are a few comments from our three interviewees for the documentary, in honor of those who served on the home front.