Together, We’ve Come a Long Way!
We’ve saved Rosie’s factory from demolition, now it’s time to fill it with history…
With overwhelming nationwide support from people like you, we’ve raised the money needed to purchase and save from demolition approximately 144,000 sq. ft. of the historic WWII Willow Run Bomber Plant near Ypsilanti, MI! Now, we need to raise the funds for restoration and renovation work, so the Bomber Plant can become the future NEW home of the Yankee Air Museum!
We are still raising funds to continue “saving” the bomber plant! Your support is still needed…
If these walls could talk… they’d tell a story. Of American know-how. Of social change. Of a country that pulled together, to get a tough job done. It’s a story to inspire future generations. Let’s tell it at Willow Run!
Why is the Willow Run Bomber Plant so Important?
At the peak of its production during World War II, the Willow Run Plant employed 42,000 workers, as much as one third of whom were pioneering women industrial workers, collectively nicknamed “Rosie the Riveter.” Willow Run with its mile-long assembly line, and the area surrounding southeast Michigan, worldwide fame as the center of America’s “Arsenal of Democracy.” The nationwide American “Production Miracle,” of which Willow Run was the finest and most ambitious example, was a critical factor in ending the deadliest conflict in history.
Before Willow Run, it was deemed impossible to build aircraft on an assembly line. It took Consolidated Aircraft in California one month to build a B-24 Liberator 4-engine heavy bomber from the ground up. Henry Ford, his engineers and builders, and the dedicated workers that flowed into Michigan from every state and territory, proved that not only could bombers be built on a line, they could be produced at the astonishing rate of one per hour.
Willow Run was at the front and center of an unprecedented era of expanded opportunity. WWII was a time when everybody, from the Tuskegee Airmen to Rosie the Riveter, was asked to “Do Their Part,” and in the process, proved that “We Can Do It!” Willow Run, as the as largest factory under one roof in the world, with equal pay for equal work, firmly laid the groundwork for sweeping social change.
World War II was a time when all Americans pulled together to join with their Allies and literally “save the world.” Everybody from the President, to our great industrialists, to the working men and women determined to “Keep ’em Flying,” supported a common goal. From housewives casting aside their aprons to take up welding torches in the California shipyards or rivet guns at Willow Run, to kids collecting scrap metal to be melted down for tanks… From glamorous Hollywood A-listers serving coffee and dancing with servicemen at the Hollywood Canteen, to Little People fresh off the “Wizard of Oz” movie set working in the tight center wing section of Willow Run’s bombers… From everybody buying as many War Bonds as they could afford, to enduring rationing of everything from butter to tires to nylons “for the duration”… This was truly our finest hour as Americans, and a story to inspire future generations. What better place to tell it than a preserved portion of Willow Run?
STEM education Our vision of a re-imagined Yankee Air Museum housed in a preserved portion of the Willow Run Bomber Plant would create a valuable community asset, and a destination and showcase for STEM education.
Join people from all over America, and beyond, in this great effort to preserve an important piece of history.
Together, “We Can Do It!” Do your part. Click on the big, red “Donate” button, and give generously…. and please tweet, post and share to spread the word!
We thank you, our donors and friends, for all you have done to bring us to this point.
The Michigan Aerospace Foundation
The Yankee Air Museum
Campaign Co-chairmen Astronaut Jack Lousma and former GM Executive Bob Lutz