Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Welcome to war stories I'm Oliver North and were at the Rosie the riveter national park in Richmond California.
Aboard the SS -- victory.
One of 747.
Vessels built here during world war two and the last one still afloat.
This 8000 ton victory ship is built right here by a labor force them employment more than 25000.
During World War II was secretary of war Henry Stimson -- those -- The largest and potentially find a single source of labor available and they -- As you'll see in this very special edition of war stories over six million women answered the call to serve their country.
These -- the wives mothers sisters and daughters well change the course of history during World War II.
This is their story.
I was acting for sergeant.
And it -- -- in cadence kelp.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I felt at times this -- him and he can be -- of some.
I felt like tank I was doing something for my country -- There's more clouds gathered over Europe.
President Franklin Roosevelt was caught between isolationist at home.
And the pleas for help from his British ally Winston Churchill.
Already fighting the Nazis.
FDR vowed to supply our friends across the pond.
-- outlined his plan that -- -- our industrial light.
And a famous speech.
We must have more shifts more guns mob playing tomorrow.
We must apply ourselves.
That same spirit of patriotism.
As we would go whoa we at war.
And here later.
The 7 December 1941.
-- attack on Pearl Harbor galvanized the nation like never before.
Millions of men would -- -- three front war against the Nazis and Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific and the China Burma and yet you.
And as the -- left home.
-- -- women.
There's no doubt that World War II changes everything for one.
Before the war women didn't work and weren't encouraged to work because of the depression a woman working with consider taking a job from a man who really needs.
Pamela yellen is a veteran journalist and author of the playing book or mothers war.
Suddenly the government needed equipment and -- women to work and they had a real PR problem because they had to switch.
The consciousness of America and make it okay for women to work in fact making it honorable.
When I found out about wonder woman in a way for me she was a metaphor for the whole generation -- her undercover name was Diana friend.
When trouble came Sheen would.
Turning to Wonder Woman and she fought the Nazis.
Recruiting housewives proved to be a delicate task.
Husbands across the nation we're reticent to let their wives worked.
The government started a determined campaign to lure women into factories.
Flooding the airwaves and magazines.
With images and slogans.
In June 42 they established an Office of War Information or OWY.
Tell us what -- of.
You -- they produce propaganda.
I think that's why Rosie the -- became such an important symbol.
Of what the government wanted from a woman during that time but.
Arguably the most important supporter for woman in the workplace was none other than the First Lady.
That could be he didn't mean they made him.
As you can see in these recruiting films.
Eleanor Roosevelt enlisted the help of young Katharine Hepburn.
One of the nearly four million volunteer Red Cross girls was Carol Lin and Lee's own mother.
An inspiration for her book.
She died in 1999.
I found force shoe boxes -- 1940.
And I found letters that she had written home to her parents in Oklahoma.
When she was in the red cross and Saipan.
What motivated your mom -- in Red Cross.
There's a letter where -- the one where she tells a parent but that's what I want it to you I wanna do something active and direct.
During the war women were told to tasks that they've never done before.
I had never ever expected to work outside the home.
Listen it's something -- even thought about.
Phyllis -- was one of the 2.5 million women hired to work in the defense industry.
The new 21 year old mother from Oregon decided to become a welder at the Kaiser shipyard in California.
-- leave her classmates were women.
Well I don't remember -- you're the -- gal in the room I think so.
This -- premise was making a good -- ninety cents an hour at a time when wartime production was at its.
50% of adult women working outside the -- and factories -- ship yards and running 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Soon lewis' job turned into a family affairs.
When you go to work.
What about your son who looked after him.
-- my sister.
Came down from Oregon and then another sister can't.
Eventually my mom can still stay would you.
You know eventually.
I asked to go on graveyard shift so that we could take shifts in the bed.
It got crowded you know most -- her family were coming down you know to stay in the house.
-- -- was just a teenager when she arrived in California to babysit her nephew and finish high school.
I attend our classes.
It was say a six week crash course in engineering dry when you're looking after your sister's.
Did it -- to use that that what she was doing was.
Quite the venture.
In a way yes we're coming this program to marry young and be homemakers.
She started to trim because -- sister number two became a welder and then.
And I became a draftsman and then our mother even started and she became a -- Phyllis was a woman is go to -- a man better.
-- and you work approach -- -- Those things that.
You're not only knew that technique.
You wanted it to be.
And it was the same with -- when you look back on.
It's a pretty dangerous job.
You get a spark that would rolled down in to your -- can be little round babies live.
Hot metal and -- roll around and your skin would just turn black.
Phyllis was promoted to journeyman and now made a dollar an hour the same pay -- -- then husband buster.
Also -- -- but the salary increase would come with a price.
He didn't want me to go to work.
He expected totally to be the head of his house I was not allowed money so he controlled everything and -- them.
There were major change just.
-- -- directly.
And ultimately the marriage didn't survive.
We've proved once and for.
A woman was physically strong and a to do it man show.
And -- well.
Filter by section