World War II girl makes bomber carburetors; no boys to date!

World War II girl makes bomber carburetors; no boys to date!


World War II's "Rosie the Riveter" comes alive in this letter  to Frank from a gal back in Chicago.  She's working on a "beauty of a carburetor" for bombers.  I doubt many girls before the war even knew what a carburetor was. The World War II woman became versed in  previously male-only arcane knowledge.

Another sign of the World War II years: no boys to date. Read on. 

June 7th 1944

Wednesday, 2:00 AM

Dear Frank:

Have been pretty well occupied with our house decorating, so I was pressed for time to answer your letter any sooner.

I have been fine, and working like a busy bee. Now whenever we haven’t any work on the floor, some general foreman always finds some records to straighten out and fills it for him. If they only knew how I hate office work, I’m sure they wouldn’t ask me again. I’d get batty if I always had to do it. Give me the factory where you say what you darn please, and do what your heart is set on.

Say? Is it so unusual for me to stay home on Saturday nights? Why were you so surprised? Don’t you remember, I did it many times when I worked at Websters, so I really don’t find it very boring. Furthermore there isn’t many places you could go now, since most of the boys are in service.

Maybe when you come home, you will have a spare evening, so we could take a ride out to “O’ Henry Park” to a dance. That’s about the only thing I miss, since all the boys have left.

Say Frank you should see the beauty’s of a carburetor we’re making now for large bomber planes. We don’t make many for the smaller planes any more. Gee! But they’re quite big and as heavy as the devil.

You wanted to know what’s out at Mauston Wisconsin where I’m going to spend a week of my vacation. There’s a nice Dude Ranch where you sure would enjoy plenty of sports including swimming. Then the rest of the time I’m going to stay home and visit friends which the night shift has enabled me to do so before.

Well I know it’s unbelievable for me to run out of conversation, but the sand man is getting the best of me. I’ll say, nighty night, until the next time. Take care of yourself and keep it off the ground.  Write soon.

Love, Jo

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    Linda Gartz

    I was born and raised on Chicago's West Side, where the Gartz family lived and worked for most of the 20th century. After my mom died in 1994, my brothers and I poked around the the attic of my parents' home and discovered a trove of letters, diaries, documents, and photos that had been saved for almost a century. Taken as a whole, they focus a lens on the history of our city and life in another era, as seen through the eyes of regular folks. Go to Lindagartz.com where you'll find my blog, Family Archaeologist (a clickable link is on the "About Letters of a World War II Airman" page). There you can explore this historical treasure trove that illuminates history and our shared humanity. I started my blog, "Letters of a World War II Airman," on the 70th anniversary of the date my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, was drafted into World War II military service. You can see that first post and the first three months of 1943 letters at my website, Lindagartz.com. All future letters will be posted on this blog. I'm an author, archivist and television producer. Please visit my website, LindaGartz.com, to see my published articles and an overview of my television productions.

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