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I Was a Rosie the Riviter

Eva Mae Hatton’s coming to Davis story was related to her World War II work ending.

Submitted by:  Eva Mae Hatton, 11//2006
This entry relates to the past
Category(ies) of this entry:  Coming to Davis, Making a Living, New Beginnings,

I Was a Rosie the Riviter
By Eva Mae Hatton

My name is Eva Mae Hatton. I am a 52 year resident of Davis.  My husband was Alton “Al” Hatton who owned a Chevron gas station on the corner of Russell and B St.  We moved here in 1954 when Davis had less than 5000 people.  We, and our children Ron and Darlene Evonne, have enjoyed living here.

I met Al in Washington D.C. where we both worked.  I was born in West Virginia. Al was a native of Lodi, California.  Al was drafted into the US Army in August 1941. After Pearl Harbor, we married in South Carolina where he was stationed.  He left for England   in November 1942.

Before coming to Davis, I was a “Rosie the Riviter.” We were the women who some say changed the role of women in the US by opening up the work force to women.  When factories desperately needed workers during World War II, women were recruited for what had traditionally been men’s work.

World War II was on.  Thousands of women - brides, mothers and grandmas were called on to work in war industries.   I along with two sisters went to Baltimore and worked for Eastern Aircraft.   I filled out my application and was asked to repot the next morning.  I went to school the first two weeks to learn how to be a riveter.  Each person had a work partner.  We soon were making two wing parts a day.  After a year we were making six a day.    If the rivets went crooked, we had to drill them out and put in new ones.   We made the parts for the Navy planes, the Avenger and the Wildcat.

I worked two years and then the announcement came over the loud speaker that the war had ended.  The horns and whistles blew, the church bells rang.  We turned off the electricity, closed our toolboxes and we gals all took off walking up town Baltimore singing, shouting and clapping our hands.

A few days later, we went back to the plant to check out.  Our work was done.

I went home to West Virgina and waited for my husband to return.  December 1945 we left Washington DC by train for California.

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