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Edna L. Bauman
War: World War II
Position: Civilian Worker - Willow Run Bomber Plant
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan


Edna Bauman supported the war effort by working as a civilian employee in the Willow Run Bomber plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She had graduated from high school and wanted to make more money than the average office worker, so she applied for jobs in industry. Edna was hired at the Willow Run plant in May of 1943, when she was 23 years old and worked on B-24 planes until August of 1945. She was originally hired in as a riveter, but the station of the plant where she worked did not have the type of riveting she knew how to do, so her supervisor put her to work sound-proofing the airplanes. Because she was trained as a riveter, her supervisor offered her the higher male riveter wage to keep her on the line as a sound-proofer. Edna was the only female worker at her station and she remembers many comic moments and always being treated fairly. During the war, many famous people visited the Willow Run plant, and Edna was present when Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt toured the facilities.

Edna was one of the last workers to be laid off after the war ended because of her specialized sound-proofing training. She was laid off from the plant in August of 1945. Edna, who had been married for four months by the time she left Willow Run, remained jobless for a year and a half. She then applied for a job in Plymouth and was hired to stuff cushions on an assembly line, taking time off to have a child, but remaining employed until her retirement.