Anna Mae Krier

“Rosie the Riveter”

Mae Krier was born on March 21, 1926 in Dawson, North Dakota. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, her brother enlisted in the US Navy along with thousands of other American men. While men left the workforce to join the military, women stepped in to fill jobs across the country especially in the defense industry.

In 1943, at just 17 years old, Mae went to Seattle, WA to work for Boeing, building B-17 ‘Flying Fortresses’ and B-29 Bombers. She worked as a riveter crawling inside military aircraft to rivet them together. On May 12, 1944, she signed her name on the 5,000th B-17 to leave the factory after Pearl Harbor. Only intending to work for one summer, Mae stayed for the entirety of the war, helping to build over 6,000 aircraft. The women who worked in these defense factories earned the name “Rosie the Riveters” and were essential to the war effort.

As the men returned from the war, women were sent home. Mae left the factory in 1945 but continued to work for the Army Corps of Engineers with Italian POWs.