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Thu May 16, 2013
Willow Run Bomber Plant could be a new home for the Yankee Air Museum
When you think about what it took for the United States and our Allies to win World War II, it wasn't just up to the troops fighting in Europe and the Pacific, the war was waged on the home front as well.
And a big chunk of real estate in Ypsilanti was one of the most important spots in the nation for that war effort: the Willow Run Bomber Plant.
It was built by the Ford Motor Company to turn out B-24 Liberator bombers.
At the peak of its war effort, Willow Run turned out one Liberator bomber every 59 minutes. And 42,000 workers kept those bombers coming, earning the plant its nickname of "The Arsenal of Democracy."
Willow Run was also where Rose Will Monroe hired on to work as a riveter. She appeared in a film aimed at getting women out of the home and into the plants to help the war effort, and that led to the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” image and hit song.
These days, the future of Willow Run is cloudy.
It had been a GM plant, but Willow Run was discarded by GM during its bankruptcy woes in 2009.
Now, the Yankee Air Museum is hoping to buy a good-sized piece of the historic plant for a new home, thus saving the plant from the wrecker's ball and helping grow the museum.
Dennis Norton, founder of the Yankee Air Museum, and Ray Hunter, the current Chair of the Museum as well as a pilot and former Air Force colonel, joined us today.
Listen to the full interview above.