Editor’s Word: The next is a part of a sequence of articles about native ladies who served as “Rosie the Riveters” throughout World Conflict II.
ELKINS — Leona M. Phares wished to be remembered for what she had achieved throughout World Conflict II, so earlier than she handed away in 2007, she shared a narrative along with her daughter Linda Shomo and made her hold a promise to not overlook.
In early December in 1941, Phares was dwelling in Akron, Ohio, in a one-bedroom condominium along with her husband and two younger sons. It was a typical night when she turned alarmed from listening to the paperboy outdoors the condominium yelling “additional, additional” so late within the night.
Usually Phares didn’t obtain the paper, however on today she ran throughout the road to buy one. The information was about Pearl Harbor being bombed and immediately, like many, she was each devastated and scared. She knew her husband, Dempsey, can be leaving for warfare due to this. He enlisted, not as a result of he needed to, however as a result of he felt he wanted to do his half to struggle for America and hold his household secure.
Dempsey and plenty of different younger males enlisted to struggle in World Conflict II after listening to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s well-known “A Name for Sacrifice” phrases on April 28, 1942. Dempsey was despatched to Jacksonville, Florida to coach for 17 weeks. Later, Leona and her two sons, Gary and Dick, took a practice to Florida to be with Dempsey.
As Dempsey’s coaching was ending, Leona ready to move again to Akron. She wasn’t house very lengthy when her husband was deployed to Washington, D.C. to be shipped out. Leona started in search of a job, and after the primary one she landed didn’t work out, she acquired a job at Goodyear Plane and was assigned to make use of a drill and bucking iron.
This job required Leona to drill and buck precise holes onto B-28s, P-37s and different bombers. She stated staff would put together the body of the B-29 bombers so as to connect the sheet metallic.
From there they’d drill holes within the body and put the sheet metallic in place and drill holes by it. The employees would then rivet the sheet metallic to the body sections. She additionally wired lots of the bombers throughout her job.
Leona was all the time reminding the opposite Rosie the Riveters on the plant that they wanted to do a superb job, as a result of if an inspector missed one thing, it might result in one in every of their members of the family or somebody they knew being on a aircraft that crashed.
As soon as the warfare was over, her husband arrived again in the US and the household moved to West Virginia. They purchased a farm on Kings Run Highway in Elkins, which Leona’s household nonetheless owns.
Linda Shomo stated Leona “was an exquisite mom, neighbor and good friend to the numerous that knew her. She was an inspiration to everybody and he or she was one in every of many Rosie the Riveters that supported the US in the course of the darkest instances. She was a real American hero.”
Shomo, who’s the president of the Emma Scott Backyard Membership, has saved her promise. She just isn’t solely protecting her mom’s Rosie the Riveter legacy alive, however has publicly acknowledged greater than 46 different Rosies.
This 12 months’s native Rosie the Riveters mission was sponsored by Our City Inc., which additionally gathered the biographical details about the Rosies.
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