Over six million “Rosies” joined the workforce and at least ten million more volunteered to help win the Homefront war effort in World War II.  The Military Aviation Museum is honored to celebrate Rosie the Riveter and her incredible accomplishments.

As men were inducted into the services and shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific during World War II, it left a huge gap in the workforce and women stepped in to keep the factories running.  Daughters, mothers, sisters, wives, and grandmothers quickly learned to hammer, weld, rivet, and build machinery on an assembly line.  In fact, in 1943, 65% of the aircraft industry workers were “Rosies.” From shipyards, aircraft factories, munitions plants, service station attendants, police officers, and farmhands to construction workers; women took over jobs that had traditionally been male-dominated and became a determining factor in the arsenal of democracy.

The Military Aviation Museum invites families to join in the festivities on Saturday, March 23rd, as they honor National Rosie the Riveter Day.  Step into the iconic role by learning to tie on Rosie’s signature red bandana and roll up your sleeves for hands-on riveting demonstrations led by skilled aircraft mechanics. Get firsthand insights into the dedication it takes to “Keep ‘em Flying” as you engage with their aircraft maintainers.  Embark on a guided tour to uncover the captivating stories behind the aircraft crafted by the Rosies and immerse yourself in the heart of the exhibits, where the often-overlooked narratives of women’s extraordinary contributions during the war come to vivid life.

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Explore the Victory Gardens planted to supplement wartime rationing and participants will have the opportunity to learn and plant their own Victory Gardens. Plus, don’t miss the engaging story time hosted by Hampton Roads Libraries, featuring books spotlighting Rosie and her impact. And delve into the essential role women played in pilot training with the WWII Link Trainer, the original flight simulator.

The Museum’s Education Coordinator Alex Wray explains, “It will be a day packed with excitement as we honor the remarkable contributions of these trailblazing women during World War II. A day filled with fun activities, riveting demonstrations, and insightful guided tours led by our knowledgeable staff. From crafting Rosie-themed memorabilia to exploring artifacts showcasing Rosie’s tools of the trade, there’s something delightful for everyone to enjoy! Be sure to keep an eye out for special guests throughout the day as we join together to celebrate Rosie and her sisters, commemorating their enduring legacy of courage and determination!”

National Rosie the Riveter Day is Thursday, March 21, 2024.  In order for more families to have the opportunity to learn about the important role women played in the war effort, the museum has chosen to celebrate the event on Saturday, March 25th, 2023.  The event is included in your regular museum admission.  Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.

If you have any questions, please call (757) 721-7767 or visit The Military  Aviation Museum is located at 1341 Princess Anne Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23457.

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About the Military Aviation Museum

A 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Military Aviation Museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of airworthy military aircraft from the first 50 years of flight. Truly a living museum, its aircraft are in restoration at facilities around the world. Besides the main Museum, the Virginia Beach complex features additional exhibition spaces, including a mid-1930s Luftwaffe hangar originally from Cottbus, Germany, which now serves to house the Museum’s collection of WWII-vintage German aircraft. Additional structures include the WWI Hangar, and the original control tower from RAF Goxhill built in England in 1942. Visit for more information or call 757-721-7767.

Jerry and Elaine Yagen standing in front of the Military Aviation Museum’s FM-2 Wildcat. Yagen’s new book, “Bravo Zulu: My Search Classic Warbirds” documents the story behind some of the more important aircraft in the museum’s collection. This book was presented at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022. (image via MAM)