“Rosie the Riveter” Rosalind Walter & the WW2 Drone Legacy

Norma Jeanne, aka Marilyn Monroe, was discovered at the behest of one Reginald Denny, as she was wrenching on a WWII target drone on a "Rosie the Riveter"-style factory floor.  A photo taken at the Van Nuys Airport factory in Los Angeles shows Norma Jeanne, with a factory worker badge, near an RP-1 drone engine. Denny, believing there was real ‘morale’ potential on his factory floor, had urged the captain of the Army’s PR Hollywood division (Ronald Reagan) to send over a photographer. Marilyn Monroe had been discovered.  She had a brilliant career that unfortunately ended in tragedy, which is well-documented history beyond the scope of this report.  In any case, Monroe’s entry into the drone-mechanic world was both patriotic and evidence of her intelligence and capability. 

Photos show, in descending order, Rosalind Walter, the Radioplane, Norma Jeanne, Reginald Denny, Ronald Reagan in a 1945 portrait and Marilyn Monroe later in her career. For more detail on Rosalind Walter’s life and legacy, please see this excellent March 5 NY Times article by Joseph Berger. Image of Rosalind Walter courtesy of Joseph Sinnott, via the NY Times.  Radioplane image courtesy of Wikipedia. Other public domain images courtesy of Wikipedia.