Rosie the Riveters at the Downey plant at Vultee. C1940's
In numbers of planes, the Valiant Basic trainer represented the largest order ever placed by the Army Air Corps. By July 1941, Vultee's plant in Downey (see photo) was producing 15 percent of all the military aircraft in the nation. The company received enormous military contracts to construct these basic training planes for Army, Navy, and Marine pilots; many of Downey's men went off to war; and hundreds of women joined the Vultee workforce. Vultee was the first military aircraft manufacturer to employ women directly in production. Women received exactly the same pay for equivalent work as men. Vultee's particular masterpiece is what executives exultantly describe as the first and truly powered assembly line in the industry. It consists of an overhead oval track, located at the head of the final assembly, from which dangle twenty-five cradles fed with raw fuselage frames.

Quotes and paraphrase from "Final Historic Buildings and Structures Inventory and Evaluation- NASA industrial Plant Parcels 1 and 2

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  • Title: Rosie the Riveters at Downey Vultee