Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 21

'We knew how important the mission was.
We lived together, we took care of one another,
we took care of each other's children, we worried
about the men who were serving in the war ...
We all made sacrifices.'

AUDREY ANDERSEN PHO
TOGRAPHY

U.S. AIR FORCE

-Jane Tucker

Above: The Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber was used extensively
in World War II. Right: Earline Gaither, of Marietta, was an aircraft mechanic
at the Willow Run complex in Michigan during World War II. She worked near
the end of the mile-long B-24 Liberator assembly line.

JANE TUCKER, 93, Rome

Occupation during World War II: Welder at Southeastern
Shipbuilding Corp. in Savannah
" I grew up in Lineville, Ala., and the Great Depression hit
my family hard, " Tucker remembers. " It was just my mother,
my older sister and me, and all three of us worked to survive. I
worked at a five-and-dime and made a dollar a day-or 60 cents
for a half-day's work.
" Then in 1943, just after I turned 16, we decided to move
to Savannah and work at the shipyard. The three of us took the
train. It was wall-to-wall GIs in their khaki uniforms, and we sat
on our suitcases because there were no seats available.
" I had never seen anything like [the shipyard]. Thousands
of people worked there. Three-story cranes and supports
framed the ships. I started at $1.20 per hour for the first six
weeks as a trainee, and that's when I learned to weld. Cranes
positioned the wall panels of the ships, and we welded the
panels together. "
Southeastern Shipbuilding Corp. churned out 88 Liberty
ships (cargo freighters) for the war effort between 1942 and
1945.
" It was hard work-and sometimes dangerous, " Tucker
says. " You had to climb up high and weld, and you had to be
so careful not to get burned or have a hand or finger pinched
between metal plates. My sister actually saw workers lose their
footing and fall three stories. She was certain they had died.

And it was unbearably hot and humid during the summer
months.
" We wore pants during a time when women didn't dress
like that. We were sometimes shunned by the people of Savannah. They didn't think we were good women. They thought we
were trying to be like men.
" But we knew how important the mission was. We lived
together, we took care of one another, we took care of each
other's children, we worried about the men who were serving
in the war ... We all made sacrifices. "
Tucker welded ships until the end of the war. After she
finished work as a riveter, she attended school in Chicago and
eventually became a dental hygienist. In 1968, she moved to
Rome to work for her cousin, who was a dentist; she worked as a
dental hygienist for 55 years.
Up until the pandemic struck, she visited schools and
attended events to share her memories with others. In 2018,
she was the inspiration for " Becoming Justina, " a novel by
Merrill J. Davies.

EARLINE GAITHER, 95, Marietta

Occupation during World War II: Aircraft mechanic at Willow
Run (Air Force Plant 31) near Ypsilanti, Mich.
" A few weeks after we married [in December 1942], my
husband, Ralph, saw an ad in the Memphis newspaper about
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Georgia Magazine - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - March 2021

Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 4
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 5
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 6
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 7
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 8
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 9
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 10
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 11
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 12
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Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 15
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 16
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 17
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 18
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 19
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 20
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 21
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 22
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 23
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 24
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 25
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 26
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 27
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 28
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 29
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Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 33
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Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 36
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 37
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 38
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 39
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 40
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 41
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 42
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 43
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 44
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 45
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - 46
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - March 2021 - Cover4
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