Posted on 02/19/2008

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Women in the War Industry

Women in the War Industry
Amanda Smith, an African-American woman employed in the Long Beach Plant of the Douglas Aircraft Company.

Between 1940 and 1944, approximately one million civilian African Americans entered the labor force; 600,000 of them were female. The proportion of black women in industrial occupations almost tripled during the war, rising from 6.5 to 18 percent. Los Angeles-area aircraft plants were among the first to offer them employment.

This woman worked at the Long Beach plant of the Douglas Aircraft Company. By 1945, African-American women worked at every aircraft plant in Los Angeles.

Douglas Aircraft photo from the Office of War Information