Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Velva Maye: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project

Interviewee(s):
Maye, Velva
Interviewer(s):
Li, Robin
Title:
Velva Maye: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project
Abstract:
Velva Fleming Maye was born in North Dakota in 1924. In this interview, she discusses her childhood on “the most modern farm in North Dakota”, the suffering of the Depression years, the journey west with her parents working as itinerant workers. In 1941, the family arrived in Seattle, where her father worked for Todd Shipyards. Maye was hired by Boeing out of high school, initially doing secretarial work before becoming a buyer for standards parts for the B-17 production line, “putting out a plane just about every hour”. After struggling with the effects of wartime trauma, Maye’s marriage ended and she returned to Boeing in 1953, where she continued to work for several decades. She describes pestering her co-worker to teach her about computers, eventually becoming a systems analyst, programmer and educator. After her retirement, Maye worked to restore a B-17 for display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
Subject area(s):
Community and Identity
Commerce, Industry, and Labor
Interview date(s):
2012
Project:
Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front
Rights:
Maye, Velva. "Velva Maye: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project." Interview by Robin Li in 2012. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2012.