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DON’T CALL ME ROSIE

 

The Women who Welded the LSTs

and the Men who Sailed on Them

 

a book by Kathleen Thomas

 

In 1941, Winston Churchill realized that if the Allies were to win the war, a new type of ship needed to be designed and constructed.  A ship that could land directly on the beaches of Africa and Europe and discharge troops and equipment.  This ship became the Landing Ship, Tank or LST.

 

But the United States was already at war and there was a shortage of men in the shipyards.  It was the women that went to the shipyards and built the LSTs.

 

These women were not riveters —  they were welders.

 

These are the stories, remembered 60 years later, of the women welders who built the LSTs and the men who sailed on them.

 

Reviews

“Yours is the best book I have seen on LST’s.  It covers more ground, and gives the reader the best possible insight into just what this ship, the civilians who built it, the sailors who sailed it, and the thousands of troops who were carried aboard, all benefited from the dedicated efforts of each other.” – Lester Parker, LST 743

"Your book is just great.  It covers those turbulent times of good and bad memories in the lives of men and women." -  Hichael Nedeff, LST 610/LST 325

"Apart from the personal stories, as interesting as they are, what your book reveals is the incredible geographic span of the U.S. wartime machine. LSTs were made across the entire country. Prior to reading "Don't Call Me Rosie," my impression was that the Portland/Vancouver facilities only built liberty ships. Another satisfying aspect of the book is its post-launching follow-ups. It gave the LSTs and other vessels histories of their own. This has been reserved only for capital ships, and one famous PT boat. Also impressive was the section on the nearly forgotten Korean War. Except for the hardly representative M.A.S.H film and TV show, Americans know nothing about this war, or that it was largely fought with major naval operations. You have not only revealed how important the workers were, but equally the importance of the vessels they built in winning the war." William Stewart, Vancouver, WA

Review of Don’t Call Me Rosie

by Evelyn Brown

The author, educated and trained as an engineer, used her skill in research and attention to detail to produce an interesting and informative story.

Personal stories are told of young women during WWII who welded LSTs and the crewmen who sailed these Landing Ships in combat.  Their story is interwoven with the history of decision-makers who saw the need for a landing ship design which could bring troops and equipment close to shore.  This story has not often been told and never before with the personal connection which the author has shown.

The book begins with the author’s narration of stories from her family members, who as young women, worked as welders building the LSTs.  Perspective of the importance of LSTs is given by quotations from Winston Churchill’s memoirs and military communications.

The experiences of veterans who sailed LSTs are recounted from their very personal memories.  Noted are the training exercises, especially Exercise Tiger, and combat operations in Europe and in the Pacific.  Always interspersed are memories of the role of the young women who welded the ships.

Stories of LST transport duties in Korea are told.  Prisoners, refugees, and the sick and wounded were transported.  Finally the author notes the importance of women’s successful work in “men’s jobs” and how this experience changed the face of America and opened opportunities to the next generation of women.

Newspaper Article

Sentinel News

Newspaper Article

The Daily Times - Ottawa, Illinois

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