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Betty McCann-Thomas reminiscences

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: McCann-Thomas, Betty

Date: 2004 - 2012

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Cool storage, Cabinet 3 (CD)
O:/library_archives\Nancy Sherbert\Lindsey Nickell donation (Photos)

Unit ID: 303108

Biographical sketch: Betty McCann-thomas was born in Topeka, Kansas on August 20, 1922. Her home was a farm near Ozawkie, Kansas where she was raised and spent her childhood. McCann-Thomas' parents were Roy and Rachel Grist Kramer. Her father was killed when she was seven. After high school graduation, she attended the University of Kansas for one year. She received a 4-H scholarship to Kansas State University where she attended one semester. When World War II began, the National Youth Administration funding which paid for other expenses was eliminated. Rather than borrow money to attend college, she decided to attend defense school where she learned the basic skills required to perform manual labor in a defense plant. She was hired at North American Aviation in Kansas City, Kansas where they built B-52s. McCann-Thomas was hired as a riveter working on the assembly of the lower wings and tank doors. After the war, she worked at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for five years. During that time, she married Bernard McCann and they moved to Iowa. They had four daughters. He passed away in 1994, and she later married Wayne Thomas.

Summary: This is a reminiscence recorded by Betty McCann-Thomas describing her work at North American Aviation during World War II. After leaving Kansas State University, she attended training school and was hired by North American located in the Fairfax District of Kansas City, Kansas. McCann-Thomas was involved in making B-25 airplanes. Women working in the defense factories were often called Rosie the Riveter. She describes in detail the tools she used and the work she performed on the airplane skins and tank doors. The collection contains two photographs of Betty McCann-Thomas.

Space Required/Quantity: 1 CD

Title (Main title): Betty McCann-Thomas reminiscences

Scope and Content


Locator Contents

Index Terms


    Kansas City (Kan.)
    McCann-Thomas, Betty
    Women aircraft industry workers -- Kansas -- Kansas City
    Women in war -- Kansas -- Kansas City
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Kansas -- Kansas City

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