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Published July 20, 2011, 09:47 PM

Oakes woman recalls her days as "Rosie the Riveter"

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - An Oakes, North Dakota woman drove up to Fargo today to take a look at a piece of history that changed her life.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

An Oakes, North Dakota woman drove up to Fargo today to take a look at a piece of history that changed her life. It had wings and four engines. Evelyn Best was in her early 20's when the "war effort" called her to help build the B-17 Bomber at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington.

Evelyn Best – Helped build B-17: “We didn't have a job or nothing lined up, when I think about it, it was scary.”

Evelyn Best can still walk under the belly of the B-17 at the Fargo Air Museum and tell you what part of the plane she worked on. At 91, she is sharp as attack, recalling the stories of her time on the assembly line; She and other women riveting the B-17 together during wartime.

Best: “Everybody pitched in those days, willing to work and do things and help the country. It was a great time really.”

Evelyn and a friend took the train from North Dakota to Washington, she had 40 bucks in her pocket.

Best: “By the time I had my paycheck, two weeks later, I had nothing.”

She heard about the B-17 coming to Fargo, so she and family made the trip up. To see the Flying Fortress again, years after she helped roll them off the line.

Best: “I just said to my brother, I almost feel like a mother to that ship. It is such a connection, I am real sentimental about it.”

She loved this moment. Watching the B-17 rolling, and as a brand new Boeing 787 conducted Test Flights at Hector today, the Boeing B-17 flew overhead. Evelyn and her girls she put together that ship well.

After working on the B-17, Evelyn went to California where she worked for Douglas and Northrop plane manufacturers. And at the age of 91, Evelyn says she is still thankful that women's work on the assembly line led to ladies finally wearing "slacks" instead of dresses on the assembly line.

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