Rosie the Riveter Walk
Sponsored by the Vaca Valley Volks, the Rosie the Riveter walk started out in the Richmond Marina
near the Rosie the Riveter Memorial. The Richmond Maria walk is part of the San Francisco Bay Trail and includes the Rosie Memorial. Our walk started out at the memorial, then walked around the marina area to the docked Liberty ship, SS Red Oak Victory. The first part of the memorial is a sculpture evoking a ship's hull under construction and is made of stainless steel. "Image ladders" recall those used by workers to traverse the prefabricated ship parts. Etched granite pavers begin at the hull and cover the length of the keel walk, including a timeline of events on the home front and individual memories of the period. Midway is the "Ship's Stack", shaped to recall a ship's smoke stack, this structure holds a ring of panels combining blueprints used in ship fabrication with women's memories of work in the shipyards. A marina overlook stands at would be the fantail of a Liberty ship - the designed to give you a feeling for the size of these ships. The walk continued around the marina, passing through park areas, past "Home Front Interpertive Markers" (tall beams with information on them) and the Shipyard Stories sculpture - a model of a Liberty Ship smokestack covered with stories and photographs of the men and women who worked in the shipyards during World War II. The walk passed back through the registration area and to the other side of the marina, where you could see the SS Red Oak Victory, a Liberty ship being renovated and preserved as a museum. The cargo ship SS Red Oak Victory - AK235, was laid down September 9, 1944 by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California, for the U.S. Maritime Commission, acquired by the U.S. Navy December 5, 1944 and commissioned the same day with Lt. Commander John S. Sayer, USNR in command. The Red Oak was loaded with cargo and departed San Francisco for Pearl Harbor January 10, 1945. From then until the end of the war she served as an ammunition ship for various ships in the South Pacific. Nearby, the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant was the largest assembly plant to be built on the West Coast. One of only three tank depots in the entire country, approximately 49,000 jeeps were assembled and 91,000 other military vehicles were processed here. Ford employed thousands of workers at the site during World War II, many of them women who were entering the work force for the first time. "Rosie the Riveter" was a period song representing these women.
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