• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Eleanor Mae Cramer

Eleanor Mae Cramer worked in the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant in Burbank, California during WWII. She worked in the chemistry and paint departments on what was secret putty that made airplane gas tanks self sealing. Her boyfriend and future husband served in the Air Corps and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands.

She remembers the high security measures at the Lockheed plant, her boyfriend not being allowed to tell her what he was doing; her father was working in the Hyperion Chemistry Department out in the desert and only seeing him on the weekends. She also talks about a lack of transportation and gas, food rationing, and bomb scares.
 
Eleanor Mae and Marco Cramer
Eleanor Mae and Marco Cramer
 

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Transcript summary

  1. Working at Lockheed plant in Burbank, California; type of work done at Lockheed; sealant for gas tanks; Fred Caruso; secrecy of the product, plant workers sworn to secrecy about Lockheed's work; aircraft the gas sealant was used on; where Eleanor worked in the plant; length of time working at Lockheed; mother working at Lockheed; pins awarded for length of employment; pride in work audio / transcript
  2. Why she chose to work for Lockheed; pride in helping the government war effort; women working in the factory; age when employed at Lockheed; pins awarded by Lockheed; composition of work force at Lockheed audio / transcript
  3. Marital status while working at Lockheed; Marco Cramer in the Air Corp.; secrecy of many peoples work at the time; pride people had in their country and what they were doing; Lockheed checking workers as they came and left the plant audio / transcript
  4. Car pooling to work; gas rationing; remembering stress when fiancé left for unknown war assignment; secrecy of what Marco did for the Air Corp., Marco not knowing he would end up in Alaska; censuring mail; length of time Marco served in Alaska; Marco's role as a chemical engineer for the Air Corp. audio / transcript
  5. Lack of transportation and gas during the war; hitch hiking; Lockheed's strict policies on information; shift work, spraying and turning parts on a conveyor system; pay at Lockheed audio / transcript
  6. Living situation during the war in southern California; funny story about living on Eleanor Avenue in Hollywood; Eleanor's father's job working in the desert for the military; weekend visits with Dad; fathers job before the war, parents names; funny story about Eleanor Mae's maiden name; attending school at UCLA; car pooling to work at Lockheed; work clothing audio / transcript
  7. Fred Caruso; patented sealant for gas tanks; secrecy of sealant; size of Lockheed plant; camouflage netting over Lockheed plant, bomb scares; Marco in Alaska; censuring mail; fear of not knowing where Marco was and if he was well; being careful about what you said and who was listening; Lockheed's check of workers coming and going from the plant audio / transcript
  8. Feelings of being scared and worried about Marco's safety; brother's military service audio / transcript
  9. Parents occupations following the war; family being split up during the war; effects of Roosevelt's speeches on sense of duty, food rationing; oleo; canned meat; how food was doled out; not knowing when the next ration would be handed out audio / transcript
  10. Most lasting memories of war: fear for health of loved ones; effect of World War II on life after it; Eleanor's view about whether the US would enter the war (before Pearl Harbor), remembering where she was when the war ended and how she felt about it; reuniting with Marco after the war; Air Corp at UCLA; meeting Marco on campus audio / transcript
  11. What Marco did following the end of the war; marriage and settling in southern California, Marco's career with the government following the war; working with propellants; life after the war; rationing audio / transcript
  12. Influence the war had on Eleanor; peoples response to the war's end; going without favored foods; rationing audio / transcript
  13. Post war celebration; experiencing combat losses during the war; Marco's reluctance to discuss the war in year's following it; starting a family; Marco's family in Ohio audio / transcript
  14. Living through a very emotional time during the war; Lockheed's strict security policies; male workers at Lockheed teasing young Eleanor; how Eleanor was treated by fellow male workers at Lockheed audio / transcript
  15. Intentions to work at a profession before the war broke out; treatment of women at Lockheed; working until her child arrived; then becoming a stay-at-home mom audio / transcript
  16. Characterizing Marco; death of Marco; on her marriage and hardships over the years audio / transcript
  17. Living in southern California following the war; living a comfortable life; joy of seeing fiancé after war was over; praise for co-workers at Lockheed audio / transcript
  18. Praise for Lockheed; Marco's sense of humor; visiting Marco's mother; hardships of separation between Eleanor's parents audio / transcript
  19. Joy at war's end; reveille in the Aleutians; cooking a chicken in a paper bag audio / transcript
  20. Marco's sense of humor, Marco's education and intelligence; Eleanor's fathers education and intelligence; Eleanor's mother; being thankful for a good life audio / transcript
 

Did You Know?

USFWS photo of a pair of whiskered auklets on Unalaska Island

The waters around Unalaska Island are one of the few places in the world to find the rare whiskered auklet.