WWII Women: Lunch Break at Lockheed in Burbank, CA 1943

WWII Women: Lunch Break at Lockheed in Burbank, CA 1943

This photo was taken in August 1943 at the Lockheed-Vega Aircraft Company, Burbank, California. A quartet of women (called "girl workers" in the original caption) are shown taking a lunch break in the parking lot. They are relaxing with coffee and cigarettes, smiling for the camera in the California sunshine. A brown paper bag is on the pavement in front of one of the women and a milk carton is against the wall to the left. There are pre-war cars near the building in the background. The signs on the wall say "Keep Clear" in black lettering and "No Smoking Allowed Inside Of Bomb Shelters" in white letters.

The Vega was the first plane produced by Lockheed in 1927. Many famous flyers set records with the plane including Amelia Earhart's first transatlantic flight by a woman in 1932. The original Lockheed was bankrupted by the Depression and Vega was a separate company for a while, but by World War II Vega and Lockheed were back on their feet, merged into one company again, and one of the most important aircraft companies in the United States. Vega's facilities were called Lockheed's Plant A-1, the site of some of the war's production miracles as they cranked out hundreds of B-40 and F-9 planes plus 2,752 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers (identified by manufacturer code VE in the serial number). The name Vega was finally dropped by Lockheed at the end of 1943.

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