Jane Tucker

Jane Tucker was born in Alabama in 1927. When her father left the family, Jane moved into her grandparents’ home in Lineville with her mother, Iris, and her sister, Betty. As a teenager Jane got a job making a dollar a day in a five and ten cent store. Her mother worked twelve hours a day as a telephone operator, making $25.00 a month, and if people could not pay their telephone bills, Iris Tucker did not receive a paycheck.

After the United States entered the Second World War in December 1941, Jane’s mother heard from a cousin that jobs were available at Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation in Savannah, Georgia. Jane, her mother, and her sister traveled to Savannah by train and sat on their suitcases, because every other seat was taken by a soldier. In the shipyards, Jane worked a twelve-hour shift and made $1.20 an hour. She was a rod welder, fusing sheets of metal in the hull of the ship. Her mother and sister were also rod welders but worked on different crews. Between 1941 and 1945, shipbuilding crews worked around the clock to build eighty-eight Liberty Ships which carried supplies and ordnance to Europe.

After the war Jane returned to Lineville to complete high school. She attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama and dental hygiene school at Northwestern University in Chicago. She settled in Rome, Georgia, where she started the local chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association in 2010.

Childhood

“Well, my grandfather owned-. He had a small farm…I can just remember going there with him once or twice as a small child. I was probably two, two and a half when we went back to live with him…The thing that I remember most was he had a small,…

Rationing

“I do remember, and this is the only time I remember ration books that we had. Food was rationed. Gas wouldn’t have mattered to us if it was rationed or rubber, because we didn’t have a car. So I wouldn’t have paid too much attention to that.…

Troop Trains

“We went to Heflin, Alabama to catch the train to go to Savannah. And when we stepped on the train onto that coach, there wasn’t a seat anywhere, and it was filled with young men in khaki uniforms. It was a troop train. Everything was a troop…

Wearing pants

“We’d never worn pants. Women did not wear pants. Maybe they did in California and New York City, but not in Lineville, Alabama.”

Welding

“But that was one of my greatest frustrations with being a welder. You had to get the temperature on the machine set exactly right. If it were too hot it’d burn a hole in the metal. If it’s too cold it’d stick [laughs], so you couldn’t make…

Dental School

“When I graduated from high school, my father’s oldest sister talked to my father and said, ‘You know, you haven’t been a part of your child’s life very much, and she obviously wants to do something with her life. Would you be willing to…

Rosie the Riveter

“I went to…a national meeting of the American Rosie the Riveter Association in Nashville. When I came back I called the Rome News-Tribune and spoke to this young man. And I told him a little about…who Rosie the Riveters were. It’s amazing how…
Watch Jane Tucker's Legacy Series videos here.