Colbeck applauds plan for new museum at historic Willow Run Bomber Plant

LANSING—Many people have seen Rosie the Riveter re-enactors hoisting signs saying “Save the Bomber Plant.” On Thursday, the Yankee Air Museum declared “Mission Accomplished” at a ceremony held at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township. 

Sen. Patrick Colbeck attending the ceremony, in which the Yankee Air Museum officially acquired 175,000 square feet of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant where Rose Monroe and Michigan workers built B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II.

The bomber plant was the workplace of the original Rosie the Riveter, Rosie Will Monroe, and it produced more than 8,600 B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II.

“It was the hard work and ingenuity of Rosie and many other men and women who worked at the bomber plant and surrounding factories that earned Michigan the nickname “Arsenal of Democracy,’” said Colbeck, R-Canton, who led the effort in the state Legislature to save the plant. “I am proud of the spirit of cooperation and hard work exemplified by the Willow Run plant. The new museum will help to inspire a new generation of skill trades workers, engineers and scientists by promoting the accomplishments of what has been dubbed by many as ‘The Greatest Generation.’

“The plant will provide an ideal environment to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and career technical education (CTE) studies that have made Michigan the world leader in manufacturing.”

Now that the property has officially been purchased, the attention of the Yankee Air Museum will turn to raising money to outfit the new facility. Once outfitted, the new museum will be called the National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run.

Residents can find out more information about the project at


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