The Women Behind The Spruce Goose

We want to spotlight the women who built the Spruce Goose and the ones who preserved it after the historic flight so we can share its story with aviation fans worldwide.

Women were critical components for much of the manufacturing process of the historic aircraft. Born out of a World War II need to move troops and materials safely across the Atlantic Ocean, women were called to action to build a unique solution. They were inspectors to ensure all pieces were constructed correctly, on teams that laid out nacelle skin dies and operating top of the line equipment created specifically for the aircraft.

These women are a vital part of the manufacturing progress by preparing the wood for a nacelle skin die. 

A female inspector checks a recently constructed piece of the aircraft with a tool at the main wood shop.

This woman is working with her team to operate the new glue spreader made by the Union Tool Corporation.

Men and women work together with the veneer on a billet glue spreader and run-out table. At the height of production, hundreds of people worked on bringing the Spruce Goose to life. 



After the historic flight of the Spruce Goose on November 2, 1947, women’s roles shifted from creating to preserving this historic aircraft. Men and women worked in the engineering and drafting rooms of the Hughes Corporation. After a flood in the storage building in September 1953, they worked to save priceless documents and records.


Our former Curation and Collections Director, Lydia Heins, is leading a team of volunteers to preserve the history and stories of this American icon for another 75 years.



Learn more about the Spruce Goose from signed contract on hotel stationery to moving up the west coast to its final home at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum –

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