First we went to Grangeville Idaho for their first airshow. Not only was it a lot of fun meeting the people from that part of the world, but we met a great lady who has a history with Lockheed aircraft.
93 year old Virginia Arnold-Ketcham came to visit us with some members of her family and showed us a scrapbook she had put together of her war-time experiences. We were pretty busy with the crowds looking at the plane, so we organized to visit with her after the show. What a treat that turned out to be.
|Young Virginia in rural Idaho before the war.|
After applying three times at the Vega division of the Lockheed factory in Burbank and being rejected three times because she lacked the needed skills, Virginia attended the Aviation Training School where she learned the skills of riveting, blueprint reading and how to use calipers and other precision measuring tools. The course only lasted for one month, but while she was there the school found out she was a school teacher and so asked her to teach a math class to some of the students who were struggling in that area.
|A test sheet of rivets that Virginia built 70 years ago.|
As the war wound down, Bill and Virginia married and then moved for a short time to Montana where Bill worked for the forest service. By the spring of 1945, they moved back to Grangeville where they started logging and then a sawmill business, a bank and other business ventures. In retirement they raised championship quarter horses and still have a couple of horses on the property.
|Virginia's promotion to the rank of Colonel on the second front.|