Maleski, Doris L. Elka


Maleski, Doris L. Elka
Doris L. Elka Maleski
William Vollano
Doris Maleski was born May 20, 1921 in Willis, Michigan. She was an important member of the "Rosie the Riveter" generation war effort. Doris started out as the manager of a small grocery store that predated the super market. Her brother suggested that she get a job at the bomber plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan which she did in the spring of 1942. Doris started her work in the tool crib. One day one of the foremen asked if she could work on the line. As long as they would train her, she was willing. She drilled the holes for the brackets that held the oxygen system. She became confident-very quickly, but too confident. After a few weeks on the job, she made a mistake and drilled a hole in the wrong place. She was sure that she had ruined the entire plane. When she told her foreman, he merely laughed. He pointed out that everything got inspected down the line and any mistake would be set aside for correction later. In spite of his assurance, Doris was upset all day. After that she never again became too confident. Doris lived only 11 miles from the plant. She would ride to work with her brother. Soon after taking the job, she bought her first (used) car. The owner was going into the service and did not want to leave it unused until he got home. So, Doris bought is for $1,100. Since she only had $800, she went to the bank for a loan. Since her father was an official of the bank, Doris got her loan. Soon she was driving three others neighbors to and from the plant. There were always rumors about the plant being a target for the enemy. Although she was not frightened, she was encouraged to take a first aid class in the plant. Doris also bought and sold War Bonds. They came in handy when she and her husband were building their house. The plant had only one plane crash while being tested, which is phenomenal when considering all of the planes that were made at the Willow Run plant. Her father used to tease her and would say he was going to hide in the house when the planes came over because he never knew which she worked on. Doris' finance was in an Army Anti-Aircraft unit on Long Island. When he was scheduled to go overseas, the War ended. They waited until the War ended to get married because her father was against them marrying in Wartime. Doris' husband worked two jobs most of their married life. In the morning, he worked as a milk trucker who took the milk from farmers to the dairy, and in the afternoon, he worked as on automobile mechanic. He died suddenly of a heart attack. A few years ago, Doris met a pilot who flew the Liberators. He praised them saying they were very reliable. Doris was also present at the Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti when the "Rosie the Riveter" stamp was released. She is especially proud of the Museum and hopes to place her very extensive scrapbooks there when the new museum is built.
Date Span
Dates of Service
World War, 1939-1945
Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Collection Location
Item sets