Welcome to Iowa Public Television! If you are seeing this message, you are using a browser that does not support web standards. This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device. Read more on our technical tips page.

Iowa Public Television

 

World War II and the Home Front: Vivian Schleihs Builds Aircraft in Des Moines

posted on April 10, 2006 at 12:02 PM

In order to view this video, you must install Microsoft Silverlight

This video player uses Microsoft Silverlight.


Photos

Born: 1919
Duties on the home front: Married to Ray Schleihs in 1941. Worked for Solar Aircraft Company in 1944 for five months while Ray was flying bombing missions in Europe.


"I would rush home from work each day, hoping that there would be a letter there."

Background:

Vivian worked for Solar Aircraft Company in 1944 while her husband Ray was flying bombing missions in Europe. During some of the breaks between flying missions there was time for relaxation and, of course, letter writing, the most common long distance communication device of the day. Back in Iowa, Ray Schleihs' wife, Vivian would hurry home from her factory job at the Solar Aircraft Company in Des Moines to see if any letters had arrived.


Transcript

During some of the breaks between flying missions there was time for relaxation and, of course, letter writing, the most common long distance communication device of the day. Back in Iowa, Schleihs wife, Vivian, would hurry home from her factory job at the Solar Aircraft Company in Des Moines to see if any letters had arrived.

(Vivian Schleihs) I know that I would rush home from work each day, hoping that there would be a letter there. But if one wasn’t there, I didn’t really worry. I figured, well, maybe next day there would be one.

One of several letters written by Ray Schleihs to his wife Vivian between April and June 1941.

(Vivian Schleihs) Dearest wife. Today, four more letters arrived: three from good old USA and one from Wade. Guess, darling, you have read quite a bit about each day doings in the local paper and it usually involves us, of course. That's what we are here for to do as much damage to the enemy as possible.

Tags: alternative energy Des Moines education history home front Iowa manufacturing marriage military war women World War II