Signe Nakashima


This interview was made possible by the generous support of Cynthia and Richard Blumenthal.

Signe Nakashima was raised on a dry-land farm near Comstock, Nebraska, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse. There were seven people in her graduating class, and she married her high school sweetheart. Her husband was drafted before Pearl Harbor, but he had difficulty with his feet and was shortly discharged and the two of them moved to California to find war work. She was hired into Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as a riveter, and her husband worked as a sheet metal worker in the same plant. They both worked the swing shift to make the extra 6 cents an hour. After being laid off from Lockheed after the war, they moved to a Military base where she went on to become an electronic technician. She was not allowed to become a full electrical mechanic because she was a woman. In their spare time, she and her husband built, repaired, and flew single engine airplanes. Her daughter currently works testing munitions for the military.