TODAY

TODAY   |  September 27, 2013

Member of ‘Rosie the Riveter’ brigade still going at 93

Elinor Otto was part of the famous “Rosie the Riveter” brigade that put women into the workforce producing planes to help the World War II effort. She’s still working today at age 93, helping produce Boeing C-17 cargo planes. She tells TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie that retirement is just not in her blood.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back at 8:40 with a remarkable woman. at the age of 93 she is still doing the same work she started back in 1942 as part of the famous rosie the riveter bre brigade. we'll talk to her live in a moment.

>> reporter: 5:00 in the morning, leaving for work. a short drive, a stop for coffee, a brief staff meeting.

>> let's hit it.

>> reporter: and then eleanor otto is at her position at the boeing plant driving in more than the 3,000 rivetes for a cargo plane.

>> i like to get something accomplished during the day. not to be put out in the pastuer.

>> reporter: she has been doing it since 1962 . one of the thousands of women that helped the war by joining the rosie the riveter brigades. she learned the air force industry still had a place for her. she never left it.

>> she goes about her job like anybody else.

>> that rosie the riveter ke with do it motto was a theme for the women's movement and eleanor likes it.

>> is this appropriate work for a woman?

>> it's not?

>> reporter: she's here mostly because there's nothing she would ever do.

>> there's an old joke that despite the high cost of living it remains popular, eleanor will do whatever it takes to feel alive . and this does it for her, certainly more than thoughts of another marriage. she had two.

>> but you're done with men and the taking care of men thing.

>> i'm done, unless --

>> reporter: one of the original rosies still on the job seven decades later.

>> we are so happy because eleanor is with us now. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> it's so nice to meet you. what's it been like to get all of this attention?

>> i'm overwhelmed. i can't believe it. after all these years. i just took it for granted. i just kept working and i didn't see a big deal about it.

>> i was going to say, did you realize at the time when you started and you were part of the brigade did you feel like you were making history ?

>> no. i didn't at the time. it was just something we did. and something unusual of course because women didn't go to work in plants but we did the job because we were part of that history which was wonderful for us. and now, after all these years, i can't believe all of this attention.

>> what do you say to those that say she is 93. boy, she could be sitting around on the couch.

>> i can't do that. i cannot do that.

>> i get the feeling that you like to keep on moving .

>> people say what's your secret? keep moving . keep moving . i still drive. i drive the freeways or whatever. i got -- i'm independent.

>> i know you tried other jobs but you loved this work.

>> yes. i like to keep physical. in an office i would go nuts and i did. so i do physical labor and i like it better.

>> well, you are an inspiration to so many people. we're happy to have you here.

>> and i'm so proud to be here and happy that you let me be here and give me all of this attention. i can't believe it. i never felt it would ever happen.

>> well, you deserve it. such a great body of work and you're so admired by your colleagues and you inspire a lot of people. thank you for being here.

>> thank you so much.