Clovis News

WWII riveter buried with honors

Hester McCutchen, a "Rosie the Riveter" shipyard welder during World War II, was buried Wednesday morning at the Clovis District Cemetery with honors.

Col. Richard Miller, Central California commander of the Joint Service Honors Command, said, "Even though we do not normally do military funeral honors for nonmilitary people, I decided this was one we would make an exception on."

Mrs. McCutchen, 83, of Fresno, died July 26. Mike McCutchen of Ypsilanti, Mich., said his mother was very proud of her service during the war -- she carried with her not only her shipyard worker-identification card to the day she died, but scars from hot metal that dropped on her body while welding on the "Liberty" and "Victory" merchant fleet ships. McCutchen said his mother was 16 when she lied about her age to enter the service.

"She did the same thing that hundreds, thousands of other women in this nation did," McCutchen said. He recalled that his mother "kept notebooks and she kept track of every number of every ship that she ever worked on. Her hope was that those ships were carrying supplies to her husband."

John Jay McCutchen, who served in the Pacific theater, died in Fresno in 1988.