Pistol Packin Mama's of Bethlehem Steel

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Pistol Packin Mama's of Bethlehem Steel

During WW2 women worked in Bethlehem Steel. Their salary was quite low. The only way a women could make a decent living was to become a Security Guard. Security Guards were needed to prevent  sabatoge to the plant. (Bethlehem Steel was very involved in building military ships, etc. for the war effort.)

Women who learned how to shoot a .38 revolver, became part of the Security Staff and carried .38's on the job. They also more than doubled their salary. Ethel Bogunovich of Hellertown had to learn to shoot, but caught on quickly. During a training session for prospective patrol women in 1943, Ethel hit the bull's-eye the first time she pulled the trigger of a .38-caliber revolver. The sure shot earned her a citation from the patrol chief and a spot on the force.

On the radio, country singer Al Dexter — and later Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters — had a song called ''Pistol Packin' Mama'' that shot to No. 1 like a bullet.

Lay that pistol down, babe,
Lay that pistol down.
Pistol packin' mama,
Lay that pistol down.

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