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(E) Croatian American Kathy Thomas Publishes Book
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  09/12/2004 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
(E) Croatian American Kathy Thomas Publishes Book


"Don't Call Me Rosie,

the Women who Welded the LSTs and the Men who Sailed on Them"

by Kathy Thomas 

Second Generation Croatian American publishes book,
"Don’t Call Me Rosie, the Women who Welded the LSTs and the Men Who Sailed on Them."

Ann’s parents, Julia Sita and Vid Jurjevic, were born in Rude and Jastrebarsko, respectively. Like many Croatian immigrants, they traveled together across the Atlantic Ocean, arrived on Ellis Island, and then traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to make their home. Julia and Vid had 10 children, one dying shortly after childbirth.
The U.S. entered World War II and in 1943, three of the Jurjevic sisters, Ann, Vee, and Jul, became welders at the Dravo shipyard on Neville Island in Pittsburgh. They helped build the Landing Ship, Tanks or LSTs. The LST was a new type of ship that could land directly on the beaches of Africa, Europe, and the Pacific and discharge troops and equipment.
Inspired by her mother, Ann, and her two aunts, Kathleen Thomas has collected the stories of her mother, aunts, and other women welders and published them in the book, "Don’t Call Me Rosie, the Women who Welded the LSTs and the Men who Sailed on Them." The first Chapter, "The Jurjevic Sisters", also tells the story of how Kathleen’s parents, Ann Jurjevic and Frank Thomas, met at Javors, a Croatian Club. Frank’s parents were also born in Croatia. They traveled separately to the United States and met in Pittsburgh. Less than a year after Ann and Frank met, the Army sent Frank to Africa. He sailed from Ellis Island to Casablanca. It would be almost three years before Frank returned to the States and married Ann.
In addition to her mother’s and aunts’ stories, the book includes the stories of other women welders who worked in the shipyards in Pittsburgh; Evansville; Hingham; Jeffersonville; Seneca; Vancouver, Washington; and Portland, Oregon.
The stories of the men who sailed on the LSTs include eyewitness accounts of Pearl Harbor, Exercise Tiger, the West Loch tragedy, Leyte, and kamikaze attacks. Although most of the stories are about World War II, one chapter includes the stories from three men who served in the Korean War.
To order a copy of the book, send a check for $15.00 payable to Thomas/Wright, Inc., 7190 SW Fir Loop, Tigard, Oregon 97223. A book order form can be downloaded from the website:
The book is also available at and

Kathy Thomas
Thomas/Wright, Inc.
7190 SW Fir Loop
Tigard, OR 97223

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