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Ray Hunter, chairman of the Yankee Air Museum, shakes hands with Loraine Osborne, a former 'Rosie the Riveter' who worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant, during a ceremony that honored her and others who contributed to the war effort, in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. / Mike Householder, AP

Rosie the Riveter faithfuls proved, "We can do it!"

A campaign to save a portion of the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Michigan, where Rose Will Monroe and thousands of pioneering female industrial workers built B-29 and B-24 bombers during World War II, has succeeded in raising the necessary money to avoid demolition.

It appeared the plant in Ypsilanti Township was in trouble because campaign organizers said they were short $1.2 million of the $8 million needed to purchase part of the factory by the deadline Thursday. But fundraising consultant Michael Montgomery told the Associated Press this week that they had "closed on a big one."

They will keep fundraising to build out the museum. "(We're feeling) a combination of relief about the initial objective and a sense of: On to the rest of it," Montgomery told the AP.

In 2013, most of Willow Run was sold to a buyer who plans to redevelop the space as a testing facility for futuristic connected vehicles.

The portion of the plant that Yankee Air Museum wanted to save, roughly 175,000 square feet of the 5 million square foot former plant, was excluded from those plans, according to the campaign.

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Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Rosie the Riveter's WWII-era factory saved

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