Marilyn Statue Proposed in Van Nuys

Norma Jeane Dougherty photographed by David Conover, who discovered her in Van Nuys, 1945

The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council has proposed that a statue of hometown girl Marilyn be installed at Van Nuys City Hall, as Olga Grigoryants reports for Los Angeles’ Daily News. If these plans come to pass, it would be a fitting tribute to create a likeness of the young Marilyn, perhaps from her early modelling days.

“The news comes four years after Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Panorama City, proposed a bill to name the Van Nuys Post Office after the Hollywood icon, who attended Van Nuys High School — as Norma Jeane Baker — for a short time in the early 1940s.

The plan was first proposed by the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council in 2012. Its president, George Thomas, said the actress had personal ties to the community … She attended Van Nuys High, which was near her house. She lived there with her aunt [Ana Lower] after years in foster homes.

The future movie icon was discovered at the Van Nuys Airport, where she worked on the assembly line at Radioplane Co., which manufactured drones for the U.S. Army during World War II.”

Snapshot of War: Norma Jeane and the Drone

Over at Paleofuture, Matt Novak takes another look at David Conover’s 1944 photo of 18 year-old Norma Jeane Dougherty working at the Radioplane munitions plant – the picture that launched her modelling career – and asks, what was she making?

“Though her main job at the factory was spraying down the planes with fire retardant, here she’s seen assembling the OQ-2 radioplane, (sometimes called the RP-5A, TDD-l or the “Dennymite” for its designer Reginald Denny), which was the first mass produced unmanned aerial vehicle in the world. Drones have been in the news so much recently that we often think of them as a new concept in war.”