The American Automobile Industry in World War Two
An American Auto Industry Heritage Tribute
By David D Jackson


Overview      The U.S. Auto Industry at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944    The U.S. Auto Industry and the B-29 Bomber   U.S. Auto Industry Army-Navy "E" Award Winners   The Complete listing of All Army-Navy "E" Award Winners   Sherman Tanks of the American Auto Industry   Tank Destroyers of the American Auto Industry    M26 Pershing Tanks of the American Auto Industry

    Automobile Manufacturers:  American Bantam Car Company   Checker   Chrysler   Crosley   Ford   General Motors   Graham-Paige   Hudson
   Nash-Kelvinator   Packard      Studebaker    Willys-Overland

General Motors Divisions
(Undergoing development) Aeroproducts   Brown-Lipe-Chapin   Buick   Cadillac   Chevrolet   Cleveland Diesel   Delco Appliance   Delco Products   Delco Radio   Delco-Remy   Detroit Diesel   Detroit Transmission   Electro-Motive   Fisher Body   Frigidaire   GM Proving Grounds   GM of Canada   Guide Lamp   Harrison Radiator   Hyatt Bearings   Inland   Moraine Products   New Departure   Oldsmobile   Packard Electric   Pontiac   Saginaw Malleable Iron   Saginaw Steering Gear   Southern California Division   Rochester Products   United Motors Service

Truck Manufacturers:   American LaFrance   Autocar  Diamond T   International Harvester    Mack Truck
   Marmon-Herrington Company   Pacific Car and Foundry  Reo Motor Car Company   Ward LaFrance Truck Corporation   White Motor Company

Automotive Tire
Manufacturers:
   B.F. Goodrich    Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
 Updates and Additions  
Links

 

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Cleveland, Ohio Fisher Body Plant One  - General Motors Corporation in World War Two
1921-1983
Rest in Peace
Gone but not Forgotten!

This page added 8-4-2017.


The Fisher Body Cleveland Plant 1 won the Army-Navy "E" award one time during WWII.
 

World War Two / WWII Products:  The main product during WWII of the Fisher Body Cleveland Plant 1 were B-29 engine nacelles. 
Other products were B-25, B-29, XP-75 Aircraft Parts and assemblies, M4, M18, M26, and M5 tank parts, 90mm and 120mm (4.7 inch) AA gun parts, 155mm gun parts, 3 inch naval gun breech housing parts, diesel engine parts, machine tool parts and Torquematic transmission parts

During WWII the plant employed 14,000 workers.


A photo of the plant soon after it was built in 1921.  This was the "A" building and was 1,297 feet long by 72 feet wide.  It was an Albert Kahn design, and was similar in design to the Ford Highland Park plant.


 East 140th Street runs north south along the east side of the plant.  Coit Road runs diagonally along the south side of the plant.  Note the location of the water tower.  In the next photo a newer and larger water tower has been built, and the old one torn down.


The new water tower can be seen in the foreground.  It is still there today.  Note the driveway out of the salaried parking lot onto Coit Road in the lower left of the photo.  This location can be seen two photos down from this one in a contemporary photo.  The salaried office workers would have worked in the small two story building.


This photo has 1960's era automobiles in it.  The office building is on the right.


In June 2017 standing to the east of the previous photo.  There is no curb where the salaried parking lot driveway used to be.  The legs of the second water tower can be seen through the trees.  The site is now the Cleveland Job Corps Center.  The buildings along the fence appear to be dormitories or barracks for the students.  Author's photo.


 Author's photo.


Author's photo.


Author's photo.


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 Author's photo.


The six story Fisher Body Cleveland Plant One used to extend down to the railroad viaduct.  Author's photo.


Four B-29 engine nacelles are on the dock of Cleveland Fisher Body Plant 1 going through final inspection before shipment.  The B-29 engine nacelles were considered to be the most complicated single component on the aircraft airframe.  Each one was made up of 3,000 parts and 1,300 sub-assemblies.  They were 12 feet long and seven feet in height, and weighed one ton. By the end of WWI Fisher Body had produced 13,772 B-29 engine nacelles.  This was 87% of all of the B-29 engine nacelles required for the 3,970 B-29s built.

The first two B-29 engine nacelles accepted by the US Army Air Force at this plant were shipped off this dock on April 17, 1943.

The construction of the nacelles needed over 18,000 jigs, fixtures, tools and dies.  Cleveland Plant 1 not only built its own jigs, fixtures, tools and dies but supplied duplicate sets to the main Glenn Martin plant in Baltimore, MD, and to the Lansing Fisher Body Plant.  Lansing Fisher Body also produced a number of B-29 engine nacelles.  Late in the war after the loss of the P-75 contract Cleveland Fisher Body Plant 2 started tooling up to make B-29 engine nacelles.


After final inspection and signoff the B-29 nacelles are loaded into a boxcar for shipment.  Cleveland also supplied the three other B-29 assembly plants with nacelles.  They were Boeing at Wichita, KS and Renton, WA.  The Bell plant in Marietta, GA was the fourth B-29 assembly plant.

In the four photos below workers at Cleveland Plant 1 are working on various stages of the B-29 engine nacelle.


This document is a listing of the suppliers for the Martin B-29 plant in Omaha, NE. 


Parts number 71 and 72 were Cleveland Fisher Body Plant 1 engine nacelles.  The fact that Cleveland Plant 1 built B-29 engine nacelles for Martin Omaha is significant.. 


The significance of Cleveland Plant 1 furnishing B-29 engine nacelles to Martin in Omaha is that Martin built the "Enola Gay." 


B-29 "Bockscar" built by Martin Omaha is on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, OH.

Tank Components
Fisher Body Cleveland Plant 1 supplied parts for several types of tanks and tank destroyers as show below.


Fisher Body Cleveland Plant 1 supplied components for the M26 Pershing heavy tank series that were built at the Fisher Tank plant in Grand Blanc, MI.


It also supplied parts for the M4 Sherman tank.


This M10 tank destroyer has components manufactured by Cleveland Plant 1.


M5A1 Stuart tanks built by Cadillac included parts from Cleveland Plant 1.

Gun Components 
Fisher Body Cleveland Plant 1 supplied parts for several types of guns as show below.


Parts made at Fisher Body Cleveland Plant 1 were shipped to the Grand Rapids, MI Fisher Body plant to be included in the assembly of 90mm anti-aircraft guns.


Breeches for the  three inch naval guns were built by the Fisher Body Die and Machine plant in Detroit, MI.  Some of the components for the breech assemblies came from Cleveland Plant 1.


155 MM cannon parts were provided by the plant.

Torquematic Transmission Components
Torquematic transmissions were built by the Detroit Transmission Division of General Motors.  The Torquematic transmission was used in both the M18 Hellcat tank destroyer and the M26 Pershing heavy tank.  Fisher Body Cleveland Plant 1 supplied parts for the transmissions that were used in these two vehicles.


The M18 "Hellcat".


The Torquematic transmission in the M18.


A Fisher Body Grand Blanc, MI tank plant built M26 Pershing tank with a Torquematic transmission.

Diesel Engine Components
Fisher Body Cleveland Plant 1 provided large machined crankcases for the neighboring Cleveland Diesel Division of General Motors, which made marine engines for use in submarine, destroyer escorts, and other types of ships during WWII.


The USS Cod in Cleveland has Cleveland Diesel engines in it.


A Cleveland Diesel engine is being installed in a submarine during WWII.

 

 

 

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