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   Serial Numbers for WWII Tanks built by 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   GMC   GMI   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 and Implement Manufacturers:   American LaFrance   Autocar  Diamond T   Caterpillar   Clark Equipment Company   Cleveland Tractor Company   Federal Motor Truck   International Harvester    Mack Truck
   Marmon-Herrington Company   Massey-Harris   Pacific Car and Foundry  Reo Motor Car Company   R.G. LeTourneau   Seagrave Fire Apparatus   Ward LaFrance Truck Corporation   White Motor Company

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


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Surviving Fisher Body Plants - General Motors Corporation in World War Two
Memphis, TN

It is one of those rare twists of fate that allowed this former Fisher Body Plant to continue to exist long after it was built previous to World War Two while most of the other Fisher Body plants have been torn down.  That is because Fisher Body no longer needed it and it became a paper making plant, as it still is today.

Fisher Body originally owned the plant as far back as the early 1930s to provide hardwood which was available in abundance in the area for the wooden bodies it was building at the time.  With the coming of war to the United States in December of 1941 the plant was converted to aircraft parts war production and expanded to 700,000 square feet, at which time the government, having paid for the expansion and the new equipment of the plant, bought the facility.  However, Fisher Body continued to manage and operate the plant during the war making B-25 and B-29 parts and assemblies.  When the war was over, the plant was not needed by Fisher Body as wood was no longer used in the manufacture of automobile bodies, and the War Assets Administration put it up for sale. The plant was purchased by Kimberly-Clark and converted to a paper plant, which it still is today.  The current owner is Kruger KTA USA manufacturing White Cloud products.

The Fisher Body Memphis Plant was awarded the Army-Navy "E" for Excellence Award four times for its excellent work during the war.


This is how the plant looked during WWII.

In the past seventy years since the end of WWII the plant has undergone numerous expansions and changes, making it difficult to determine where the original structure was.  This shows what can be seen of the facility looking east from the north end of Minnie Street.   Author's photo taken in August 2015.

This is looking east again further south on Minnie Street and gives the best view of the plant.  Author's photo taken in August 2015.

This is the southwest comer of the building along Pear Avenue.  Author's photo taken in August 2015.

Looking down the side of the plant along Pear Avenue.  Author's photo taken in August of 2015.

This is the only known photo of the Fisher Body Memphis plant during WWII and show an automobile style production line making wing sections for the B-25.  The parts when complete and assembled in the wing were sent to the North American B-25 assembly plant in Fairfax, KS. 

This is the right vertical stabilizer for the B-25 being riveted as it comes down the assembly line.  The rudder being stitched in the photo below attached to this and turned the aircraft right or left.
 Photo added 12-25-2016.

Building a B-25 Mitchell bomber takes many skills.  Here two young ladies are sewing the fabric on the right rudder for the B-25.  During WWII many of the control surfaces on the trainers, fighters, transports and bombers were fabric covered.  All needed to be hand stitched to the framework underneath.  This was tedious but important work.  Making these components was extremely time consuming.  Photo added 12-25-2016.




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