Brown-Lipe-Chapin Division of General
Motors Corporation in World War Two / WWII
(After WWII it became part of Ternstedt Division.)
page updated 10-14-2015.
A Brown-Lipe-Chapin Division initiated
operations for General Motors on January 13, 1936 when it began making
automotive components for GM vehicles being produced on the east coast.
Included were many of the same items then being produced by the
Guide-Lamp Division of Anderson, IN which included headlights, taillights, hubcaps and
bumper guards. With the US military beginning to re-arm,
Brown-Lipe-Chapin took on its first military contract on September 14,
1940 for the Browning .30 Caliber M2 Aircraft Machine Gun.
Brown-Lipe-Chapin was one of three companies in New York that built
193,556 of the .30 M2 until August of 1942 when it was decided a
more powerful weapon was needed for aircraft defense and offense.
Original plans called for the Division to
switch to the .30 caliber water cooled machine gun and tooling had
started when it was decided that Brown-Lipe-Chapin for the rest of the
war to produce the M2 .50 Aircraft Machine gun. Tooling started in
September of 1942 for the new tooling and in March of 1943 the Division
started volume production of the .50 M2 Aircraft Machine Gun. The
last .30 M2 machine gun was came down the line on the 18th of March.
The changeover to the larger caliber gun was complete.
World War Two / WWII Production Numbers / Statistics: A
portion of (193,566) .30 caliber M2 Aircraft Machine guns, (?) .50
caliber M2 Aircraft Machine guns and .30 M1 carbine barrels.
Brown-Lipe-Chapin Division won the Army-Navy
"E" Award three times.
The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was the last of
the US Navy's dedicated dive bombers, and the last aircraft with rear
protection provided by Browning .30 caliber M2 aircraft machine guns.
Author's photo from the 2014 Tico Airshow.
The .30 M2 had a rate of fire of 1,000
rounds per minute that was twice the the rate of fire of the infantry
version of the weapon. It was also one third lighter.
The last .30 M2 machine gun came off
the assembly line at Brown-Lipe-Chapin on March 18, 1943. Author's
This was not to be. After six
months of tooling effort in 1942 this weapon was cancelled before it
went in to production with Brown-Lipe-Chapin. Author's photo from
the US Army Basic Combat Training Museum at Fort Jackson, SC.
The first .50 caliber M2 aircraft
machine guns started coming off the Brown-Lipe-Chapin assembly lines in
March of 1943 with a production rate three times of the previous weapon.
The .50 M2 was used extensively on US WWII aircraft and this photo
demonstrates its diverse use on B-25 "Old Glory". One can see two
"cheek guns along with two fixed and one flexible gun in the glass nose.
The top turret has another two. Author's photo from the 2012
Doolittle Reunion gathering at Urbana, OH.
"Georgie's Gal" is armed in a similar
manner. Author's photo from the 2013 Doolittle Reunion gathering
at Urbana, OH.
An excellent example of using both the
.30 and .50 aircraft flexible machine guns built by Brown-Lipe-Chapin in
World War Two is this this Army Air Force's version of the Consolidated
PBY Catalina, the OA-10A. This example at the National Museum of
the US Air Force has two each of the different type machine guns.
The Navy's PBY versions would be similarly armed. Author's photo
The nose turret had one .30 flexible
machine gun. Note the offset aiming site. Author's photo
The aircraft also had side blisters armed
with one .50 M2 aircraft machine gun eahc. Author's photo added
This close-up of the side blister shows how .50 M2 machine guns built by
Brown-Lipe-Chapin would be mounted in the aircraft. When not in
use the machine gun folded back inside and the Plexiglas blister rolled
over the opening. Author's photo added 1-4-2015.
In the back of the full is this tail or
"stinger" gun. Yet another application for the .30 Brown-Lipe-Chapin
flexible aircraft machine gun. Author's photo added 1-4-2015.
Brown-Lipe-Chapin Division built
barrels for the WWII M1 Carbine. Author's photo from the Patton
Museum at Fort Knox, KY.
Division, General Motors
Corporation "Goes to War"
Below are selected pages from the
1944 publication by the Division on its participation in WWII.
Shown here are its pre-war products and the
first weapon it built, the M2 aircraft machine gun.
This page shows the "E for Excellence"
award. The Division would not have been able to print this unless
it won the award.