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

 

Frigidaire Division of General Motors - Dayton, OH
1916-1979
Rest in Peace
Frigidaire was sold by GM to White Sewing Machine in 1979. 

This page updated 11-30-2014.


Frigidaire Division of GM World War Two / WWII Production Numbers / Statistics:  (363,000) .50 Caliber Browning M2 Machine Guns, (1,000,000) spare .50 Caliber Machine Gun Barrels - First Contract was in June of 1941.  Frigidaire engineers made over 500 design and manufacturing changes and reduced the cost of the machine gun to 25% of the original cost using mass manufacturing techniques.  Chambering of one million FP-45 "Liberator" pistols to .45 caliber.

(21,263) three blade Hamilton Standard Propellers for the C-47, B-17, B-24, PB4Y and C-87.  (54,737) four Blade Propellers for the B-29 and P-47.

Frigidaire also built components for both three and four bladed Aeroproducts propellers, which was another GM Division located in nearby Vandalia, OH.  These propellers were installed on the Bell P-39 and P-63.  Components supplied by Frigidaire were the blades, hub, regulator assembly, blade thrust member and other parts.

Various components including the long range fuel tanks for the famous Doolittle Raiders' B-25s, components for the Hispano-Suiza 20mm aerial cannon, diesel cylinders and heads the Cleveland Diesel Division of GM that were installed in Sub Chasers, carburetor bodies for radial aircraft engines, 20mm Oerlikon cannon parts and millions of .50 caliber bullet cores.

For a more complete story on Frigidaire's contribution to victory in WWII, see its 1944 publication "Frigidaire at War" farther down this page.  It is one of the best of the GM publications from the war showing its products and how they were made.

Frigidaire won the Army-Navy "E" Award two times.


Frigidaire built Hamilton Standard propellers under license for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress in World War Two.  Here the world's last flying B-29, "Fifi", of the Commemorative Air Force, taxies into her spot at the Dayton Airshow in 2013.  The Frigidaire props have come home.  Author's photo.


Author's photo.


An undated aerial photo of the Frigidaire complex.  As it is color it is probably post WWII.


Going to work at Frigidaire to help win the war.


One of many B-25s that came to Ohio in 2012 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid.  Frigidaire made B-25 parts and for the Doolittle Raid provided the long range fuel tanks.  Author's photo.


Frigidaire also built Hamilton Standard four bladed props for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.  The eight .50 M2 aircraft machines seen here were also produced by Frigidaire.  Author's photo from the 2014 Thunder over Michigan Airshow.  Added 11-30-2014.


Many of the famous Boeing B-17s not only had Frigidaire built propellers, but bristled with .50 caliber M2 machines but by the Division.  Author's photo taken at Purdue University in August of 2013.  Added 11-30-2014.


Frigidaire was one two automakers supplying propellers for the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.  Author's photo from the 2014 Thunder over Michigan Airshow.  Added 11-30-2014.


Frigidaire made many components for the Aeroproducts four bladed prop on this Bell P-63, including the blades, hub and regulator assembly.  Author's photo from the 2014 Thunder over Michigan Airshow.  Added 11-30-2014.


 The North American T-6 trainer had six hydraulic actuators that operated the landing gear and landing gear doors.  Author's photo from the 2014 Thunder over Michigan Airshow.  Added 11-30-2014.


Note that Frigidaire in Dayton, OH was involved in the manufacture of the million FP-45s that were built by chambering the barrels.  This information does not show in the 1944 "Frigidaire at War" shown below as the FP-45 was a secret weapon.  Author's photo taken at the National Museum of the Air Force.


Author's photo.


The .50 caliber M2 machine gun that Frigidaire produced 360,000 of was used extensively on armored and soft vehicles not only as an anti-aircraft weapon but in the anti-personal mode also.  This one is mounted a a Buick M18 "Hellcat" anti-tank gun at the National Military History Center in Auburn, IN.  Author's photo.


Here four of the .50 caliber machine guns can be seen mounted on a M51 Machine Gun Carriage as also photographed at the National Military History Center in Auburn, IN.  The M2 was used everywhere.  Author's photo.

Frigidaire at War
1944
Added 11-30-2014.

 

Below is a 1943 Frigidaire publication intended for new employees.  Only the relevant portions have been used here.  Another informative publication.


 

 

 

 

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