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  


Producing More for Victory   One Million Browning Machine Guns   Toward Victory
General Motors Corporation in World War Two / WWII
Detroit, MI

This 1942 publication is references some of the work being done at the various divisions on how they have improved production of war goods through automotive mass production techniques.  While today mass production and assembly lines are taken for granted, they were still new and not used in many industries at the start of WWII.  Actually World War Two for the US brought these methods to industries like ship building and aircraft assembly where they had not had the needed volume to use them before.  Also material substitution is mentioned as a way to conserve limited raw materials.  In researching all of the WWII auto makers they all used the methods described below.  Luckily General Motors was a lot better about publicizing what it did in these areas so we could read about it 70 years later.

"General Motors Progress in Military Technology"


Listed below page 12 are the products above with the GM Divisions that made them during the Second World War.

When this was published late in 1942 GM had 341,469 employees on the payroll.

  • Allison Aircraft Engines - This is obvious with the Allison Division in Indianapolis, IN.

  • Army Trucks - Chevrolet in Flint, MI and GMC in Pontiac, MI.  It made 2/3 of all of the heavy trucks during WWII.

  • Airplanes - Eastern Aircraft Division built Grumman FM-1 and FM-2 Fighters at Trenton, NJ and Grumman TBM Torpedo Bombers at Trenton, NJ.  Fisher Body built a few XP-75 and P75As in Cleveland.  This totaled over 13,000 aircraft.

  • Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engines - Chevrolet in Tonawanda, NY and Buick in Melrose Park.  Along with Allison the three divisions made 25% of all of the aircraft engines in the US.

  • Machine Tools - Fisher Body

  • Bearings - Hyatt and New Departure

  • Generators and Regulators - Delco-Remy and Rochester Products

  • Diesel Engines for Tanks, Trucks and Ships - GM had three Diesel Divisions.  Electromotive in LaGrange, IL built large locomotive size diesels that were used to power the Landing Ship Tank (LST) type ships.  Cleveland Diesel in Cleveland, OH had smaller diesels that were used in submarines, tugboats and destroyer escorts.  Detroit Diesel in Detroit, MI supplied the engines that went in trucks, tanks and small landing craft.

  • Tank Gun Mounts - Fisher Body

  • Anti-Aircraft Gun Mounts - Buick

  • Airplane Propellers - Aeroproducts and Frigidaire

  • Cartridge Cases - Buick, Guide Lamp and Oldsmobile

  • Airplane Fuel Pumps -  AC Sparkplug

  • Electric Motors - Delco Appliance and Delco Products

  • Tanks - Buick, Cadillac, and Fisher Body

  • Airplane Wings and Parts - Fisher Body

  • Anti-Aircraft Guns - Fisher Body and Pontiac

  • Fire Control Equipment - Unknown

  • Airplane Instruments - Fisher Body

  • Aircraft Cannon - Oldsmobile

  • Automatic Pilots - Delco-Remy

  • Batteries - Delco-Remy

  • Shells and Shot - Buick, Chevrolet, Delco Products, Delco-Remy, Fisher-Body, Moraine Products and Oldsmobile

  • Tank Cannon - Oldsmobile

  • Ambulances - Chevrolet

  • Blackout Lamps - Guide Lamp

  • Fuses for Shells and Bombs -  Delco Products

  • Marine Electrical Equipment - Delco-Remy

  • Oil Coolers and Radiators - Harrison

  • Carbines - Inland

  • Aviation Spark Plugs - AC Sparkplug

  • Machine Guns - AC Sparkplug, Brown-Lipe-Chapin, Frigidaire and Saginaw Steering

  • Radio Receivers - Delco Radio

  • Airplane Landing Gears - Delco Products and Fisher Body

  • Armored Cars - Chevrolet

  • Naval Gun Housings -  Fisher Body

  • Parachute Flares - Unknown

  • Gun Motor Carriages - Buick and Cadillac




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