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  


General Motors Milford Proving Ground Division of General Motors Corporation in World War Two / WWII
Milford, MI

This page updated on 2-5-2016.
The GM Proving Grounds at Milford, MI, or more commonly known simply as "Milford" to those that work within in General Motors, was an auxiliary test ground to the military's main proving ground at Aberdeen, MD.  Within the 1,000 acres and on the 25.62 miles of test track of the period, Milford tested over 900 military vehicles from all manufacturers to make sure they would perform as needed in the combat zones during the Second World War.  For this work it received the Army-Navy "E" award five times.

The GM Proving Grounds not only received the Army-Navy "E" Flag but also four stars on it.  Below are the letters relating to the fourth star and the work Milford did during the Second World War.

In this letter dated February 24, 1945, Robert P. Patterson, Under Secretary of War, informs the employees of the GM Proving Grounds they have just earned their fourth star.

In this letter dated May 26,1945,  Brigadier General W.P. Boatwright of the Detroit Ordnance Department, congratulates Milford Proving Ground on its four "E" star and specifies the accomplishments of the Proving Ground to date.  This included 1,500 test projects on 900 combat vehicles.

This map shows the layout of the General Motors Milford Proving Grounds during the Second World War.  The layout has changed significantly since the end of the war with there now being 4,000 acres and 130 miles of roads and test track.

The main gate during WWII.

Here are a few of the 900 vehicles Milford tested during World War Two.  The vehicle on the far right of which just a small portion can be seen appears to be an M5 tank produced by Cadillac.  Next there are four M4 Sherman tanks which within the US auto industry were built by Fisher Body Body Division of GM, Ford and Chrysler.  There were eight other companies that also produced the Sherman.  The next two vehicles to the left are Chevrolet built "Stag Hound" armored cars built for the British Commonwealth forces.  To the left of them is either a Ford built M8 or M20 armored car, with the last two vehicles looking to be a truck and possibly a half track.

This Fisher Body Grand Blanc, MI built M4A2(76)HVSS is similiar to other Grand Blanc built tanks that were tested at the Proving Grounds.  It can be seen outside the Beatty Street Drill Hall in Vancouver, BC.  It was one of 7,508 M4A2s built by Fisher Body.  Photo courtesy of David Jackson, Jr.

The original 1,000 acres was picked for its location with rolling hills and flat open spaces, all needed for proper testing of vehicles.

Coming up the 25% Gravel Hill which was part of the durability course is a M26 "Pershing" heavy tank.  Both Fisher Body Division of GM and Chrysler built the M26.

During an open house for the employees' families this Studebaker "Weasel" puts on a display.

This is the 25% grade concrete hill at the GM Proving Grounds.

Here is a Chevrolet built T17E1 Armored Car at the Milford Proving Grounds on June 10, 1943.

This GMC (Yellow) built T18E2 Boarhound was photographed Milford on January 19, 1943.




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