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  


Guide Lamp Division of General Motors in World War Two / WWII
 Anderson, IN
1906- 1984
Rest in Peace

Updated on 3-27-2015.

Guide Lamp was one of two GM Divisions located in Anderson, IN.  Its core product lines before and after the war were headlights and tail lights for General Motors vehicles.

Guide Lamp won the Army-Navy "E" award on September 9, 1942  and added stars on May 15, 1943 and December 7, 1943.  It added two more stars of unknown dates for a total of five Army-Navy "E" awards.

Guide Lamp World War Two / WWII Production Numbers / Statistics:  (8,500,000) total of headlamps, tail lamps, dome lamps, blackout lamps and signal lamps;  (3,400,000) Stimsonite reflector units;  (22,000) Bell Aircraft P-39 Airacobra spinner noses; (1,000,000) water jacket sleeves for Allison aircraft engines;  (36,750,000) cartridge cases for 37mm, 40mm, 90mm and 105mm constructed of both brass and steel;  (1,600,000) .50 caliber Browning machine gun barrels;  (682,163) complete M3 and M3A1 submachine guns.

The M3 Submachine Gun: 
1943 - 85,130 M3
1944 - 343,372 M3
1945 - 178,192 M3
1945 - 15,469 M3A1
Total Production of M3 - 606,694
Total Production of M3A1 - 15,469

Not shown in the Guide publication below are the 1,000,000 FP-45 .45 caliber "Liberator Pistols" that it built in three months during 1942 at it was totally top secret.  The 300 women that built them worked in a part of the Guide factory on the west side of Anderson in an area that was completely walled off for security purposes. The workers were sworn to secrecy and even their husbands and boy friends did not know what they were doing. The one shot weapons were supposed to be air dropped to the Resistance in occupied countries during the Second World War but were never used.  Probably as well as a weapon in untrained hands, and even trained hands, can be more dangerous to the user than the target.  In any event with it being so secret it obviously did not end up in the Guide Lamp WWII history.  This was an GM Inland Division design but Guide did all the final assembly, Frigidaire Division of GM chambered the barrels and Saginaw Steering Gear Division of GM made barrel bushings and along with Detroit Transmission Division made barrel collars.  This was a true cooperative effort among the five GM Divisions and a host of other outside sub-contractors.

This photo from World War Two shows a portion of the military headlight production line at Guide Lamp.

 As seen at the Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH.  Author's Photo.

Here is a pristine FP-45 as seen at the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes, IN.  Author's photo.

Even more interesting is the reverse side, which has been cut away.  Author's photo.

The M3 Submachine gun as seen at the World War Two Museum in New Orleans, LA.  Author's photo.

Many of the M3s on display in museums are reproductions.  Not this one as "Guide" can be seen stamped on the magazine receiver.  Author's photo.

This Guide built M3 submachine gun is on display at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis, IN.   Author's photo.

One can see the actual "Guide" stamped on this one as well.   Author's photo.

The lamp above the headlight is what is known as a black-out lamp for driving at night with the headlights turned off.  Having done this once in a training exercise my recommendation is to eat lots of carrots beforehand to improve one's night vision.  I considered myself lucky to have not hit the vehicle in front of me and also to have stayed on the road.  Author's photo.

This is one is a Guide built black-out lamp.  As mounted on a Chevrolet 1.5 ton truck as seen at the 2013 Wings over Houston Airshow.  Author's photo.

The Guide blackout lamp can be seen on the drivers side of the truck.  There was only one per vehicle.  Author's photo.

This 1942 Dodge WC-51 3/4 ton 4x4 truck photographed at the Urbana Grimes Airport in Ohio has a Guide Lamp blackout lamp on it.  Author's photo.

Author's photo.

Author's photo.

Pictured here at the 2014 Spirit of St. Louis Air Show is Diamond T M3 halftrack built during the Second World War.  Author's photo.

The left tail light was manufactured by Guide.  The right was by another manufacturer.  Author's photo.

Author's photo.

Typical of one of the 8.5 million lamps produced by Guide for military vehicles during World War Two.  This on is on an American Bantam built 1/4 ton trailer seen at the 2013 Great Georgia Airshow.  Author's photo.

The Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis, IN has one whole room dedicated to military products built in the state during WWII and since that time.  Here is a Guide built Blackout Lamp.  Author's Photo.

Also on display is this WWII military tractor lamp.  Author's Photo.

This is a nose cone on a Bell P-63 Kingcobra being restored.  This would be very similar if not identical to the 22,000 nose cones that Guide stamped out for the Bell P-39 Airacobra.  While the P-63 was a little bigger aircraft the nose cones may have been the same.  The P-63 is being restored by the Dixie Wing of the CAF and was seen at the 2013 Great Georgia Airshow at Peachtree City, GA.  Author's photo.

Guide built one million water jacket sleeves for Allison V-1710 aircraft engines like this one on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.  Author's photo.

This is an Browning M2 .50 caliber machine as photographed by the author at the US Army Basic Training Museum at Fort Jackson, SC.  Guide made 1.6 million barrels during the Second World War.

Guide's page in the history of American Industry at War
This gives an excellent overview of what Guide Lamp did by those who worked there during the Second World War.








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