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   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:
  Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
 Updates and Additions  
Links

 

Inland Division of General Motors
Dayton, OH
1918- 1989
Rest in Peace
This page updated 1-24-2017.

Inland Manufacturing Division was formed on January 6, 1923 when General Motors formed the division to produce an automotive steering wheel consisting of an iron spoke covered with a glued on wood veneer, which was a new technology at the time for producing this product.  During WWII steering wheels for military trucks was one of its many contributions to the war effort,  along with control yokes for military aircraft.  The first product of an automotive steering wheel expanded to many others and by the time of its 50th anniversary in 1973 the product line had expanded to 224 products produced by 7,000 employees.

Of special note is the fact that the when the new division started producing its new type steering wheels in 1923 it did so in the buildings previously occupied by the Dayton Wright Airplane Company, and employed many of the same persons that had during WWI built components for 3,500 DeHaviland DH-4 military aircraft that were assembled in Moraine, OH.  The two buildings, called Plant 3 by the Dayton Wright Airplane Company had originally been built by the Wright Brothers in 1910 and 1911. 

When the original Inland complex was razed in the early 21st century, the original Wright Brothers buildings were spared and are being preserved has the historic buildings they are for future generations and will be open to the public at some date in the future.


This is the original Wright Brothers factory at the former Inland Division location that was not razed with the rest of the buildings and awaits restoration for opening as a historic museum.  Author's photo taken in February of 2015 and added 10-21-2015.



Inland Division of GM World War Two / WWII Production Numbers / Statistics:
The .30 caliber Carbine:
The M1 carbine is most identified with the Inland Division and during WWII it produced (1,984,189) M1 Carbines, (140,000) M1A1 Carbines, (500,000) M2 Carbines, and (811) M3(T3) Carbines.

The M1 carbine became a weapon of the US Armed Forces on October 22, 1941 and Inland Division was the first of ten manufacturers to receive an order two months later in November of 1941, and it was one of the only two still producing carbines when the war ended in 1945.  Of the 6,110,730 carbines of all types built during the conflict, it made 2,625,000 or 43% of the total.  Combined with the 517,212 that its sister GM Division Saginaw Steering Gear manufactured, General Motors produced 51% of all of the carbines made.  Inland was the only manufacturer of the M1A1 folding stock, paratroop version, and was one of two companies that made the M2 version with selective fire.  It also was one of two companies that made the M3(T3) carbine with infrared night sight and was the only supplier that made all four types of carbines.  Inland Division of GM truly was the king of the carbine manufacturers!

Inland had the first series and last series of serial numbers issued for the .30 caliber carbine.
 
1 to 5; 11 to 999,999; 2,912,520 to 3,212,519; 4,879,526 to 5,549,921; 6,219,689 to 6,449,867; 6,629,884 to 7,234,883; 7,369,661 to 8,069,660.  Not all serial numbers were used.

Tank Shoes:  (4,000,000)  rubber and metal tank shoes were manufactured by Inland that were then assembled into Tank Tracks.  (As of December 31, 1943 according to the "The Inland Way at War Today" on page 18 below. With almost two more years of war left this would imply that many more were built before the end of the war.)

Tank Tracks:  (142,708) were built during the war.  These would have been able to equip all of the 49,234 M4 Shermans built during WWII.  That is a lot of tank tracks. 

According to
"The Inland Way at War Today" on pages 16-19 below the Tank Tracks were used on light and medium tanks and tank destroyers.  Pictured on page 16 is the M5 Stuart and its sister the M8 Three inch Howitzer Gun Carriage.  The M4 Sherman was the main US medium tank of WWII, while the M10 and M18 Tank destroyers were the two fully tracked types of this built during the war.

Gun sights and Shoulder rests for Oerlikon 20mm anti-aircraft cannons:  (40,000) Gun Sights and (13,688) Shoulder Rests.    These weapons were used as a close in anti-aircraft weapon on US Navy ships.  "The Inland Way at War Today" on page 22-23 below has more information.

M-1 Helmet Liners: (2,000,000)   By the end of December, 1942, Inland manufactured the M1 Helmet liner and then stopped production due to a labor shortage in the Dayton area.  See pages 24-26 in "The Inland Way at War Today" for more.  Also on page 52 below is a copy of the the letter dated March of 1943 from the War Department to Inland explaining the reason for pulling the business.

Clutches: (846,000) of all types.  Pages 20 and 21 of  "The Inland Way at War Today" specifically talks about clutches and other parts for diesel tanks but gives no quantity.  It should be noted that diesel powered tanks were not produced in large numbers during WWII, but Detroit Diesel engines, which was the only type used in American built armor, went into (3,981) Canadian built Valentine tanks, (913) M3 tanks, (8,053) M4A2 tanks and (6,706) M10 tank destroyers, totaling (19,653) armored vehicles with diesel engines.

Pages 32-34 below discuss the Inland Clutch that was used in military truck and page 32 shows a drawing of a well marked GMC 2-1/2 ton 6x6 truck.  (Note that the artist missed putting the double set of wheels and tires on the rear axles.  All GMC's built during the war had four wheels and tires on the rear axles.)  During WWII Chevrolet and GMC built (854,000) gasoline powered trucks for the war effort and Inland clutches would have been used extensively in these vehicles.

Truck Steering Wheels and Brake linings:  Unknown numbers of these were built for Chevrolet and GMC trucks.  See pages 35-36.  Inland Division at this time marketed its brake lining under the trade name Inlite.  Steering wheels, like the clutches, were used on GMC and Chevrolet military trucks.

Rubber Parts:  (68.8 million) various rubber parts for military vehicles, aircraft and ships.  One of the major rubber products were aircraft sparkplug boots that prevented the ignition system from grounding out at high altitudes and low temperatures.  See page 30 below for the whole story.

Fire Extinguisher HornsSee page 27 for the entire story of this imporant product for US Navy ships during WWII.

On December 31, 1943 Inland had 6,339 employees producing 581 different products for the war effort in 756,193 square feet of factory space.

  Inland received its first Army-Navy "E" award on February 2, 1943.  It received its second on August 20, 1943. It won three more awards at unknown dates for a total of five. 




This Inland built M-1 Carbine is on display at the Patton Museum at Fort Knox, KY.  Inland built 2.6 million of these during the Second World War.  Author's photo.


It is hard to see as the photo was taken through Plexiglas but the name Inland is stamped into the receiver just ahead of the sight.  Author's photo.


This Inland built M1 Carbine is on display at Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina.  Author's Photo added 1-14-2017.


The Inland stamp is easier to read than on the previous carbine and is serial number 210736.  Author's Photo added 1-14-2017.


Inland Division of GM built 811 out of the 1,919 T3 infrared carbines during WWII.


This example of an M3 infrared Sniperscope is on display at the Museum of the USMC in Triangle, VA.  Author's photo added 1-24-2017.


Inland made 4 million tank shoes for the war effort and then assembled them into (142,708) tank tracks.  The pins that held the tracks together were manufactured by another GM Division in Dayton, the Delco Products Division.  These are steel shoes and tracks on an M4 tank.  Author's photo.


Inland also made rubber tank shoes as seen here.  Author's photo.


This M4A3 tank was photographed by the author in the square in Bastogne, Belgium and was hit by enemy fire on January 2, 1945.  It went into combat with tracks made in Dayton, OH built by the Inland Manufacturing Division of General Motors.  Author's photo added 1-7-2015.


Inland also assembled tracks for the M5 Stuart series of tanks during WWII.  Author's photo added 1-7-2015.


This M10 Tank Destroyer photographed at the Bastogne Historical Center in Belgium in May of 2008 had a GMC diesel engine that Inland would have supplied the clutch for.  The tracks were supplied by the Inland Division also.  Author's photo added 1-7-2015.


This page from the 1942 GM Annual Report shows Inland Division providing tank tracks for the M10 tank destroyer.  Photo added 2-13-2014.


An authentic World War Two M-1 Helmet or more commonly know as the steel pot. After making over two million of the helmet liners the work was transferred to another location due to a shortage of skilled labor in Dayton.  This occurred in 1943.  Author's photo.


Inside the steel pot was a thermoset and fiber helmet liner as seen here.  Inland made two million helmet liners during WWII.  Author's photo.


On March 5, 1944 Malvin Pike was wearing this M-1 helmet in Europe when it took the bullet strike show here.  The helmet liner cracked and imbedded in Mr. Pike's scalp but the steel pot and liner kept him alive.  The medic that worked on him sent the helmet and liner home for Mr. Pike as he had thrown both in the trash.  Note the rivet heads on the liner to hold the internal webbing in place.  The liners were painted with a friction paint to help keep the steel pot from coming off of it.  As seen at the USS Kidd Museum in Baton Rouge, LA.  Author's photo.


This is a 20 mm cannon as seen on the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge, LA.  During WWII Inland made the rubber shoulder pads for for the gunner for these weapons.  Author's photo.


Author's photo.


Inland supplied parts for Chevrolet 1-1/2 ton 4x4 trucks like this one seen at the 2013 Houston Airshow.   Author's photo added 1-7-2015.


Seen here is a Chevrolet World War Two bomb Truck at the National Automotive and Truck Museum in Auburn, IN.  Author's photo added 1-7-2015.


Chevrolet used four spoke steering wheels supplied by Inland.  Author's photo added 1-7-2015.


Inland also supplied parts for GMC 2-1/2 ton 6x6 trucks like this one seen at the 2014 Columbus Aviation Day Open House.   Author's photo added 1-7-2015.


Specifically Inland supplied three spoke steering wheels like this one for the GM CCKW series of trucks.  Author's photo.


Pictured here is a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial aircraft engine which was used on such aircraft the F4U Corsair, the P-47 Thunderbolt and the F6F Hellcat, to name a few.  Inland sparkplug boot were instrumental in letting these fighters operate at high altitudes.    Author's photo added 1-7-2015.


Inland designed the FP-45 .45 caliber "Liberator Pistol" but the Guide Lamp Division built the weapon.  As seen at the Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH.  Author's photo.


Author's photo.


This fire extinguisher was photographed by the author on the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge, LA.  While this is not a WWII fire extinguisher due to fire regulations it shows the type "horn" that Inland made for the Navy.  This project was considered to be more important than the helmet liner work which was transferred to another location.  Inland got the critical jobs were engineering development was needed.


The next three photos show the now razed Home Avenue Inland plant in Dayton.   Author's photo.


Author's photo.


Author's photo.


"The Inland Way at War Today"
Added 1-7-2015.


Cover.


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Aircraft do no have steering wheels, they have control yokes.  Page 28.


Page 29.


Page 30.


Page 31.


GMC 6x6 trucks had dual tires on the rear axles during WWII, not singles as show here.  However, the artist was 60 years ahead of his time because the 21st US military trucks are now have single tires on the rears.  Page 32.


GMC steering wheels were three spoke and Chevrolet four spoke.  Page 33.


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