Division of General Motors
Rest in Peace
This page updated 1-24-2017.
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
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
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.)
(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
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.
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
(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
Fire Extinguisher Horns:
See 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.
This Inland built M1 Carbine is on display
at Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina. Author's Photo added
The Inland stamp is easier to read than on
the previous carbine and is serial number 210736. Author's Photo
Inland Division of GM built 811 out of the
(1,919) M3 (T3) Infra Red carbines during WWII.
This example of an
M3 (T3) Infra Red carbine is on display at
the Museum of the USMC in Triangle, VA. Author's photo added
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
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.
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
Inland supplied parts for Chevrolet 1-1/2 ton 4x4 trucks like this one
seen at the 2013 Houston Airshow. Author's photo added
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.
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
"The Inland Way at War Today"
Aircraft do no have steering wheels, they
have control yokes. Page 28.
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.