Producing More for
Motors Corporation in World War Two / WWII
"One Million Browning Machine Guns
A Chapter in the
History of General Motors War Production"
This page added 2-19-2015.
This November 1944 pamphlet published
by the General Motors Corporation tells the story of how four GM
component divisions, AC Sparkplug, Frigidaire, Brown-Lipe-Chapin and
Saginaw Steering Gear worked together as a team to produce between 1941
and October 1944, a combined total of one million Browning machine guns.
Included in this total were .50 cal M2 aircraft, .50 cal. M2 heavy
barrel flexible and .30 cal. M1919 A4, A6 and M2 types.
Providing parts and raw material for the one
million weapons were four other GM Divisions; Detroit Transmission,
Guide-Lamp, Moraine Products and Saginaw Malleable Iron.
The thirty-four page document below gives an
excellent look of how General Motors met the challenge to supply the US
military with needed machine guns. Towards the end of the 34 pages
are photos of the applications and uses for Browning machine guns, which
were used on land vehicles, small ships and boats and for all Army and
AC Sparkplug, Frigidaire, Brown-Lipe-Chapin
and Saginaw Steering Gear all won the coveted Army-Navy "E for
Excellence" award for their production of the Browning machine gun.
A fine job indeed by these Divisions.
Production of the machine guns did not stop at
the four divisions in 1944. They went on to produce another
218,837 Brownings before the contracts were terminated at the end of the
General Motors received an "educational
order" for 500 .30 caliber Browning machine guns on May 29, 1940, which
was one of the first or the first of such type orders placed with the
auto industry prior to WWII.
In September of 1940 the War Department
placed a production order with the Corporation for 71,225 Browning
machine guns, which was then divided up among the four assigned
divisions. Saginaw Steering Gear was assigned to produce 20,005
.30 caliber M1919A4 and A6 models, Brown-Lipe-Chapin 9,097 .30 M2 fixed
aircraft types, Frigidaire 19,998 .50 caliber M2 aircraft fixed models
and AC Spark Plug was tasked with building 14,741 and 7,385 heavy barrel
M2 .50 machine guns. Four years later the four divisions had
produced one million of the weapons.
GM of Canada had also produced 20,000
Browning machine guns for the war effort.
Here is a Dodge WC-6/7 or similar type 3/4
ton WC vehicle is being unloaded from the Landing Craft, Mechanized
(LCM). This is a rare photo in that one does not usually see the
WC Type Reconnaissance cars mounted with a .50 caliber Browning.
The LCM was powered by two Gray/Detroit Diesel engines.