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   Saginaw Steering Gear   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:
   B.F. Goodrich    Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
 Updates and Additions  
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  Producing More for Victory   Progress in Technology   Toward Victory
General Motors Corporation in World War Two / WWII

Detroit, MI

1908-Current

"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 Navy aircraft.

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 war.



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.

 

 

 

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