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)AC Spark Plug   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   Cummins Engine Company   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  


Packard Electric Division of General Motors Corporation in World War Two / WWII
Warren, OH
(As Delphi Packard) 
Despite all the changes and consolidations of GM and then Delphi Divisions that Packard became part of, it has still maintained its identity.

This page updated on 4-28-2014

Packard Electric Division World War Two / WWII Production Numbers / Statistics:  Electrical cable (wire) from Packard Electric was used for the wiring a multitude of military applications during the Second World War.  Electrical wiring is ubiquitous.  It is used everywhere there are electrical circuits, but it is usually never given much thought as it is never seen.  There was a considerable amount of engineering and manufacturing expertise needed to get the correct electrical insulation for the military application.  Packard Electric was able to provide that expertise for the war effort.  Packard cable was used in land vehicles, aircraft, ships, engines and various military instruments and electrical equipment.  It should be noted that WWII was previous to the invention and use of the circuit board.  Electrical equipment all used point to point wiring that needed copious amount cable and wire to make it work.

It should be noted from pages 5-6 of the "Background for Victory" below that in July of 1943, Packard Electric took over the Sunlight Division of GM, and assumed responsibility for the manufacture of autosyn motors.  These are also known as slo-syn motors and one widely used application was the remote control of many anti-aircraft aircraft guns by a sight remote gun sight.

Packard Electric Division won its first Army-Navy "E" award on September 12, 1942, with the presentation on October 7th of that year.  It won three more awards for a total of four.
The next year Plant 4 of the Packard Division won its own "E" award on October 16, 1943.  The the plant was awarded two more awards for a total of three.

Packard Electric was one of seventeen GM Divisions that was involved and supplied parts for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress during the Second World War. The B-29 was the most expensive of the wartime projects taken on by the US, and combined with the second most expensive Manhattan Project, ended the war with the dropping of the atomic bombs.  Packard supplied high altitude ignition cable for the B-29 engines.  No doubt its wring was used in much of the on board electrical and electronic equipment also.  Author's photo from the 2013 World War Two Weekend  Airshow.

In the 1942 General Motors annual report it was noted that Packard Electric was supplying wiring assemblies for the Cadillac built M-5 tank.  It is also shown along with other land vehicles on page 20 of "Background for Victory" below.  Author's photo from the 2013 Thunder over Michigan Airshow.

This is an example of the Wright R-3350 radial aircraft engine that powered the Boeing B-29.  Note the sparkplug wires coming out of the main wiring conduit and then making their way to each of the eighteen cylinders.  Each cylinder on an aircraft engine has two sparkplugs.  Author's photo from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Author's photo from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

One can see the sparkplug wires on this Allison V-1710 aircraft engine. Author's photo from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The Allison V-1710 with its Packard Electric sparkplug wires was used in several World War Two fighters but the most famous and iconic was the Lockheed P-38 "Lightning".  Author's photo from the 2013 Chino Airshow

On page 21 below of "Background for Victory" the DUKW (Duck) is shown.  One of the outstanding logistical innovations of WWII was this amphibious version of the GMC 2 & 1/2 ton 6x6 truck.  In landing operations it could carry supplies from the ship and deliver them directly to the combat troops in need of them.  Also it was instrumental in cross river landings, especially in Europe.  This DUKW is on display at the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes, IN.  Author's photo.

Ford Motor Company was one of eleven companies that built the M4 Sherman tank during WWII using Packard Electric built wiring harnesses in the final assembly.  This example is one of 1,690 M4A3 Shermans that Ford built.  Author's photo photograph from the WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA.  .

Background for Victory
The Story of Packard Electric against the Axis

The aircraft shown here is a Lockheed B-34/B-37 Bomber which was the US Army Air Force's version of the more numerous PV-1 "Ventura" that the Navy used as a patrol bomber and sub hunter.

The M7 medium tanks are misidentified.  They are actually M4 Sherman tanks, of which over 45,000 were built during the war.  As noted on the page below, Packard Electric was producing 2,700 sets of pre-wired cable harness per month for the M4 Sherman tank.  There were a total of eleven different companies that built the tank.

The next pages show an excellent sample of many of the great US military aircraft and engines from WWII.  This is an aircraft
"Who's Who" from the Second World War.

This and the next page show an excellent sample of many of the great US military aircraft and engines from WWII.  This is an aircraft
"Who's Who" from the Second World War.

Pictured in the lower right hand corner is the Grumman F6F "Hellcat", which shot down more Japanese aircraft than any other warplane in WWII.  During initial testing the engine would cut out at high altitudes.  After being informed by the engine manufacturer, Pratt&Whitney, that there was an ignition wire that would prevent this, Grumman installed the new wire and the problem disappeared.  One has to assume this was the Packard Electric high altitude wire the Division had developed.




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