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) 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  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  


 Saginaw Steering Gear Division of General Motors Corporation in World War Two
Saginaw, MI
Rest in Peace

This page updated 1-22-2018.

The Saginaw Steering Gear Plant #1 won the Army-Navy "E" Award three times during WWII.
The Saginaw Steering Gear Plant #2 won the Army-Navy "E" Award three times during WWII.

Plant 2 was constructed for the production of .30 machine guns in March 1941, and was known as the Machine Gun Plant.  The author has been in this plant several times, unaware of its WWII history when there.
In July 1942 Saginaw Steering Gear (SSG) took over management of an unused Chevrolet plant in Atlanta, GA for the production of 37mm shot for anti-tank guns.

Saginaw Steering Gear Division of GM World War Two Production Statistics:  (367,853) 1919A4 .30 caliber machine guns, (44,531) 1919A6 .30 caliber machine guns, (517,213) .30 caliber M1 carbines, (13,377,152)  37mm projectiles, (148,981) 57mm projectiles.  Saginaw Steering gear also manufactured components for the M3 Submachine Gun built by the Guide Lamp Division of GM.  SSG produced bolt assemblies, barrel bushings and barrel collars for the M3.

SSG produced subassemblies for many other military products.  They included subassemblies and components for:  Amphibian trucks (GMC DUKW), Canadian military vehicles (GM of Canada), 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns (Pontiac Motor Division), 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns (Pontiac Motor Division), industrial trucks, industrial cranes, industrial tractors, military aircraft, military road building equipment, Export Reconnaissance Vehicles (Chevrolet Staghound Armored Car), Armored Cars (Chevrolet Staghound Armored Car), diesel engine parts for trucks, tanks and boats (Detroit Diesel Division), Army Tanks (Fisher Body Grand Blanc Tank Arsenal), Army Tank Destroyers (Fisher Body Grand Blanc Tank Arsenal and Buick Motor Division),  Gun Turrets, Army and Navy Supply Vehicles (GMC and Chevrolet).

This Saginaw Steering Gear M1 Carbine was photographed by the author at the 2017 South Carolina National Guard Air and Ground Expo.  It is serial number 18074161.

Serial number 18074161 was part of the original Irwin-Pedersen Arms Company's contracted serial numbers that Saginaw Steering took over at the request of the government.  Author's photo.

Saginaw Steering Gear M1 Carbine Serial Numbers:
Grand Rapids Plant (S'G'):  1,762,520-1,875,039 - This was the set of serial numbers originally assigned to the Irwin-Pedersen Arms Company.
Saginaw Plant(SG):            3,250,020-3,651,519

 This 1919A4 .30 caliber machine gun is on display at the USMC Museum in Triangle, VA.  It is one of the 367,853 1919A4s produced by Saginaw Steering Gear during WWII.  Author's photo.

The serial number on the weapon is 566591.  Author's photo.

This Saginaw Steering Gear built 1919A6 .30 caliber machine gun on display at the Indiana Military Museum is actually a 1919A4 that was converted to the A6 configuration.  It is serial number 280592.  Author's photo added 1-22-2018.

Serial number 508592 is definitely identified as an M1919A4 on the receiver.  Author's photo added 1-22-2018.

Also on display at the Indiana Military Museum is this Saginaw built 1919A4 .30 caliber machine gun.  Author's photo added 1-22-2018.

The receiver on this weapon is more difficult to read but the name "Saginaw" can still be read.  Author's photo added 1-22-2018.

A cutaway of a .30 caliber machine gun used for training purposes during WWII.  Author's photo added 11-16-2017. 

The cutaway gives an excellent view of the internal workings of the .30 caliber machine gun built by the Saginaw Steering Gear Division in WWII.  Author's photo added 11-16-2017. 

The former SSG Grand Rapids carbine plant in February 2017.  The plant has expanded many times since World War Two when SSG produced M1 carbines at this location.  Originally the plant was owned by Irwin-Pedersen Arms Company which was contracted to build the M1 carbine.  However, when none of the first production was accepted by the US Military, Saginaw Steering Gear Division was asked by the government to take over the contract.  SSG produced 112,519 carbines that were part of the original Irwin-Pedersen contract in the plant.  It also produced another 37,499 under its own contract at this location.  The remaining 367,195 carbines were produced in Saginaw.  In 1943 the plant was turned over to the newly formed Diesel Equipment Division, which produced fuel injectors for the Cleveland Diesel, Detroit Diesel, and Electro-Motive Divisions of General Motors.  The author was in this plant on business in 2007, unaware of its WWII connections when there.  Author's photo.

 The north parking lot.  Today General Motors operates the plant.  Author's photo.

"Your Plant and its Products"

The Saginaw Steering Gear Grand Rapids Plant in WWII
This booklet also has excellent information on the Saginaw and Atlanta plants and products during WWII.

Below are some weapons and equipment built by other GM divisions. Saginaw Steering Division supplied components and subassemblies for these weapons.

Pontiac built 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns.  Author's photo.

GMC and Chevrolet both built the GMC DUKW amphibious truck.  This one is on display at the USS Edson in Saginaw, MI.  Author's photo.

The Guide-Lamp manufactured M3 and M3A1 submachine gun.  Author's photo.

A Detroit Diesel engine in a Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) landing craft.  Author's photo.

The Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel. This is the boat the General Eisenhower stated that won the war.  While it was not quite as simple as that, the LVCP was very important in amphibious landings, and at one time made up 97% of the ships in the US navy.  Author's photo.

Buick built M18 Hellcat tank destroyers.  Author's photo.

The Fisher Body Grand Blanc Tank Arsenal built M4A3 Sherman tanks.  Author's photo.

Fisher Body also built M10 tank destroyers at Grand Blanc.  Author's photo added 11-2-2017.

A Chevrolet built Staghound armored car.  Author's photo added 11-2-2017.

GMC and Chevrolet both built the GMC CCKW 2-1/2 ton 6x6 truck.  Author's photo.

This armored ambulance was built by GM of Canada.  Author's photo added 11-2-2017.

For more information on machine gun manufactured by not only Saginaw Steering Gear during World War Two, but also the Frigidaire Division, the AC Sparkplug Division, and the Brown-Lipe-Chapin Division, all of General Motors, go to:  One Million Browning Machine Guns




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