Steering Gear Division of General Motors Corporation in World War Two
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
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
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.
Saginaw Steering Gear M1 Carbine Serial
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
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.
The serial number on the weapon is 566591.
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
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
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
Below are some weapons and equipment built
by other GM divisions.
Saginaw Steering Division supplied components and subassemblies for
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.
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.
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