Dodge Trucks in World War Two
Dodge Trucks in Service
with the Polish Army
Chrysler built M4
Chrysler built M4A3
Chrysler built M4A4
Sherman Photos Chrysler
built M3 Lee/Grant Tank Photos
Detroit Tank Arsenal Photos
Chrysler Post WWII
M60 Patton Tank Photos
Chrysler Corporation in World War Two
Rest in Peace!
Last updated 1-8-2017.
Through all of the post WWII turmoil and ups and downs, the name Walter
Chrysler gave to his company always managed to remain, even after two
bankruptcies, in some manner, in the title to the corporation. Until December 16, 2014, when Chrysler Group LLC
announced it was now FCA USA LLC. Also gone are Dodge Trucks,
which played such an important part in the winning of WWII. That
name disappeared in 2010. DDJ 12-25-2014.
The one thing that really stands out about
Chrysler in the Second World War is its diversity of products which were
not related to the core business of building cars and trucks.
While Chrysler is probably most well known for its Tank Arsenal in
Warren, MI on Van Dyke, its aircraft engine plant in Chicago just south
of Midway Airport, and its Dodge Division line of trucks. It also
produced such items as anti-submarine netting, 15-40 man unit cook
troops needed to eat three times a day.) and very important and
difficult processing equipment for the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge,
TN along with airframe components for B-29 bombers, including the "Enola
The Chrysler Tank Arsenal in Warren, MI received the Army-Navy "E" Award on August 10,1942.
It was the first of its kind to be awarded after the Navy and Army
combined their individual awards into one. The Plant added a star
in February of 1943.
Thirteen Chrysler Plants won a total of 37 "E" awards during WWII.
that won the Army-Navy "E" Award during WWII
Airtemp Division, Dayton, OH
Amplex Division, Detroit, MI
Chrysler Motors of California, Los Angeles, CA
DeSoto, Wyoming Plant, Detroit, MI
Detroit Tank Arsenal, Centerline, MI
Plant, (Main and Forge), Detroit, MI
Evansville Ordnance Plant, Evansville, IN
Highland Park, MI
Jefferson Plant, Detroit, MI
Road Plant, Detroit, MI
Castle Plant, IN
Plymouth Plant (Gun Arsenal), Detroit, MI
Arsenal Proving Ground, Utica, MI
Chrysler World War Two / WWII Production Numbers
Manhattan Project U-235 Separation
Equipment - (406) X-100 Type 1, (1,942) X-100 Type 2, (1,418)
X-100 Type 3, (826) X-100 Type 4. These pieces of equipment took
100 railcars to ship from Detroit to Oak Ridge, TN.
(300) A-20 Bomb Chute Assemblies,
(364,871) Bomb Shackles, (568) B-29 Bomber Noses, (559) B-29 Wing
Leading Edges, (4,752) B-29 Bomber Cowling Sets, (1,586) B-26 Nose and
Center Fuselage Sections, (4,100) Douglas B-17 Cockpit
R-3350 Radial Aircraft Engines for the B-29, (688) Flight Station
Cockpits for the Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, (5,500) Gyro Compasses, (10,202) Landing Gear
and Arresting Gear Sets for Chance Vought F4U, (907) Nose Cap
Assemblies, (2,982) Propeller Balancing Stands,
(163,290) Ski Pedestals, (5,669) Wing Center Sections for Curtiss SB2C.
Vehicles - (12,214) Partial Engine Assemblies,
(9,965) Multi Bank M4 Tank Engines, (2,100) 2 Speed Gear Boxes, (2,056)
Grouser Kits, (22,235) Tanks, (3,272) Modified Tanks, (3,694)
Modified Trucks, (1,542) 1/2 Ton 4x2 Trucks, (6,216) 1&1/2 Ton 4x2
Trucks, (72,286) 1/2 Ton 4x4 Trucks, (255,193) 3/4 Ton 4x4 Trucks,
(43,278) 1&1/2 Ton 6x6 Trucks, (15,000) 3 Ton Trucks - China, (20,404),
Fire Apparatus (This assumes these are fire trucks.)
Ammunition and Shot - (485,463,000) .30
carbine rounds of ammunition, (222,000,000) .50 Cores, (2,768,688,000)
.45 rounds of ammunition, (3,000,000) 20mm Practice Shells, (19,933,000)
20mm Practice Balls, 671,446) 3 Inch Shell Forgings, (1,989,801) 20mm
Armor Piercing Shot.
(14,370) Air conditioning and refrigeration
units, (238,109,000) Bearings, (30,095) Single 40mm air cooled Bofors Guns
for the US Army,
(14,442) Dual 40mm water cooled Bofors Guns for the US Navy, (101,232) E48 Incendiary Bombs,
(119,814) Industrial Engines, (21,131) Marine Engines, (62,192) Field
Kitchen Cabinets, (233,118) Field Kitchens, (17,200) Gas and Oil Fired
Furnaces, (29,589) Domestic and Export Water Heaters, (1,994)
Anti-Submarine Nets, (156,585) 20mm Oerlikon Gun Magazine Lever
Assemblies, (9,002) Pontoons, (2,228) Marine Tractors, (328,367)
4.5 Inch Rockets, (1,550) Searchlight Reflectors, (253) Smoke Screens,
(37,932) Cook Stoves, (2,098) SCR-584 Anti-Aircraft Radar Antenna Mounts
and Parabolic Anntenas, (352) Air Raid Sirens,
(8,307,540) Aluminum Forgings.
Pilot tanks - The Chrysler Engineering
Department built 38 different pilot tanks, including the T92 and T-93.
The Chrysler Tank Arsenal in Warren, MI
received the Army-Navy "E" for Excellence Award on August 10,1942.
There were a total of 6,258 M3 tanks built during WWII, with Chrysler
building 3,352 or 53% of the total. It built 17,947 of the M4
Sherman series tanks, or 36% of the total 49,234 built.
The Manhattan and B-29 Projects:
One might consider it very strange to have
as part of Chrysler information on WWII a photo of this replica of the
first atomic bomb dropped during WWII that is located at the US Air
Force Museum. The device used U-235 as its fission matter
and only one was made of this, the second atomic bomb using
plutonium. However, the process to obtain the 132 lbs of U-235
complex and arduous as it had to be separated from the original U-238.
Several processes were developed to accomplish this and one involved
hexafluoride gas and was done in the world's largest
building that was constructed in secrecy at Oak Ridge, TN (The Secret City.)
to separate out the U-235.
The Manhattan Project asked Chrysler to design and
manufacture the miles of nickel tubing needed for the diffusers, nickel
being the only metal resistant to the highly corrosive hexafluoride.
However, there was not enough nickel in the world to make the tubing out
of pure nickel as was specified by the Manhattan Project engineers.
Chrysler engineers found a way to instead to plate the diffusers, which was
considered impossible by the Manhattan Project group due to all of the
small holes and interior surfaces involved. But Chrysler prevailed
and found a way to plate the parts which was also a provided a huge cost
savings. It took 1,000 rail cars to ship the diffusers from the
Chrysler Plymouth Lynch Road Plant in Detroit to Oak Ridge where it was
installed in the huge plant known by the secret number of K-35. It
was a half mile long by 1,000 feet wide. Chrysler's expertise in
engineering and manufacturing was instrumental in ending WWII in August
K-35 at Oak Ridge where the 4,582 Chrysler
X-100 Diffusers were used to separate U-235 from U-238 during WWII.
And last but not least, Chrysler's DeSoto
Division on Warren Avenue in Detroit was the supplier of the forward fuselage section of the B-29
"Enola Gay" which dropped the atomic bomb "Little Boy" made with uranium
from Oak Ridge plant K-35. The name "Enola Gay " above is painted
on the eighteen foot forward fuselage built in Detroit, MI by Chrysler. Author's
photo added 9-22-2015.
There was more to just stamping out the
aluminum sheet metal pieces and then riveting them together with 50,000
rivets to make the fuselage. DeSoto-Warren also assembled all of the
interior of the B-29 nose section, which included four of the eight
miles of wiring in the B-29. The workers shown above are
installing some of the 8,000 parts that went into the construction of
the Superfortress fuselage. The B-29 was the first insulated and
soundproofed bomber and the insulation can be seen in this photo
The fuselage sections were shipped via rail to Omaha using oversized
boxcars, which were foot wider and one and a half foot taller than the
normal boxcar of the period. Photo added 9-22-2015. .
The second nuclear B-29, "Bockscar", showing
several the Chrysler supplied components for this aircraft, which were
the forward fuselage, engine cowlings, wing leading edges and the Dodge
built R-3350 engine. Author's photo added 9-22-2015.
This photo shows the inboard and between the
engine leading edges. Chrysler also supplied a the leading edge
outboard of the outside engines. Chrysler built 568 B-29 nose
sections along with 559 wing leading edge sets and 4,752 cowling sets for
the aircraft. Author's photo added 9-22-2015.
Above is information provided to me courtesy
of Chris Howlett of the UK that he found researching the B-29 for his
new book, The B-29 Manual, which will be published by Haynes in
December of 2015. His information has been invaluable in my research
and shows which auto companies were the major suppliers, including
Chrysler, for the Superfortesses that were built by Martin in Omaha,
NB. Of significance is that Omaha built the Silverplate B-29s, i.e.
"The Enola Gay" and "Bockscar" as noted above. Photo added 9-22-2015.
Photo added 9-22-2015.
This is a SCR-584 anti-aircraft
radar unit. Chrysler produced 2,098 radar antenna mounts and
parabolic antennas; and then installed them in the ten- ton Freufauf
built trailer. The radar antenna mount stowed inside the trailer
for travel. It dropped straight down to where the table and
mannequin are located. Note the cables on the wall have slack in
them, to allow for the up and down movement of the antenna unit.
This photo was taken at the National Electronics Museum in the
Baltimore, MD area, which exhibits a history of the former Westinghouse
Electronics Division (now Northrop-Grumman) located in the area.
Westinghouse installed the electronics within the trailer after
receiving it from Chrysler. Author's photo added 10-7-2016.
The SCR-584 antennas and mounts were
produced in Chrysler's Dodge Main plant. Production started in
April 1943 and concluded in April 1944. Author's photo added
Production during World War Two - Added 1-14-2015
4-1941 to 8-1942
built Wright R975 radial aircraft
6-1942 to 8-1942
Chrysler multi bank. See photos below.
Riveted, hull lengthened for engine
Total M3 Series
||7-1942 to 9-1943
||Chrysler multi bank.
See M4A4 and engine photos below.
||Welded, hull lengthened for engine.
Most of 7,499 M4A4 tanks went to the British under Lend-Lease.
There are 86 of the M4A4s still in existence.
Composite. Cast front welded sides
lengthened for engine
|| 2-1944 to
built Wright R975 radial aircraft
||5-1944 to 6-1945
||Ford GAA V8
||3-1944 to 4-1945
||Ford GAA V8
|M4 Composite Sherman
||8-1943 to 1-1944
built Wright R975 radial aircraft
Composite. Cast front, welded sides. There are four
of the composites still in existence.
|Total M4 Series
3-1945 to 9-1945
||Ford GAF V8
See photos below.
|Total M26 Series
Total Chrysler built tanks
This Chrysler built M3 Lee tank is on
display at the Canadian War Museum. It is serial number 3714.
Note the riveted construction. Author's Photo added 1-8-2017.
The first Sherman Chrysler built and was the sole producer of was
the M4A4. 3033111 as seen here at the Patton Leadership Museum at Fort Knox, KY
was built in September 1943 and was one of the last M4A4s built by
Chrysler as production ended in October 1943. Most of the 7,499
M4A4s were sent to the British under Lend-Lease, as did 3033111, to help
the British replenish its stock of tanks lost at Dunkirk. Due to
American M4 tank loses during the Battle of the Bulge, some of M4A4s
were given back to the Americans by the British and served with the
Some of the M4A4s ended up in the United
States in training units, especially the Desert Training Center at Fort
Irwin, CA, and a limited number served in US
combat roles, mostly with US and Chinese units in Burma.
The tank is misidentified as an M4A2, while at the same time a postcard
in the museum gift shop correctly identifies it as the M4A4.
Author's photo added 9-2015.
Several physical characteristics confirm this
is an M4A4 exclusively built by the Chrysler Tank Arsenal, the first
being the larger distance than normal between the bogey wheels as seen
on other Sherman models. Because the
Chrysler built M4A4 came with the Chrysler designed and built A57 multibank
engine, the rear engine deck had to be lengthened fifteen inches, opening
the distance between the bogey wheels.
Another distinguishing attribute of the
Chrysler built M4A4 is the engine deck, with the radiator cover
extending above the steel plate.
In the photos of the multibank engine below the extended top of the
radiator can be seen that caused this. Author's photo added
The M4A4 was also a small hatch tank and all
7,499 units of this model Sherman had the three piece transmission housing as seen here.
Later versions of the other M4 series tanks went to a large hatch
version, which did not have the protrusions coming out of the glacis for
the hatches for the driver and assistant driver. It is unknown
what exactly happened to the barrel but obviously something did not go
as planned. Author's photo added 9-2015.
During WWII there was a shortage of engines
to power both the M3 Lee and the M4 Sherman tanks. Chrysler developed and built 9,965
multibank engines which were 5 six cylinder engines driving a single
crankshaft. Author's photo from the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in
Auburn Hills, MI.
The engine produced 450 hp from 1,500 cubic
inches of displacement and had lots of low end torque. Note the
top of the radiator extending above the engine. Author's photo.
Here one can see the five distributors for
each of the five engines. In total 7,499 M4A4 tanks and 109 M3A4 Lee
tanks received this
type engine. Author's photo.
Chrysler is well known among WWII historians
for its tank production at the Warren, MI tank arsenal that was located
on Van Dyke Street. One of the several types it turned out at the
arsenal was this M4A3E8 Sherman that was nick named "The Easy Eight"
because of its improved ride. Here are two Chrysler built "Easy Eights".
The nearest one is a M4A3E8(76) armed with a 76mm cannon which was
built in 1943.
The second, marked B31, is a M4A3E8(105) built at
the Warren Tank Arsenal in 1944 and armed with a 105mm howitzer, of
which 2,539 were built.
Author's photo at the Ropkey Armor Museum.
Here is an individual photo of the 76mm Easy
Eight at the Ropkey Armor Museum. Author's photo.
Here is an individual photo of the 105mm Easy Eight at the Ropkey Armor
Museum. Author's photo.
A WWII Chrysler built M26 Pershing Tank as
seen at the Ropkey Armor Museum. This one was built in December of
1944 at the Chrysler Tank Arsenal in Warren, MI. The M26 brought
the very much needed 90mm cannon to the US Tank forces in Europe but was
late getting into combat. The Chrysler built version did not see
WWII combat. Nine hundred and thirty five were built by Chrysler
before the war ended. Author's photo.
Update: This Chrysler built M26 has been
sold to a private collector in Rhode Island and is no longer at the
Ropkey Armor Museum. DDJ 11-19-2015
Here is another view of the M26.
This M4(105) Composite, photographed at Fort
Wayne in Detroit, is interesting in that it is a one of a kind.
Chrysler was the only manufacturer of the M4 Composite and they were all armed with a 75mm cannon, not the 105mm cannon
that is shown here. This M4 Composite was used as the prototype
for the use of the 105mm main gun in the Sherman. The reason it is named a Composite is the front
glacis is cast, and the rest of the hull is of a welded construction.
Author's photo added 4-21-2015.
Here one can see the cast section welded to the rest of the hull which
is constructed of thick plate armor. Author's photo added
This Chrysler built M4A3E8 was built in
August 1944 and is part of a Battle of the Bulge diorama at the First
Division Museum in Wheaton, IL. Author's photo added 11-2-2015.
Here is the 65 ton T92 240mm Howitzer Gun
Carriage built by the Chrysler Engineering Department. It as built
on a Pershing chassis. Photo added 11-3-2015.
The next experimental weapon that the
Chrysler Engineering Department built was an 8in gun on the Pershing
chassis. Photo added 11-3-2015.
Chrysler built 14,442 Dual 40mm water cooled Bofors Guns for the US Navy
under license from the Bofors Company of Sweden during WWII. After
Chrysler engineers set up the manufacturing and assembly techniques
based on the mass manufacturing, the weapon could be assembled in ten
hours. Bofors in Sweden was taking 450 hours. This example is located
at the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge, LA. Author's photo added 9-22-2015.
Chrysler also built 30,095 Single 40mm air cooled Bofors Guns for the US
Army like this one seen here at the Indiana Military Museum in
Vincennes, IN. Author's photo added 9-22-2015.
This is a rare Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, which
was a Navy patrol bomber during the war and built in Burbank, CA.
Chrysler in Los Angeles, CA built 668 flight decks for this type aircraft.
This particular PV-2 is "Attu Warrior". Author's photo.
The Flight Deck of the PV-2 Harpoon" Attu
Warrior" as seen at the Great Georgia Airshow in 2013.
This is a Wright R-3350-23 Duplex Cyclone
engine similar to the 18,413 that Dodge built in Chicago for the B-29
project during World War Two. Author's photo.
The Martin B-26. DeSoto Division of Chrysler built 1,586
nose and center fuselage sections for this medium bomber which were
supplied to the Martin Plant in Omaha, NB. When Martin Omaha
converted to the B-29 DeSoto then produced the B-29 forward fuselage
sections for aircraft. Author's
This is the world's only remaining flying
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver seen here at the 2014 Tico Airshow.
Chrysler built 5,669 of the wing center sections, which is the portion
between the wing folds. Author's Photo.
On the left is a .30 caliber M1 Carbine
round. Chrysler manufactured 485,463,000 of these for the US
military during WWII. However, the real accomplishment was the
manufacture of 2,768,688,000 rounds of .45 ACP rounds like the one seen
on the right. Chrysler did such a good job on making the .45 ACP
round that the government stopped production due to the fact it had too
many and was still using the ammunition in Vietnam. The Chrysler
Desoto plant in Evansville, IN was the sole source of .45 ACP ammunition
during the war. Author's photo.
Author's photo from the Indiana War
In 1944 the Chrysler developed and built
five inverted V-16, 2,500 hp engines at the request of the US Army Air
Force. Author's photo from the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.
Weighing in at 2,430 lbs and displacing
2,220 cu. in, the engine beat the goal of more than one horsepower per
pound of weight and per cubic inch of displacement. Author's
The engine was successfully tested as shown
here in this Republic P-47. Even though it met all of the design
criteria, the new jet engines spelled its doom. However, all was
not lost, as one of the design features that contributed to the success
of the engine were the hemi-spherical shaped cylinders. Today we
know that design feature as the Hemi!
Listed above were 14,370 air conditioning and refrigeration units, all
which had a military need or helped the war effort, such as this blood
serum refrigerator unit produced by Chrysler's Airtemp Division in
Dayton, OH. Air conditioning units were used by US Army Field
Hospitals and in the the manufacture of close tolerance parts.
Also Airtemp refrigerators were used on US Navy vessels to keep the food
stuffs cool or frozen.
"Texas Raiders" is one of five B-17Gs that
are still flying of the original 3,000 that Douglas built.
Chrysler built 4,100 Cockpit enclosures for the Douglas built Flying
Fortresses. Other Douglas B-17s still flying are "Memphis Belle"(
Movie Version), "Fuddy Duddy", "Sentimental Journey" and "Nine-O Nine".
This work was done at its Los Angeles, CA plant. Author's photo.
Also from Airtemp Division of Chrysler was
this cook stove for squad to platoon size units that used gasoline as
fuel. 37,932 of these units were produced at the Dayton, OH plant.
A Dodge WC-52 Weapons Carrier as seen at the
2012 Tico Airshow. Author's photo.
A Vought F4U Corsair. Chrysler built
10,202 Landing Gear for the Corsair. Author's photo.
Chrysler also built 10,202 Tail Hook
assemblies for the aircraft, seen here in the retracted position.
Dodge WC-6 1/2 Ton 4x4 Command and Reconnaissance Car on display in
September 2013 at the MPVA Rally at the Ropkey Armor Museum.
This WC-6 was built on 2-20-1941.
This is the Douglas A-20G that is on display
at the US Air Force Museum. Chrysler built 300 bomb chute
assemblies for this type aircraft.
Seen here is a dual 20mm Oerlikon
anti-aircraft gun located on the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge, LA.
Chrysler built 156,585 Magazine Lever Assemblies that can be seen in
more detail in the following photo. Author's photo.
Chrysler also built 2,228 Marine Tractors or
Sea Mules like the one pictured here to be used as small tugboats inside
harbors which were powered by two Chrysler Marine Engines.