"Producing for War
Preparing for Peace"
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in World War Two / WWII
1900-Present (Since 1988 as
part of Bridgestone)
Headquarters are now in Nashville, TN
This page updated 3-16-2017.
The Firestone Rubber and Latex plant in Fall
River, MA won the Army-Navy "E" Award three times.
The Firestone Park plants in Akron, OH won the Army-Navy "E" Award three
Firestone Textiles, a subsidiary of the Firestone Tire and Rubber
Company in Bennettsville, SC won the Army-Navy "E" Award once.
Firestone Tire and Rubber's
World War Two Products: As can be seen below, Firestone
was prolific and varied in the products made for the US Armed Forces
Firestone Tire and Rubber's
World War Two Product Statistics: 7,762 barrage balloons,
600,000 bullet proof fuel and oil cells, 24,500 drop tanks, 2,250 C-46
wing sets (3,198 C-46s built), 1,277,000 aircraft oxygen cylinders,
82,283 tank and half track tracks.
Artillery shells, aluminum kegs
for food transport, 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft gun mounts and carriages, plastic helmet
liners, aircraft rocket launcher tubes, barrage balloons, aircraft drop
tanks, Bakelite stocks for Browning Automatic Rifles, tires, rubber
tires for tank road wheels, Mae West life vests, self-sealing aircraft
fuel and oil tanks, bomb casings, M1926 flotation belts, gas masks, .50
machine gun links, aircraft oxygen tanks, rocket motor boxes, M5 tank
turrets, rockets, C-46 wing panels, aircraft, tires, wheels and brakes, pilot
seats, tank tracks, submarine parts, pontoons, life rafts, crash pads
for tanks, and Duplex Drive kits for M4 Sherman tanks, aircraft
pressure-sealing bushings, aircraft tire bead loosening tool, army
parkas, batteries, tire beadlocks, tire bead wedge rings, brake linings,
bullet resistant tubes, camouflage bands, channel rubber, clothing bags,
delousing bags, engine mounts, fan belts, flotation bladders, friction
tape, gaskets, gun recoil mechanism seals, landing boats, masking tape,
molded rubber parts, motorcycle tires and tubes, oxygen nurse bags,
oxygen masks, plastic lenses for gas and oxygen masks, plastic
screening, pontoons for bridges, raincoats, rescue boats, rubber caster
wheels, rubber band tracks for half-tracks, rubber hose, rubber tape,
spark plugs, synthetic foamed latex, tire and tube repair material,
torsion bearings, track link bushings, 60mm mortar base, aircraft rivet
cement, aircraft parachute seat cushions, air-spring landing gear
struts, glider wheels, mooring anchors and buoys, parachute rafts,
pneumatic lifting bags, propeller anti-icers, repair kits for floatation
gear, eye guards for gun sights, marine transmission parts, mine seals,
plane tending barges, seadome contact lighting buoys,
Firestone had nine plants in Akron during
WWII. Products coming out those plants were tires, aircraft wings,
industrial products, steel products, 40mm AA gun mounts and carriages,
barrage balloons, Butaprene N, molds and machinery. and rubber reclaim.
Fuel cells were made at nine plants located in
Memphis, TN, Compton, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Pasadena, CA, Santa Ana, CA,
New Castle, IN, Coshocton, OH, Zanesville, OH, and Dallas, TX.
The Atlanta, GA plant also built aircraft
wings, while Memphis also made raincoats, and Indianapolis assembled
A complete listing of Firestone's US and international plants during
WWII is included in "Producing for War Preparing for Peace."
See the link at the top or bottom of this page.
Firestone's signature war product, 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun
mounts and carriages. The actual guns were produced by another
Barrage balloons were also built by
Firestone in Akron.
Firestone, Aircraft Fuel Cells, and the
B-29 "Enola Gay"
Firestone Tire and Rubber built a plethora of
products in support of the effort during WWII. One of the many
products were fuel cells for military aircraft. Nine Firestone
plants produced aircraft fuel cells during the war. Coshocton, OH
built fuel cells for the B-24, B-29 and P-38.
The B-29 "Enola Gay" was the first aircraft
to drop an atomic bomb, and hastened the end of WWII. Author's
photo added 2-20-2017.
The Glenn Martin Aircraft Company at its
Omaha, NE plant built the B-29 "Enola Gay" along with the rest of the
Silverplate nuclear bombers. Part number 606 is a Firestone built
1,387.5 gallon main wing fuel tank. Part number 607 is a
Firestone Coshocton, OH built 1,436.5 gallon auxiliary wing fuel tank.
There were two of each in the B-29. Photo added 2-20-2017.
Photo added 2-20-2017.
Inside the wings on the "Enola Gay" are four
Firestone built fuel cells. They are located between the outboard
engines and the fuselage. Author's photo added 2-20-2017.
The first Firestone fuel cell was for the
North American P-51A. Author's photo added 3-16-2017.
The Coshocton, OH Firestone plant also built
450 gallon auxiliary fuel tanks for the B-24 Liberator bomber. The
plant employed 1,200 persons during WWII. Author's photo
Firestone Coshocton also built the auxiliary
fuel tanks for the P-38. Author's photo added 2-20-2017.
This is a fuel cell in a B-17 wing under
restoration at the Museum of the United States Air Force. Author's
photo added 3-16-2017.
Firestone also built fuel cells for the
Convair B-36. Author's photo added 3-16-2017.
Firestone in its Atlanta plant built wings
for the PB4Y Navy patrol bomber. Author's photo added 3-16-2017.
Author's photo added 3-16-2017.
The USS Cod is on display at the
Cleveland, OH waterfront during the summer months. While there are
many references to Firestone built 40mm Bofors mounts and carriages for
use by ground forces, the USS Cod has an example of a Firestone Bofors
mount that the US
Navy utilized. Author's photo.
The Firestone built 40mm mount on the USS
Cod is 45 miles from where it was built in Akron. Author's photo.
A Firestone built 40mm Bofors mount and
carriage can be
seen at the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes, IN. Author's
Of interest in the photo are the three
tubes. These were the initial rocket launchers used by the US Army
Air Forces during WWII. This one was built by Firestone, and is on
display at the MAPS air museum at the Akron-Canton Airport.
In period photos of WWII, the three tubes
are normally seen mounted under the wings of P-47 Thunderbolts.
Later the tubes were replaced by zero launch rails, as the technology
progressed. Author's photo.
Firestone built drop tanks for US fighters.
Author's photo from the MAPS Museum.
These are 110 gallon tanks.
Firestone Steel Products was located in
Akron, OH; and in peacetime, built tire rims. Author's photo.
The Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) brought
portable automatic fire down to the squad level during WWII.
Originally the stocks were made of black walnut like the handgrip.
Shortages of black walnut lead Firestone to make them out of a combination of Bakelite, Resinox, and shredded fabric. They were
then sandblasted to reduce glare. Author's photo.
The stocks were made at the Firestone Rubber and Latex plant in Fall River, MA. The plant
won the Army-Navy "E" award three times during WWII. Author's
On March 21, 1942 the US Army approved the
Firestone produced plastic stock for use in the BAR. This
particular weapon is on display at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic
Beach, NC. Author's photo.
This M24 Chaffee is one of several tanks on
display at the First Division Museum in Wheaton, IL. Author's
Like many of the tanks of WWII, this one has
Firestone built bogie wheels. Author's photo.
Firestone Tire and Rubber in Los Angeles, CA
also produced 1,550 turrets used M5 and M5A1 Stuart tank built by the
Southern California Division of General Motors in South Gate, CA.
It also provided the 3,100 tank tracks required. Author's photo.
A Firestone produced turret on display at
the South Gate General Motors Tank Arsenal in 1942. Photo added
Firestone tank tracks. Photo added
Halftracks were one of the many recipients
of heavy duty military
truck tires produced by Firestone in Memphis, TN.
Firestone also bonded rubber pads to steel halftrack and tracks.
Bomb casings were another product of
Firestone. Author's photo.
Bomb casings ready for shipment at
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
produced many oxygen tanks for aircraft. These can be seen inside
the B-29 "Command Decision" at the National Museum of the US Air Force.
2,250 Curtiss C-46 Commandos had Firestone
built wings. Author's photo.
Plastic helmet liners were molded by
Firestone. Author's photo.
Helmet liners went into the M1 steel
helmet. The helmets, sometimes called "steel pots," and
their Firestone liners
were still used through the end of the Vietnam War.
This is a Mae West life jacket similar to
the ones Firestone manufactured. Several companies produced them
during WWII. Author's photo taken at the Freeman Field Army Air
Field Museum in Seymour, IN.
Post WWII Military Products
Firestone built 1,100 Corporal Missiles after World War Two. This
one is one display at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and
Space Museum in Chantilly, VA. Author's photo.
This section added 2-7-2017.
"Producing for War, Preparing for Peace"
Below are the seven pages from
this 34 page booklet pertaining to the products Firestone made during
WWII. See the link at the bottom of this page to view the full 34
full 34 page version of "Producing for War Preparing for Peace"