The American Automobile Industry in World War Two
An American Auto Industry Heritage Tribute by David D Jackson

Overview      Lansing Michigan in World War Two   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   M36 Tank Destroyers of the American Auto Industry   Serial Numbers for WWII Tanks built by the American Auto Industry   Surviving LCVP Landing Craft    WWII Landing Craft Hull Numbers   Airborne Extra-Light Jeep Photos  The American Auto Industry vs. the German V-1 in WWII   American Auto Industry-Built Anti-Aircraft Guns in WWII   VT Proximity Manufacturers of WWII   World War One Era Motor Vehicles  
Revisions   Links

 Automobile Manufacturers:  American Bantam Car Company   Briggs Manufacturing Company   Checker Car Company   Chrysler Corporation   Crosley Corporation   Ford Motor Car Company   General Motors Corporation   Graham-Paige Motors Corporation   Hudson
Motor Car Company  Nash-Kelvinator   Packard Motor Car Company      Studebaker    Willys-Overland Motors

General Motors Divisions:  AC Spark Plug   Aeroproducts   Allison   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   Vauxhall Motors

 Indiana Companies:  Converto Manufacturing    Cummins Engine Company   Delta Electric Company   Durham Manufacturing Company   Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation   Howe Fire Apparatus   J.D. Adams Company   Magnavox  
Muncie Gear Works   Pierce Governor Company   Ross Gear and Tool Company   Sherrill Research Corporation   Tokheim Oil Tank and Pump Company   Warner Gear   Wayne Pump Company   Wayne Works

Commercial Truck and Fire Apparatus Manufacturers:  American LaFrance   Autocar  
Biederman Motors Corporation   Brockway Motor Company   Detroit General   Diamond T   Duplex Truck Company   Federal Motor Truck   International Harvester   John Bean   Mack Truck   Marmon-Herrington Company   Oshkosh Motor Truck Corporation   Pacific Car and Foundry   Reo Motor Car Company  Seagrave Fire Apparatus   Sterling Motor Truck Company    Ward LaFrance Truck Corporation   White Motor Company

Other World War Two Manufacturers:  
Abrams Instrument Corporation   Air King Products   Allis-Chalmers   American Car and Foundry   American Locomotive   Annapolis Yacht Yard  
B.F. Goodrich   Baldwin Locomotive Works   Boyertown Auto Body Works   Briggs & Stratton   Caterpillar   Centrifugal Fusing   Chris-Craft   Clark Equipment Company   Cleveland Tractor Company   Continental Motors   Cushman Motor Works   Crocker-Wheeler   Dail Steel Products   Detrola   Farrand Optical Company   Federal Telephone and Radio Corp.   Firestone Tire and Rubber Company   Fruehauf Trailer Company   Fuller Manufacturing   Galvin Manufacturing   Gemmer Manufacturing Company   Gibson Guitar   Gibson Refrigerator Company   Goodyear   Hall-Scott   Harley-Davidson   Harris-Seybold-Potter   Herreshoff Manufacturing Company   Higgins Industries    Highway Trailer  Hill Diesel Company   Huffman Manufacturing   Indian Motorcycle   Ingersoll Steel and Disk   John Deere   Kimberly-Clark   Kohler Company   Landers, Frary & Clark  Lima Locomotive Works   Lundberg Screw Products   Massey-Harris   Matthews Company   Motor Products Corporation   Motor Wheel Corporation   Novo Engine Company   Otis Elevator   Owens Yacht   Pressed Steel Car Company   R.G. LeTourneau   Shakespeare Company   Simplex Manufacturing Company   St. Louis Aircraft Corporation   St. Louis Car Company   Wells-Gardner   W.L. Maxson Corporation   W.W. Boes Company   Westfield Manufacturing Company   York-Hoover Body Company  
   

 Westfield Manufacturing Company in World War Two
Westfield, MA
1915-2019
2019-Present as Columbia Manufacturing, Inc.

This page added 4-13-2022.

An American Auto Industry in World War Two Special Edition

As early as 1878, the first Columbia bicycles were manufactured in Hartford, MA.  Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Augustus Pope, who had a vision of marketing the newly popular bicycle, negotiated with the Weed Sewing Machine Co. about building bicycles rather than importing them. Only a few months later the first bicycles, a replica of an English bicycle, began production in Hartford, Connecticut. Through a number of acquisitions and moves, the Pope Manufacturing Co. consolidated its manufacturing into a plant in Westfield, Massachusetts. In 1915 the Pope Manufacturing Co. filed for bankruptcy. The company was reorganized and renamed, The Westfield Manufacturing Company.   Throughout a number of subsequent bankruptcies and name changes over the years, the company now called Columbia Manufacturing Inc. has never ceased production for any extended period of time; and the company that exists today is a direct descendant of the original Pope Manufacturing Co.  The company now makes classroom furniture.

 


Westfield Manufacturing Company won the Army-Navy "E" Award three times during World War Two.

Westfield Company World War Two Production:  Westfield is best known for its production of Columbia brand bicycles during World War Two.  However, Table 1 demonstrates that the company's main product during World War Two was ordnance items for the U.S. Army.  These were primarily shells, rockets, grenades, and fuze parts.  Of the total $8,428,000 in contracts, $7,212,000, or 85.6%, was for ordnance items for the Army.  The other $1,216,000, or 14.4%, was for bicycles and parts.  While Table 2 shows that Army Ordnance accepted 51,195 bicycles, Table 1 shows that the Treasury Department and the U.S. Navy also had placed their own orders for bicycles. 

Table 1 - Westfield Manufacturing Company's Major World War Two Contracts
The information below comes from the "Alphabetical Listing of Major War Supply Contracts, June 1940 through September 1945."  This was published by the Civilian Production Administration, Industrial Statistics Division.
Product - Customer Contract Amount Contract Awarded Completion Date
Shells - Army $98,000 1-1942 7-1942
Shell Parts - Army $245,000 3-1942 12-1942
Shells - Army $287,000 4-1942 9-1943
Bicycles - Army $405,000 7-1942 9-1942
Ordnance Material - Army $550,000 9-1942 8-1943
Grenades -Army $1,059,000 10-1942 5-1944
Rockets - Army $428,000  1-1943 12-1944
Bicycles - Army $80,000  1-1943  3-1943
Practice Shells -Army $224,000 4-1943 10-1943
Bicycles - Treasury $68,000 4-1943 7-1943
Bicycles - Treasury $181,000 5-1954 9-1943
Bicycles - Army $348,000 6-1943 1-1944
Bicycle Parts - Army $73,000 7-1943 1-1944
Practice Shells 37MM - Army $81,000 7-1943 6-1944
Rocket Fin Trap Assys - Army $58,000 1-1944 5-1944
Rocket Tube Assys M6A1 - Army $150,000 1-1944 6-1944
Rocket Pts HE M6A3 $473,000 3-1944 10-1944
Bicycles - Navy $61,000 4-1944 5-1944
Grenade Parts AT M9A1 - Army $298,000 5-1944 10-1944
Fuses PD M48A2 - Army $416,000 5-1944 6-1945
Grenade Parts AT M9A1 - Army $176,000 7-1944 12-1944
Smoke Rocket Pts - T26E2 - Army $319,000 8-1944 1-1945
Rocket Pts  AT H3 M6A3C -Army $1,150,000 10-1944 4-1945
Smoke Rockets WP M10 - Army $172,000 12-1944 4-1945
Rockets AT  HE M6A3C - Army $874,000 1-1945 8-1945
Smoke Rockets M10 - Army $58,000 1-1945 6-1945
Fuze Parts PD M48A2 - Army $100,000 3-1945 7-1945
Total $8,428,000    

 

 Table 2 - Westfield Manufacturing Company Bicycles Accepted by Detroit Ordnance, US Army
The information below comes from "Summary Report of Acceptances, Tank-Automotive Material, 1940-1945."
Published by Army Services Forces, Office, Chief of Ordnance-Detroit, Production Division, Requirements and Progress Branch, January 21, 1946.
Type  Model Number 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Total
Bicycle       19,094 25,417 6,684   51,195

Not included in Table 2 are the number of bicycles built for the Treasury Department and the U.S. Navy.


This 1942 Westfield Manufacturing Company-built bicycle is serial number MG92217.  There were several Army contracts for bicycles and one from the Navy.  According to Table 1, the Navy contract  did not start until April 1944.  If this bicycle was used by the Navy, it would have come from an Army contract or the owner painted an Army bicycle in navy colors.  Author's photo.


Author's photo.


Author's photo.


Author's photo.


This Columbia bicycle is on display at Roberts Armory.  Author's photo.


This is a second Westfield Columbia bicycle on display at Roberts Armory.  Author's photo.


Westfield had eight contracts related to the manufacture of components for rocket parts and rockets for the 2.36 inch rocket launcher, more commonly known as the bazooka.  This was 38.6% of its major contracts.  The two types of High Explosive, Anti-Tank (HEAT) are shown here.  Author's photo.  


This is either an M6 or M6A1 and was the first configuration used in the M1/M1A1 bazooka.  Author's photo.   


This M6A1 2.36 HEAT rocket is shown with the M1A1 rocket launcher.  Author's photo.


When the U.S. Army introduced the improved M9 rocket launcher, it also introduced the new M6A3 rocket like this one.  The rounded nose gave better penetration; and the new cylindrical fin assembly was more stable in flight.  Author's photo.  


Westfield also made parts for the M9A1 rifle grenade.  Author's photo from the Veterans Memorial Museum in Germantown, OH. 

 

 

 

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