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Ford Motor Company Wartime Production
World War II 1941-1945

Ford Reconnaissance Cars Join the Army - 1941 - WWII GPW Jeep

   

In total Ford Motor Company produced roughly 282,352 "Jeeps" during World War II in the years 1941-1945. This figure does not include the 12,778 GPA models dubbed "Sea Jeeps" or simply "Seeps". In total some 647,950 U.S. Army Jeeps were produced during the war years with the remainder being manufactured by the American Bantam Car Company (one of the original designers/manufacturers) and Willys-Overland (design/manufacturer). Ultimately, contributions in both design and manufacture by all three companies produced the US Army Jeep in its final iconic form used throughout the second world war in every theater of operation.

 

The Willow Run Story, B-24 Liberator Production WWII 1945

   

The Willow Run manufacturing plant (owned/operated by Ford Motor Company until 1946) began life in 1939 as a farm providing vocational training for young men under the name Camp Willow Run. Sensing the need for war production, plans were already in motion to build an aircraft production plant hence farming was effectively removed in 1941 when construction on the plant ensued. The plant, as a whole, concentrated on the production of Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engines, gliders, superchargers, B-24 Liberator medium bombers, and various avionics among other products. The main facility was completed on December 4, 1941, just days before the attack at Pearl Harbor. In addition, a full airstrip was constructed to facilitate testing of the finished bombers.

Willow Run reached peak output in 1944 which saw a complete B-24 Liberator leaving the assembly line every fifty five minutes. These completed aircraft were tested by on site air crews after final assembly. 8,685 complete B-24 Liberators were reportedly manufactured at the Willow Run facility accounting for roughly forty eight percent of the estimated 18,000 aircraft of this type produced during World War II.

Ford Motor Company sold the plant to Kaiser-Frazer in 1946 after which Kaiser produced various automobiles including the Henry J. Kaiser then sold the plant to General Motors in 1953. GM produced automobiles and transmission at the plant until late 2010 when operations were ceased.

Narration: Harry Wismer

 

Women on the Warpath (1943) -A Tribute to the Women Workers of WWII

   

A short film made by Ford Motor Company in tribute to women workers during World War II. Specifically a tribute to the women working at the Willow Run bomber plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan primarily assembling B-24 Liberator bombers.

Any summation of this film would be remiss without mention of "Rosie the Riveter". Rosie was not any single woman but an amalgamation of all women who claimed jobs traditionally held by men before the war. Examples of individual women do exist in the campaign however. Notables would include Rose Will Monroe, an employee of Willow Run, who appeared in several famous promotional posters and films. The well recognized "We can do it!" poster most frequently identified with the "Rosie" image was modeled on Geraldine Doyle, a metal press operator of American Broach & Machine during the period.

 

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