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 Author  Topic: GENERAL MOTORS CONTRIBUTIONS IN WW II
  FRANK

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of FRANK  Posted on: Oct 21, 2008 - 11:46am
Hello Everyone-

My Dad worked for General Motors Assembly plant in Linden New Jersey for 40 years, from Nov. 1940 to Jan. 1970.

He often spoke of the transition from building cars to the designated FM-2 Wildcats during the War production years. He also spoke of how the traffic was stopped alonf Route #1 in Linden so the finished Wildcats could be taxied across the road to the Newark Airport for testing prior to shipment. Thant must have been something to see!

I was going through some of my Dad's things and came across a bookthat was given to all GM employees at the time. It's titled-GM THE FIRST 75 YEARS OF TRANSPORTATION PRODUCTS.

I was amazed to learn just what GM produced for the War effort!

Heres the listing-

FM-2 Wildcat fighters, 20 and 37 mm aircraft guns, Oerlikon and Bofors anti-aircraft cannons, components and gun mounts for naval 3 and 5 in. guns, volume production of .45 cal. sub machine guns, .30 cal. carbine shells, cartridge cases, and armor piercing projectiles. GM turned out 13,000 airplanes and one quarter of all US aircraft engined, GM Allison Division's liquid air cooled engine powered Lockheed's P-38. Other aircraft powered by GM engines included Bell's Aircobra, Curtis War Hawk, P-51 Mustang, and the Grumann's Wildcat and Avenger torpedo bombers. GM produced Pratt and Whitney engines for the B-24's. Engines for larger aircraft included the Invader a-36 attack bomber, Consolidated's B-24 Liberator and numberous transport planes.

GM developed, tooled and completely built from start, in converted assembly plants during the plant's first year, 1000 Avengers and 1000 Wildcats for the Navy's carrier forces. The most intricate assignment was for the aerial torpedo, requiring 5000 parts and 20,000 seperate operations. Oldsmobile produced 48 million rounds of ammunition and 350,000 precision parts for aircraft engines. GM delivered 854,000 trucks, 4 and 6 wheeled drive trucks, mobile repair shops, airplane tenders, ambulances, and field kitchens, Cadillac's M-5 light tank and the Vauxhall Churchill tanks, m-10 tank destroyers, m-8 howitzer T-70 tank destroyer, the GM amphibian "DUCK" from a 2 1/2 ton truck adaptable to land and water was designed tested, built and off the line in 90 days. Many Navy ships were powered by Cleveland Diesel Division engines.

I've always drove a GM car all my life! I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thanks guys for letting me share with everyone! Oh yaeh, THANKS DAD!!

Frank Ryczek
Modeler/Friend RON-10 PT-169 " ZEBRA SNAFU "

HIGH TIDES ALWAYS!

YOUR FRIEND THROUGH SCALE SHIP MODELING AND PT BOAT HISTORY!

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ducati650

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of ducati650   Send Email To ducati650 Posted on: Oct 21, 2008 - 12:32pm
Fasinating information Frank. Thanks.


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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Oct 21, 2008 - 12:35pm
Frank

Thats something, and it was only one plant in the US producing this amount. Can you imagine the production that was put out within the Country during 1940-1945?

I am sure that Elco had many many Companies producing parts for their PT BOATS. And, I am sure that those Cannon's from GM found their way on more then one boat. Thanks for the update Frank, it boggles the mind to think of the items produced during WWII.


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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Oct 21, 2008 - 1:40pm
Yes Frank,
I agree, the Oldsmobile M4 and M9 37mm automatic cannon was especially useful to the PT Boaters as well as being installed on the P39 and P63 cobra fighter planes. I was surprised to find out that this successful cannon was manufactured by Oldsmobile, the car company (GM). I just wish there were more surviving examples of them that we could obtain for the restoration of PT658. If you know of any that are available please let us know! Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

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QM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Oct 21, 2008 - 1:46pm
Would you like to ride in one of those Ducks? They have been in use in Branson, Missouri for many years. The town is a tremendous tourist attraction.

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newsnerd99

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Oct 21, 2008 - 4:18pm
Funny you mention those "ducks" QM - I can't help but notice the "destruction" of military history with each branch of their organization. It's similar to the fishing use of PT's in the 50's-80's. Of course, if they didn't buy them, convert them and use them...would they just end up as scrap?

Grandson of James J Stanton
RON 15 PT 209 and RON 23 PT 243
Check out: www.pistolpackinmama.net

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Jerry Beasley

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Beasley  Posted on: Oct 21, 2008 - 8:39pm
Jerry
The same people I turned you onto for the 20mm magazines have a demilled 37mm - I believe it is the M4 - check with Dave or get back to me and I will research it for you - I would be happy just to find a few nice inert 37mm rounds for my collection.
Jerry B


Jerry Beasley

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  FRANK

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of FRANK  Posted on: Oct 22, 2008 - 7:37am
Hello again everyone-

I must make a drastic correction to my original posting here. I mentioned that the finished FM-2 Wildcats were taxied from the Linden assembly plant across the road to NEWARK!!! That's incorrect!! It should have read LINDEN AIRPORT! Newark is some 12 miles from Linden!!

My Dad also told me that women pilots from the Air Corps would wring out the Wildcats over Linden and as far as Bayonne, New Jersey. Dad said the sound of the Wildcats overhead was a sound he'd never forget. I have a shot my Dad took of a formation of FM-2 's over the Linden airport. If I find it I'll post it here.

Another correction that needs mentioning here- and I quote from Dads book- " Over 20.000 outside suppliers and subcontractors would mesh with "94" GM plants in 46 communities in over 13 states, not to mention Canada, Mexico, and South America." It wasn't just one plant producing aircraft, it was a total GM effort all over the country.

I just wanted to make this clear for everyone reading the original posting!

Thanks for letting me share this guys!

Frank Ryczek, Jr.
Modeler/Friend RON-10 pt-169 " ZEBRA SNAFU "

HIGH TIDES ALWAYS!

YOUR FRIEND THROUGH SCALE SHIP MODELING AND PT BOAT HISTORY!

Total Posts: 349 | Joined: Oct 7, 2007 - 2:09pm | IP Logged

  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Oct 22, 2008 - 10:26am
Hi Jerry,
Yes I saw that one but they want $5k for it and we dont have that much cash! Thanks for the heads up. Jerry

Here is a copy of their listing:
Oldsmobile M9 37mm Cannon - receiver demilled, rest of gun is intact. Probably one of a kind. For use on M15 half track or Bell Aero Cobra Fighter. Also mounted as deck guns on PT boats... $5000.00

Jerry Gilmartin

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QM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Oct 22, 2008 - 6:23pm
The accomplishments of General Motors during WW II was very impressive. It is almost impossible today to realize the massive unified effort put forth by the entire country. In addition to production by corporations, contributions were made by people of all ages, from children to the elderly. Children planted Victory Gardens to raise vegetables. Families recycled various items which were useful in the war effort--kitchen grease, empty toothpaste tubes, scrap metal [sometimes including kitchen utensils]. Anything that might be useful was on the list.

I am curious about the Wildcat which we identified as the F4F. I thought that it was mostly replaced by the newer Hellcat F6F during the war. Is the Hellcat mentioned GM production records?

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