Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How Detroit Won the War-- Part 1

From the June AARP Bulletin Book excerpt by A.J. Baime.

The name of the book is "The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War" by A.J. Baime.  This "describes how the Ford Company shifted from making automobiles to manufacturing airplanes that would win WWII.  Baime portrays the growing pains of Ypsilanti's Willow Run plant, which by the summer of 1944, would produce 400 bombers a month."

There are not enough books on the home front as far as I'm concerned.  And the huge increase in war production was amazing.

"Cast Iron" Charlie Sorensen was Ford Motor Company's "Hercules" of the assembly line and he had news for Edsel Ford, the company's president.  Willow Run was Edsel Ford's,  attempt to build the world's largest airplane factory to turn out the Army Air Corps' biggest, fastest, most destructive bombers at a set goal of one per hour and was approaching completion.

Even bigger news was the war work in Detroit had captured the imagination of the nation, almost overnight.    Even FDR was making speeches about how the war was being fought, but also how it would be won not just by the military, but at home on the assembly lines.

--GreGen

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