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Where were mortars made?


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#1 Brian Keith

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:54 AM

A museum I'm associated with has always been interested in Indiana Made military items. (We're in Indiana) We have heard a rumor that possibly 60mm or 81mm mortars or components were made here. Can anybody confirm this or provide any more information?
Thanks in advance!
BKW
Museum of the Soldier, Inc.
Portland, IN

PS Any info on any Indiana Made Militaria is welcome!
We know about M3 "Grease Guns", "Liberator" Pistols, M-1 Garands.

#2 BEAST

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:11 AM

A museum I'm associated with has always been interested in Indiana Made military items. (We're in Indiana) We have heard a rumor that possibly 60mm or 81mm mortars or components were made here. Can anybody confirm this or provide any more information?
Thanks in advance!
BKW
Museum of the Soldier, Inc.
Portland, IN

PS Any info on any Indiana Made Militaria is welcome!
We know about M3 "Grease Guns", "Liberator" Pistols, M-1 Garands.



Brian,
Not sure about mortars, but my Mom used to make the motors that powered the gun turrets on aircraft. She worked at GE in Fort Wayne. I think she wound the copper wire onto the motors. When I visted the Taylor Street plant in the 70's, they had a top turret on display that showed how the motors were used.

#3 Bob Hudson

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:33 AM

The Kingsbury Ordnance Plant (KOP) was one of the major producers of shells and mortars during WWII:

http://shawnbrown.co...op00_intro.html



#4 Brian Keith

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:43 AM

Beast,
Yes, GE in Ft. Wayne made a LOT of motors for various Military applications. I think that part of the plant is closed (the building with the large "General Electric" sign on top). Some of that complex has been torn down. I hope the turret was saved "somewhere". Did you know the roofs of some of those buildings were made so as to hold water (to look like a pond) to camouflage the building from air raids! It worked! not one successful air raid during WW II in Ft. Wayne, IN!

Forum Support, thanks for the link. I think I visited the website once before, as it seemed familiar. Maybe you sent me to it before. I had forgotten about it.
Let me clarify, I looking for info on the actual mortars, the tube, bipod, base plate and possibly even the sights. Does any one know of an Indiana connection? I live a few blocks from a forge that made the 81mm projectiles during WW II and VN.

Thanks for the responses!
BKW

#5 Dirt Detective

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:01 AM

Located in Evansville, IN a plant was operated by the Chrysler Corp. from 1942 to 1944 and produced billions of rounds of caliber 45 and caliber 30 carbine ammunition. Most cases were made of steel using the EC headstamp. This plant also loaded ammunition using cases made at the Sunbeam Refrigerator Plant, also at Evansville, IN, with ECS headstamp.

#6 Brian Keith

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:13 PM

Dirt Detective,
Thanks, we are aware of EC, an have quite a collection of rounds, and assorted wood and steel packing cases. They developed the steel case for US ammo. Sounds like you have the booklet, "Bullets by the Billion", great info!
Thanks for your assistance!
BKW

#7 Inertord

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:12 PM

This article mentions the preparation of "mortar projectiles" at the Hoosier Ordnance Plant : http://homepages.ius...RVEST/INAAP.htm

Photo of an Early WW2 Era M43A1 81MM Mortar Round. I believe that the I.O.P. Lot Markings indicate loading or assembly at the Indiana Ordnance Plant.




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#8 J_Andrews

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 09:40 AM

Surely you are aware of the Allison aircraft engines, from Indianapolis....

#9 Brian Keith

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:45 AM

Yes, we have some printed Allison materials and a work uniform patch. Be nice to have an engine!
Thanks for the tip! J Andrews.
Inertord, that is very interesting, (and an beautiful round!), I know the Portland Forge and Foundry produced the rough shell blank and sent them elsewhere to be milled down to specks for the 81mm. I think a Borg-Warner plant in Muncie.
The Portland plant also made 37mm projectiles.
BKW

#10 Inertord

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:06 AM

Hello Brian,

The Borg-Warner Involvement that you mentioned would make sense, as B.W. is in the lot number that is stamped in the shell body.

Thanks and stay safe,

Frank





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#11 sixthofjune44

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 09:04 AM

Hey Guys,

Just to throw my proud Indiana WWII history in: South Bend, IN was the home of Bendix who supplied many different parts to the War effort. Brakes, Fuel systems, Electrical motors for bombers. Also Studebaker made trucks that were sent to Russia in our lend lease aid program. Singer sewing machines had a factory in South Bend. I don't know however if this plant was making weapons during the War.

I know that there's a ton more, but I'm at work right now and can't do much more research.

Cheers,
Paul

#12 Brian Keith

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 07:39 PM

sixthofjune44
Thanks for the info, I do know about Studebaker (I really would like to have a Weasel!), I didn't realize Singer was there, I wonder if that is where the Singer M1911A1 .45's were made?
Bendix, we have a couple of small items from them, hope to get more!
Thanks!

Inertord,
Even more COOL!
Thanks for the close up!
I guess it might go without saying, if that round needs a new home, let me know!
BKW

#13 Charlie Flick

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 12:07 PM


Photo of an Early WW2 Era M43A1 81MM Mortar Round. I believe that the I.O.P. Lot Markings indicate loading or assembly at the Indiana Ordnance Plant.




2dha5on.jpg

 

InertOrd:

 

And old post that I did not see the first time around.  That is a beautiful M43 round. 

 

I think the "IOP" marking is not for the Hoosier Ordnance Plant but, rather, indicates manufacture by the Iowa Ordnance Plant located near Burlington, Iowa.   Among other things it manufactured many thousands of 81MM rounds during WW2.

 

Regards,

Charlie




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