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*** Then & Now photos U.S. Factories WWII ***

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Then & Now photos U.S. Factories WWII

 

For the last three years or so I have been adding ' Then & Now ' photo's of Normandy to my ' Norman D. Landings, reports from Normandy ' topic. This link just shows a taster of some of the comparisons I did to a 1944 aerial photograph of Carentan, some of my earlier comparisons feature US forces or military vehicles.

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...407&st=3700

 

Tonight I thought maybe some of the American forum members might like to add photo's of factories close to them in America that produced military items during WWII, Korea or Viet-Nam. So please join in and either add some existing photos you might have or possibly take some of factories that you know of. :thumbsup: ;)

 

ken


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Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

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Another plaque relating to the WWII activities of the factory that stood there.

 

If you have any or know to any locally please add them here, even shots of the factories if they still exist whatever the condition, lets record their life before they all disappear. :thumbsup:

 

ken


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Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

.

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Ken...does this count? It's an example of re-cycling a WW2 building. It's the former Ford Assembly Plant in Richmond, California. In its day it was considered a striking example of modern industrial architecture, the largest automobile assembly plant on the West Coast and, during World War II, part of a vast mobilization to produce armored cars and other military vehicles that supported the war effort of the U.S. and its allies. Now, Bank of America has invested millions of dollars in it to give the old WW2 plant a new lease of life as a home for manufacturers of environmentally sustainable products. So, from OD to "green"!! :lol:

 

 

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Ian


"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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The camouflaged WW2 Boeing plant in Seattle. Look at the trees on the roof!!


"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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It wasn't too many years ago that the east side of San Diego International Airport was still lined with buildings from the old Consolidated Vultee plant where they turned out B-24's and PBY's in WWII. The building at the airport later became part of General Dynamics and in recent years were leveled and the site is now parking lots. But, just northeast of the airport some of the old Consolidated Vultee Air Force Plant 19 buildings are still in active use by the Navy's Spawars program. They have the distinctive sawtooth roof line that allowed for giant north-facing windows to provide natural light to the factory floor. If you drive into San Diego on Interstate 5 you will see this on your right just south of Interstate 8 as you approach the Old Town exit:

 

spawars1.jpg

 

And here's a WWII shot of the Convair buildings:

 

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The camouflaged WW2 Boeing plant in Seattle. Look at the trees on the roof!!

 

 

Hi Ian, thanks for the couple of photo's that you added, nice to see the old Ford factory renovated and being used. :thumbsup:

 

It's a pity to see some of the old abandoned factories of Detroit, when you think what a powerhouse that used to be.

 

ken


.

Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

.

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It wasn't too many years ago that the east side of San Diego International Airport was still lined with buildings from the old Consolidated Vultee plant where they turned out B-24's and PBY's in WWII. The building at the airport later became part of General Dynamics and in recent years were leveled and the site is now parking lots. But, just northeast of the airport some of the old Consolidated Vultee Air Force Plant 19 buildings are still in active use by the Navy's Spawars program. They have the distinctive sawtooth roof line that allowed for giant north-facing windows to provide natural light to the factory floor.

 

 

Hi FS, thanks for adding these two shots nice mention on the PBY's a favourite aircraft of mine :thumbsup: . The saw tooth rooflines are very 40's period, many factories in the UK also that that style of roofline back then.

 

I think I heard that maybe Boeing were moving out of the old factories that they built B-17's in and they could be leveled if not already done so now, not kept up with the dates of these reports.

 

ken


.

Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

.

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I wish I could add something Ken, but I will have a good time watching the thread!!

 

Hey JS...being a native of San Diego, how come you missed those airport buildings? FS stole your thunder there! :lol:


"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Hey JS...being a native of San Diego, how come you missed those airport buildings? FS stole your thunder there! :lol:

 

When he's on the freeway his Vette moves so fast all the buildings look like this:

 

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When he's on the freeway his Vette moves so fast all the buildings look like this:

 

 

I didn't know a Chevy Chevette would go that fast! :pinch: :lol: FS, thanks for setting that up! Sorry, JS, but it was low hanging fruit.

 

Lewis, thanks for starting another GREAT thread - I'm curious to see where this goes, bad jokes aside.

 

Steve


I remember:

Chris Ingrassia (9/11) CPT Tristan Aitken (OIF, 2003)

MAJ Paul Syverson (OIF, 2004) CPT Tom Miller (OIF, 2005)

SSG Scottie Bright (OIF, 2005) CPT Chris Petty (OIF, 2006)

MAJ Hurley Shields (OIF, 2008)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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I spent 31 years (from '78 to 2009) working in the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti,Michigan, where the Ford B24 was made. There were quite a number of us in there who were interested in the Ford WW2 days, and we were always looking for surviving traces of those days,of which there were many. Some of the high balconies were virtually unchanged since WW2,with the original Ford green paint,and some signage still visible. The numerous rolling cranes that moved aircraft pieces were still mostly in place, and many were operational right up to the day the plant closed in 2010. There was a network of tunnels under the plant,and it was possible to travel through them over to the hangers at the airport next door (where the finished B24s had flown out of). Many of the manhole covers in the plant still had "FMC" cast into them, but virtually all of the Gamewell fire alarm boxes in the plant, which had once had "Ford Motor Company" cast into the doors, had been neatly ground down to remove the Ford name. (No idea if this was done by GM or Kaiser-Fraser,who also owned the plant after WW2). One prominent plant historian,who was a high-ranking production supervisor for GM managed to preserve an unground Ford-marked box outside his office (it was still operational), but it vanished after the plant was closed.

The huge hanger doors where the finished B24s rolled out were operational to the end, and in the summer were usually opened to cool down the plant. This photo was taken from a balcony overlooking the bays where the bombers were painted and otherwised finished,before they were towed out the same hanger doors open at the end. Those are all automatic screw machines down below,making the tiny valves for automatic transmissions.

 

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The mile-long plant was built on farmland owned by Ford (where boys learned how to farm before the war), and to avoid taxes from Wayne County, Mich, the final assembly lines made a 90 degree turn,so that the planes were all built in Washtenaw County. This turntable in the plant was thus known as the 'tax turn'. I spent years working right where that B24 in the foreground is:

 

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Here's those huge hanger doors,looking sadly neglected in this recent photo of the closed plant. Note the skate rail above the doors, which was intended for hanging blackout curtains. Those rails encircled the plant, and many of the 'skates' were still up there on the rails. Quite often, AirForce One would land at Willow Run, and park close to the plant. Police or Secret Service members would be stationed up there on the roof above the doors overlooking the plane. Before GM tightened up the rules for having access to the roof, it was the best seat in the house for watching the Blue Angels when they came to the airshows next door.

 

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Very interesting Boyt! I have a DVD which details Willow Run in action during WW2. It was unbelievable!! A triumph of American organisation and industrial muscle. Raw materials in one end...B24s out the other...24/7. We'll never see its like again!


"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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I spent 31 years (from '78 to 2009) working in the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti,Michigan, where the Ford B24 was made. There were quite a number of us in there who were interested in the Ford WW2 days, and we were always looking for surviving traces of those days,of which there were many.

 

Hi Boyt, well done just exactly what I was looking and hoping for with this topic, nice to see what you put together and the photo's you added. :thumbsup:

 

hope some of the other members can contribute something.

 

Many thanks ;)

 

ken


.

Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

.

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I have many more photos of the plant, both now and during the war. The "official" plant historian was able to tour the closed plant recently-he wanted to see the plant in the more wide-open condition it was in wartime days, as the machines are being cleared out of it. During those days, the plant was one big mile-long room, wide open from end to end, but at least 4 firewalls were added postwar to divide the plant into sections, in the interest of fire safety. Now it's no longer possible to see that whole awesome sight.

There were large underground bomb shelters in the plant, and big transformer rooms down there,too. Exploring them with a flashlight was like exploring an ancient Egyptian tomb, but sometime in the '90s the company had them all filled, and concreted over. Some of my Tradesmen friends, working in the high bays up near the ceiling, came across "beds" made by those long-ago workers up there, complete with old wartime newspapers. Apparently those workers would sneak off way up there to catch a nap, back when the plant was a round-the-clock operation teeming with people. Even in my time, I knew of people who were kicked out of the house or otherwise homeless, who hid up in the myriad of hiding places up on one of the three levels of balconies that ran the length of the plant, and slept during their off-shifts (until they were discovered by Management).

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Shame on the U.S. for eliminating our manufacturing. The Rosie the Riveters are rolling over int their graves. My grand mother built bombs in Pittsburgh during WW2. My aunt made fighter planes in Akron. Our economy used to thrive during war. Once a proud nation of working people and now kicked in the groin. Bill

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I am within short driving distance of both Utica Cutlery, and Oneida Limited. I will take some pictures of those facilities.


In memory of Lance Corporal Jeremy S. Lasher, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. Killed in Action July 23, 2009, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Semper Fi

Lance Corporal's 2/8 challenge coin was STOLEN from his grave. Please see the following forum link for details: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/210650-challenge-coin-stolen-from-marine-kia-grave/&do=findComment&comment=1654270

 



My eBay Auctions: http://shop.ebay.com...s/m.html?_dmd=1

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Hi Pat, thanks for breathing some life into this topic again with the links you attached. :thumbsup:

 

ken ;)


.

Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

.

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I am within short driving distance of both Utica Cutlery, and Oneida Limited. I will take some pictures of those facilities.

 

Hi Patriot, thanks for joining in and the offer of some photo's of the factories you mentioned, a few of the forum members and myself will be looking forward to seeing those. :thumbsup:

 

ken


.

Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

.

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I think you will like this website as well...

 

http://www.warbirdsandairshows.com/Aircraf...plantphotos.htm

 

I was looking for current photos of the Omaha Martin Bomber Plant, which produced both B-26's and B-29's during the war.

 

It is still in use today for a variety of purposes supporting Offut Air Force Base, including the base bowling alley.

 

http://www.nebraskaaircrash.com/crashsites/martinbp.html

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Here are some shots of the old GM INLAND facility in Dayton Ohio. I took these photos about 8 years ago. I'd love to have the old metal decoration above the doorway!

Kim

 

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A member of this fine site since December 16, 2006....Member # 60

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I think you will like this website as well...

 

http://www.warbirdsandairshows.com/Aircraf...plantphotos.htm

 

I was looking for current photos of the Omaha Martin Bomber Plant, which produced both B-26's and B-29's during the war.

 

It is still in use today for a variety of purposes supporting Offut Air Force Base, including the base bowling alley.

 

http://www.nebraskaaircrash.com/crashsites/martinbp.html

 

 

Hi Gil, thanks, really nice links :thumbsup: , sad though to see what would have once been car parks chock full of cars with owners in the buildings working are either totally empty or just a few dozen cars at most. :crying:

 

ken


.

Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

.

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