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Old 07-16-2014, 05:14 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Morristown IN
Posts: 76
Chevrolet WWII Effort

In 1936 the newly completed Chevrolet Commercial Body Div. (stamping plant) was a completed 475,000 square feet of floor space all on floor and of modern type.

During the period 1930 to 1941, Chevrolet became the largest producer of trucks in the industry and the Indianapolis plant the largest truck body plant in the world.

1941 Rearmament Program

During 1941, The Army and Navy awarded to Chevrolet a number of large contracts for the construction of Military Vehicles. These trucks bodies in addition to some Lend Lease equipment, were built in the Indianapolis plant along with a large civilian production.

Pearl Harbor Dec. 7 1941

At the time of Pearl Harbor, Military orders represented about 25% of the volume of Truck Bodies and Cabs being built. With the curtailment of civilian production, the increase in Military orders was not sufficient to absorb more than 25% of the personnel or floor space of the plant. Hence, Civilian Truck production stopped in March of 1942.

The plant was converted from stamping to machinery to make Tank Parts, a Turret Plat Gun Mounts for the 37 MM gune. This was from Jan. 1942 to April of 1944.

Another area of the plant machined steel bearing shells for the use in making silver and bronzed line bearing for most of the major Aircraft Engines. (Pratt&Whitney, Allison, Electro-Motive, Packard-Marine, and Wright Engines.)

The workforce was retrained to go from stamping, welding, and painting to operating turret lathes, Grinders, Automatic Screw Machines. and Engine Lathes.

Some images from during the war.


Machining area:

Running a small punch press.

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