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Old 04-01-2010, 10:17 AM   #41
Harms Way
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hep View Post
Great post. Been to Willow run many times and once got to help out polishing the B-17 there, prior to the hanger fire a few years ago.
As for Ford, he probably didn't want the US involved in the war effort because he didn't want his European factories bombed, the ones in Germany. That would cost money and slow production, as he was selling many large trucks to the German war effort as Troop Carriers. Which is why the Ford's German factories weren't converted to Military War Machines in the "Reich". As for his personal beliefs, really given the time period, he probably felt like many Americans and other's in the world about "other" people, not everyone, but many. Aside from his innovations at the plants and bringing everybody to having the need and access of owning a car.
The Ford Plant in Germany was actually "Liberated" and fully taken control of by the "Reich", and the Plant Manager that was sympathetic to the Reich, Prior to any US involvment in the war.

So as not to digress from the intention of this thread, lets just admire the greatest industrialized Nation in the world (at that time) coming together and basically shutting down,... In order to support the War Effort, in a way that every citizen in this Nation should be proud of. Let's not delve into the political conjecture,...... which always turns out bad, and will kill a otherwise excellent thread. (IMHO)
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:31 AM   #42
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport



Doesn't that look like battlefield installed armor plate protecting the cockpit (in the top right of the pic)?

shovelheadrider, your link http://public.fotki.com/Kos/members_...d=fs_slideshow was fantastic! I looked at all 291 of the pics!

Here's a link to some great reading about the B-24 and its history: http://<br /> <br /> http://en.wik...B-24_Liberator
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:34 AM   #43
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

See that box truck in the background in the 3rd row of pics in Ryan's first post (pic 18/19 of 26)? It's a '41 Brooks VanEtte. The Yankee Air Museum found it, bought it, and is currently restoring it. The running gear is all Ford.

http://warbirdinformationexchange.or...p?f=26&t=27492
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:01 AM   #44
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

I once found a GIANT list on the internet of all the companies here in Michigan that contributed to the war effort back in those days. Tried again to find it last night, but no dice! That list was huge!!
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:44 PM   #45
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

Just thought some of you might be interested in this. I try to go every year, this year I'll be drag racing. Check it out if you can. GREAT post Ryan. www.yankeeairmuseum.org/airshow/
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:56 PM   #46
Harms Way
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

As I had mentioned last night, I would try to take pictures with my camera of Uncle Ed's Lapel Pin,.... didn't work,... best I could do was some lousy cell phone pictures,..... But I think you'll get the idea.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:05 PM   #47
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They're both beautiful!!
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:10 PM   #48
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

We always like to thanks a military guy for his service,but we also have to remember those who made the tools of war. And often it was Merchant Marines delivering this equipment through the shit load of Nazi U boats.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:24 PM   #49
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

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Originally Posted by gtharp View Post
A video about the B24 Willow Run plant
Best 10 minutes you'll spend tonight.

The Willow Run Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_CUPA0k0fw
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:16 PM   #50
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Thank you to all who contributed to this thread. How interesting are those photos?? This stuff is golden.
My office is within 1 mile of willow run.I am learning more about it in the last half hour than experiencing it for 10 years.
Any other details of the crash at ridge and warren roads?
Please keep this thread alive..........
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:36 PM   #51
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A buddy and I got to ride in the Collings Foundation B-24 from Rapid City down to Scottsbluff in 1992 and it was quite a thrill. The B-17 joined up after we topped the clouds and I even got to sit in the left seat and fly for a few minutes (I was a USAF pilot then). My buddy knew the B-24 copilot and that's how we got the ride. I have pics somewhere. What a great sound. When we approached for landing at Scottsbluff (it was a Saturday) I was in the right waist-gun opening looking ahead toward the airport. The small wind blast deflector kept the slipstream off of me as I looked ahead down the fuselage at the runway. Just before we crossed the fence for landing I saw a family in their backyard standing next to their pool. They were waving at the B-24 as we passed over at about 100-150 feet and when I saw them I leaned way out the waist window and waved like a madman. After a second they saw me waving and they just lost it! You could just see that they were thrilled to see me seeing them and waving back. A few seconds later the wheels touched the runway and we taxied up to the crowd.

The next day we worked the Collings' souvenier table (the crew was tired and let my buddy and I work the crowd for most of the day, which I was happy to do) and I gave several tours of the bombers to old people who had either built planes in war plants or had family who served on B-17s and 24s. One older woman walked up to me and asked if the B-17 was a B-17. I said yes it was and she asked if she could see inside. She was very quiet and I sensed something about her. She had a leather satchel with her. I walked her over to the aft door of the B-17 and showed her inside the airplane. We made our way up to the nose compartment and she asked where the navigator would have sat. I showed her the nav seat and table and told her to sit down. She began shaking a little and I finally asked her if she knew someone who had been on B-17s during the war. She looked at me and said, "Yes, my older brother." She opened the satchel and removed an 8x10 photo of her brother and his crew in front of a B-17 in England during the war. I asked her, carefully, about him and she said he had been killed on the first Schweinfurt raid. Man oh man, my eyes welled up and it was all I could do to hold it together. (60 B-17s were lost on that raid--600 men.) I let her sit there for a while and then the heat was getting to us so I escorted her out and bade her farewell. She thanked me and walked away. One of the B-17's crew, an old guy who had been a gunner on B-17s, looked at me and saw that I had just had a moment with history. He said, "Bill, that happens eveywhere we take these airplanes and you never get used to it."
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:54 PM   #52
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

Great story,.......
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:44 PM   #53
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

That is a great story Cut55! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:47 PM   #54
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

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Originally Posted by theHIGHLANDER View Post
"...now none of this seems topical to the Jalopy Journal..."

HAAHH!!! I-94 going from Detroit to Willow Run was called "Bomber Highway" by the locals. Bomber Highway was a favorite spot for racing and running flat out back in those days. Dad and some of the other old gents from the time had "war stories" of bike runs and racing through the early-mid 50s. Great post Ryan. That whole time period is one I'm fond of. The fashions, the cars, furnishings, movies, all on topic as far as I'm concerned. In firearms, a 1911 A1 is a thing of beauty and it reigned supreme, one of my favorite Packards are the 41 models, who doesn't like a 41 Ford, totally on topic. Thanks again bro.
Her is our 41 110 Packard a restorod
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:09 PM   #55
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

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Originally Posted by 31Atudor View Post
Meanwhile, back at the Rouge complex Ford was building Liberty Ships in the Dearborn Assembly plant and making steel in the Rouge steel mill.

Much of this work was the vision of a few STRONG individuals and a hard working, fast learning and innovative work force.

Geez, they sound like hot rodders


Thank you very much for this thread. My Grandfather worked in the Blast Furnace at the Rouge from 1941 through 1966 when he retired. He was strong and hard working alright, as working down there was no picnic. (I like to tell people that his sweat is in the casting of my 59AB).

My Grandmother was a true "Rosie the Riviter" who worked for a supplier to Ford, GM and Dodge making steering wheels which she continued with until retirement. Both had war time stories about around the clock shifts.

The war effort in this town not only provided a sense of pride but also good, hard working careers that continued for a lot of people. Being older than "war age" both came out of The Great Depresion with nothing and ended up with the ability to raise families.

Another point of interest on this subject is that Preston Tucker built his car at the then abandon Willow Run Plant.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:40 AM   #56
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Thanks Ryan and the rest of you that have kept this thread going... My grandmother worked at 'the bomber plant'. and I've lived most of my life in Ypsilanti. When I was born we lived in Willow Run Village , a project that was built to house many of the folks that worked at Willow Run... After the WWII and then the Korean War was over dad came back and put in 35 years at the Ypsilanti Ford plant and got me in there before he retired from which I just retired two years ago after 38 1/2 years.... and yea we are Ford dedicated... Side note still working on my 51 Ford woodie
Barry
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:17 AM   #57
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

Great info, keep it coming.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:12 AM   #58
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

Fantastic Post, Ryon. The link to the rest of the photo gallery was way cool!!
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:23 PM   #59
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

Willow Run has more to do with cars than you might think. At the end of the war, Henry Kaiser and Joe Frazer bought the plant for their new company, Kaiser-Frazer. Kaiser and Frazer cars were produced there until 1953, when Kaiser merged with Willys-Overland. GM bought the plant and converted it to transmission production, replacing the Hydra-Matic plant in Livonia that burned down that summer.

More on the history of K-F:

http://ateupwithmotor.com/family-car...er-part-1.html
http://ateupwithmotor.com/family-car...er-part-2.html
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:51 PM   #60
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Default Re: Willow Run Airport

As everyone probably knows, the Ford B-24 plant was put on the market as a part of the General Motors bankruptcy. The Yankee Air Museum wants to buy it, but needs to raise a lot of money to do so. Originally the RACER Trust, that administers these "old GM" assets was going to tear it down if it wasn't sold by August 1, but they've apparently extended the time to October 1. Keep your fingers crossed, it would be great to see this saved.

See Rosie the Riveter campaigning for donations.
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