In Reply to: Here is one I have not seen before. The B-24... posted by steveVa on April 11, 2020 at 15:51:32:
It is amazing what went on during that period. We are in the middle of a pandemic and it comes nowhere near what our country was going through in the 40's.
I lived 3/4 mile as the crow flies from that plant until I was 7 and then we moved 5 miles away to the farm.
You see the construction and the production. Over 8000 planes. And then what happened to that building?
After the war, Kaiser-Frazer automobile corp. was formed and moved into the bomber plant. They existed there unti 1953 at which time Detroit Transmission moved in after a fire destroyed their plant. It became the Hydra-Matic division of GM and initially only filled a portion of the building.
As automobile production increased, more automatic transmissions were needed and the building filled from one end to the other plus into the balcony areas with all of the various support activities needed for manufactuirng: tooling repair, cutter grind, electric motor repair gauge repair, etc. etc.
Prior to the GM expansion into the entire building, Kaiser won a contract to assemble the C-119 flying boxcar there. Additional histiry can be found elsewhere.
My father worked on security at Kaiser until they moved automotive operations to Toledo into the Jeep factory. He was layed off and went to work for Ford at the Warren Michigan Tank plant until transfering back to Ypsilanti at the Ford Generator plant in 1954. I still have the ID card that he was issued as a Certified Aircraft Generator repairman.
Fast forward to 1965 and I started work in the same plant as a summer job from college. Oops, I met my wife (now 54 years) that summer and stayed working instead of going back to school. (dumb)
Fast forward another 8 years. I quit Ford to go to work for a property management company. At four years, the property that I managed was sold by the NY client and I was unemployed.
I ended up in the bomber plant working for Hydra-Matic. OK 6 months and I'm out of here. OH BOY, was I wrong. 30 years later I retired as a Senior Service Development Engineer. We wrote the repair manuals and service bulletins for automatic transmissions.
Now why this long story? That building is GONE! ALL of it torn down, except for the portion owned by the Yankee Air Museum being developed as a museum.
OK, lets back up 71 years. After the war Ypsilanti City fathers wanted a monument to the war and could not get a tank or a cannon. BUT, the government had these useless planes and a B-24 was towed to a site about a block from my house. For security, it had some wood snow fence around it. No funds were available to build anything
Older kids easily knocked down the fence and scavenged parts. I was 6 and could climb into that plane.
Little did I know. I am a Charter Member of the Yankee Air Museum though my member hat still has "Yankee Air Force", the original organization.