Today is Veterans Day, commemorating the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when Germany signed the Armistice Agreement ending World War I. You can read more about Veteran’s Day on Absolute Michigan and also on Michigan in Pictures.
Life Magazine has a feature titled WWII: How Detroit Won The War that provides an excellent photographic look at how the Motor City retooled to become “The Arsenal of Democracy”. Photos include Chrysler’s Tank Assembly, Dodge’s military vehicle production and Willow Run Bomber Plant where more than 18,000 B-24 Liberators were built between 1940 and 1945. They note that the auto industry’s contribution to the war effort was valued at more than $50 billion worth of materials – an astounding 20% of the nation’s war production.
You can see a ton more photos of the Willow Run Bomber Plant right here that provide a fascinating look into what Charles Lindbergh called “the Grand Canyon of the mechanized world.” Here’s the story of Willow Run (and how many newsreels did this guy voice??):
Photo Credit: Library of Congress photo LC-USE6- D-008797, Howard R. Hollem, photographer. Production. B-24E (Liberator) bombers at Willow Run. Looking up one of the assembly lines at Ford’s big Willow Run plant, where B-24E (Liberator) bombers are being made in great numbers. The Liberator is capable of operation at high altitudes and over great ranges on precision bombing missions. It has proved itself an excellent performer in the Pacific, in Northern Africa, Europe and the Aleutians. Ford’s Willow Run Plant, Michigan