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Old 03-28-2013, 08:17 AM   #1
roccaas
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Default This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plant.

B-24's by the hundreds. Any of our FB'ers employed at the Arsenal of Democracy?
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

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B-24's by the hundreds. Any of our FB'ers employed at the Arsenal of Democracy?
No, but I lived in Ypsilanti for many years and patronized the Bomber restaurant.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

Did Henry really put a 90 degree turn in the production line to avoid paying county taxes by continuing the line into the next county?
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

PBS has a great program on Willow Run during the B-24 era. It was on just last week. You should be able to search the PBS web site to view the program on your computer.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

I had never heard of the "Tax Turn" before so I Googled it. Let me get this straight, Ford was concerned about a few extra $$$ so he had the length of the factory revised? How did Joe Lunchbox feel when he found out? Sons, brothers, husbands going off to war, let alone the many ladies that served, rationing, shortages of the most basic items, sacrifices galore and Ford with his cubic money needed more? Tycoons, financiers, and politicians always seem to catch a break and the little guy eats the big one. Some things never change. I hope this is just one of those "urban legends".
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

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Henry needed to save money so he could afford his lunches with Adolf. ;-)
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

http://www.assemblymag.com/articles/...al-perspective

"One of the most unique aspects of the assembly building was a 90-degree bend that occurred when aircraft where two-thirds of the way down the line. Supposedly, the length of the assembly line was miscalculated by the architects during the initial design work. The bend was necessary to prevent the plant from extending into the next county where the taxes were higher. A turntable allowed aircraft to be turned 90 degrees and continue to the final assembly stations. The mile-long assembly line had 28 different stations."
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

Steve

I was born and raised in Ypsilanti, but lived in Fl last 34 years. My Grandmother started the Bomber Resturant during WW2

Yale
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

I worked with a guy at the Kennedy Space Center who grew up in Ypsilanti. He's in his early 50's now I guess. Last name King.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

I encountered a guy who was absolutely certain that his 1941 Ford was manufactured at Willow Run. No amount of evidence could convince him otherwise.

Also, the V-8 Times recently (last year) featured a 12-part series
condensed from the book "Ford at War." TM
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

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Steve

I was born and raised in Ypsilanti, but lived in Fl last 34 years. My Grandmother started the Bomber Resturant during WW2

Yale
Wow, small world! My early exposure to the Bomber was as a student at EMU in early 60s. The weekend drill was to top off a night of drinking with a He Man Breakfast special at the Bomber. Years later, after grad school, I returned to teach at EMU and would occasionally go for lunch down to the Bomber, just for old times' sake. I may have been the only college faculty to do so. I remember the plastic model planes on display.

I was always struck by how it seemed like for every mile east of Ypsi you went it was like going 100 miles south--a tremendous number of folks moved up from the south during the war to work in the various plants, earning the name Ypsitucky. My family too had moved up from Alabama just before high school, so I kind of enjoyed being able to hear the accents again by just driving a few miles down the road from campus. Lots of great music too.

Here's a picture of me and my Ford back in those days.



THis was my first off-campus housing, a flat owned by Tom Monaghan's brother on Lowell St. At the time Tom just had the one pizza shop and it was called Dominic's.

I read the other day that the Ypsi and Willow Run school districts were merging due to financial problems.

Steve

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Old 03-29-2013, 11:49 AM   #12
Art Bjornestad
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

My dad lived in Chicago and worked as a carpenter building Willow Run. In the winter he was able to drive across Lake Michigan following a black ash trail.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: This Day in Automotive History 3/28/1941: Ford breaks ground for Willow Run plan

My dad did some of the "road" work on willow run. I think he was running a cat and pan.
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