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Planning the Home FrontBuilding Bombers and Communities at Willow Run$
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Sarah Jo Peterson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226025421

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226025568.001.0001

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The Bomber Plant

The Bomber Plant

(p.18) CHAPTER ONE The Bomber Plant
Planning the Home Front

Sarah Jo Peterson

University of Chicago Press

Mobilization for World War II presented enormous planning challenges to the United States. The federal government turned to companies such as the Ford Motor Company to help with the planning. As war loomed, President Franklin D. Roosevelt realized that air power was the key to national defense. On May 16, 1940, he announced that 50,000 planes would be necessary for American defense and expressed his desire to have an aircraft industry capable of producing 50,000 planes a year. This set in motion the construction of a bomber plant just outside Ypsilanti Township in Michigan. Roosevelt’s call for 50,000 planes brought to the fore the role of the automobile industry in aircraft manufacturing. During the first six months of 1941, Ford and the government discussed what would become the largest manufacturing plant in the world. This chapter chronicles the story of the Willow Run Bomber Plant, from planning to construction.

Keywords:   national defense, mobilization, World War II, United States, Ford Motor Company, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, aircraft manufacturing, Willow Run Bomber Plant

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