Few, if any, industrial phenomena have been as dramatic as the United States mid-20th-century shift from peacetime manufacturing to wartime production. While the years 1939 to 1945 saw explosive growth in the manufacture of every type of armament imaginable, none was more emblematic of the industrial climate than the proliferation of aircraft factories. Zeroing in on the crux of the American military-industrial complex at a critical moment, this volume documents the production of legendary fighters and bombers by companies like Boeing, North American, Curtiss, Consolidated, Douglas, Grumman, and Lockheed. It was a production unmatched by the Axis powers or any other country, and a crucial part of why the allies won the war.
Illustrated with 175 period photographs - including 50 rare color photos never before seen in print - The American Aircraft Factory in World War II conveys the incredible acceleration of aviation technology that took place during this period. Author Bill Yenne considers the various prewar governmental acts that got the plants rolling, as well as the notable gender shift that occurred on factory floors as women entered the work force like never before. He also describes the construction of megafactories like Willow Run, factory-design considerations, and the postwar conversion back to peacetime production.
This beautiful coffee table book is an essential part of any World War II history buff's collection, and is a tribute to the veterans of the war - on the fighting and home fronts - who helped build and fly these amazing aircraft that would change the world forever.