Friday, July 20, 2012

The Corporations that Won WW II

Chance Vought's F4U Corsair (Museum of Flight, Seattle WA)

Businesses and corporations are now under attack in this country.  We now have it on the authority of our President that businesses are not made by people or at least, dear reader, not made by you. "If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen,”  President Obama told us on 7/14/12, in Roanoke VA.

"Give us the tools and we'll finish the job," famously asked Winston Churchill during World War II (For an interesting article on WSC see What Would Winston Do? by Harold Evans, starts on page 32...  It was corporations in the Allied countries that built the tools that allowed allied forces to prevail.  The market economies of the west were far more efficient than the state run command control economies of the axis nations.  These corporations working closely with allied governments became the "arsenal of democracy".

These businesses received no medals to honor their service.  Today no one places flowers at their headquarters in remembrance.  Nor has any government built a monument to the tomb of the unknown shareholder.  But, perhaps, one ought to!

Here is a very partial list of corporate heroes, some still with us, some merged into new entities and some long gone that did their duty in World War II...

Boeing's B-17F + Commander K. (Museum of Flight, Seattle WA)

Boeing                                                      B-17, B-24, B-29

Rolls Royce                                              Engines for P-51 Mustang (see earlier  

Avro                                                         Lancaster Bomber

AT&T                                                      Western Electric division of AT&T built radar systems for                                                                      the US Navy and Army Air Corps

North American                                        P-51 Mustang

Curtis Wright P-40 (Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA)

Curtis Wright                                            P-40

Chance Vought                                        F4U Corsair

Coke goes to war
Coca Cola                                              CEO Robert Woodruff asked the company in 1941 "to see that
                                                               every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents,
                                                              wherever he is and whatever it costs the Company."

de Havilland                                          Mosquito bomber

Vickers                                                  Machine guns

Supermarine Spitfire (FHC, Everett WA)

Supermarine                                             Spitfire

Hawker Siddley                                       Hawker

General Motors                                       Sherman Tank engines

640,000 produced during world War II (Museum of Flight, Seattle WA)

Willys Overland and                               Jeep, Sherman tank engines
Ford Motor Company

Turbo Supercharger on a B-17F (Museum of Flight, Seattle WA)

General Electric                                      Turbo superchargers

Chrysler                                                  Sherman tank engines

RCA                                                      General David Sarnoff served on Eisenhower's
                                                               communications staff, arranging expanded radio circuits for
                                                               NBC to transmit news from the invasion of France in June

Edward R. Murrow
CBS                                                      Edward R. Murrow  Blitz Broadcasts, "This is London!"
                                                              Murrow flew on an astonishing 24 bombing raids during WW
                                                              II.  (Source: Citizens of London, Lynne Olson

Disney at War
Disney                                                  Nose art for Allied aircaft (free of charge), Propaganda films

Remington Arms (Dupont)                    M1903 A3 Springfield bolt action rifle

Hot Stuff

McIllheny (Tobasco sauce)                    Walter S. McIlhenny, Company President, served at                                                
                                                              Guadalcanal, became Brigadier General USMC,  small tabasco  
                                                              bottles included in all USMC K-rations

British Leyland                                       Cromwell tank

General Dynamics                                  Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun

Douglas Aircraft                                     C-47, DB-7 "Boston", Dauntless (dive bomber), A-26

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

American Tobacco Company                 "Lucky Strike Green has gone to War".  Ike smoked 2-3 packs
                                                                 (all brands) a day while Commander of SHAEF.

Henry J. Kaiser, Bechtel, MK etc.          Liberty Ships  (Made by "Six Companies")

Lockheed                                                P38-J Lightning (one of these shot down admiral Yamamoto)

Hershey's poster in WWII

Hershey Company                                  Estimated 3 billion Tropical and Ration D bars produced
                                                                between 1940 and 1945

Caterpillar                                               Sherman Tank engines

Vauxhall Motors                                    Churchill tank

Westland Aircraft                                   Lysander 2 seater, used by Violette Szabo among others  (see
                                                               earlier post. Violette Szabo, 6/26/12

Riveting with Wrigley
Wrigley Gum                                        During World War II, gum, considered an emergency ration,
                                                              was also given to soldiers to relieve tension and dry throats on
                                                              long marches. G.I.s used chewed gum to patch jeep tires, gas
                                                              tanks, life rafts, and parts of airplanes. Wrigley advertisements
                                                              recommended five sticks of gum per day for every war worker,
                                                              insisting that "Factory tests show how chewing gum helps men
                                                              feel better, work better."

Der Fuhrer's Face

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Anonymous said...

Don't forget AT&T and its manufacturing arm Western Electric. Western Electric built the vast majority of the radar systems made during WWII including naval and airborne systems. The antiarcraft gun control radars and so many more things including telephone equipment, movie sound systems and god knows what else.

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