March 28, 1941 – Construction of Ford’s Willow Run plant begins

Ford Motor Company’s WIllow Run manufacturing plant began construction on this day in 1941. The facility was being built with the intention of manufacturing aircraft for WWII, which the United States would eventually join in December of the same year. The plant, located between Ypsilanti and Belleville, Michigan, primarily produced B-24 Liberator bombers. Once complete production of the Liberator started in October of 1941 it did not stop until May of 1945. More than half of these particular planes were produced at Willow Run. Ford built the plant and sold it to the government, then leased it for the remainder of the war. When the white flags flew Ford declined to purchase it and Kaiser-Frazer took ownership. In 1953 General Motors purchased the plane and operated it was Willow Run Transmission until 2010. B-24 production at Willow RunMen and women work side by side producing parts and aircraft at Willow Run.

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