Willow Run (1941-1953)
After entering World War II in 1941, America desperately needed military equipment and supplies. The Ford Motor Company had begun building this factory in April 1941. Outstanding industrial architect Albert Kahn designed Willow Run, one of the largest manufacturing plants under one roof in the world. Completed in early 1942, this bulwark of the "Arsenal of Democracy" produced 8685 B-24 Liberator Bombers and had a peak employment of 42,000 men and women. After the war, the newly formed Kaiser-Frazer Corporation -- in an unsuccessful effort to create a large scale automotive empire -- occupied this plant. Here the company manufactured the first of 739,039 passenger cars, as well as military aircraft. In 1953 Kaiser-Frazer transferred its diminishing operations from Willow Run to Toledo, Ohio, and Argentina.