B-24's being built at Willow Run B-24 production line at Willow Run, Detroit

WWII U.S. Aircraft Manufacturers

Factories in Production in Early 1944

By , Apr. 2001. Updated January 23, 2012.

This page differs from the other pages in this site.

Rather than summarizing what I have already learned, here I am laying out what I would like to learn and what memories I would like to help preserve. World War Two was essentially an "industrial war," a war in which the productive manufacturing capacity of the United States ultimately made the difference. Great companies like Grumman, North American, Republic, Curtiss-Wright are now gone, but in the 1940's, they constituted the backbone of America's industrial capacity.

As I gather information, I'll make separate pages for the individual plants.

If you or a relative worked in one of these plants, and have information to share,
please email me, Webmaster, so that the information could be included on this site. 


Mark Reynosa, an aerospace engineer who is very familiar with the West Coast aircraft production facilities. His family has been in aerospace since World War II and has worked in a number of the West Coast facilities. He has visited nearly all West Coast aircraft production facilities and is familiar with wartime production at these sites. He is also an author with Schiffer Publishing and is in the process of writing the history of the plants in Southern California.

Company Plant Name Location State Product(s) Empl. Web Links Books Notes What is it Now?
Bell - Buffalo NY P-39 Airacobra
P-63 Kingcobra
28,000 - - - Realty Firm Buys Bell Plant
Bell - Marietta GA B-29 Superfortress 28,000 - - assembly (now Lockheed Plant) is still operating building C-130s and F-22s
Boeing Plant 1 Seattle WA - 50,000 - - -
Boeing Plant 2 Seattle WA B-17 Flying Fortress incl. - - - storage for Boeing historical aircraft(B-307, 707 prototype)
Boeing - Renton WA B-29 Superfortress incl. - - - still operating building 737s and 757s
Boeing - Wichita KS B-29 Superfortress 40,000 Wichita B-29s - - still opearting building 737 fuselages
Consolidated Plant 1 San Diego CA PBY Catalina  45,000 Journal of San Diego Hist. - - demolished 1997 {vacant lot} 
Consolidated Plant 2 San Diego CA B-24 Liberator incl. Journal of San Diego Hist. - - U.S. Navy SPAWAR Old Town Campus 
Consolidated - Fort Worth TX B-24 Liberator  32,000 - - - (now Lockheed Plant) still operating building F-16s
Curtiss-Wright - Buffalo NY P-40 Warhawk, C-46 Commando - - - - Buffalo Airport Center: vacant, empty and awaiting demolition
Curtiss-Wright - Columbus OH SB2C Helldiver 13,000 Ohio Hist. Soc. - - Hazardous Waste Site
Curtiss-Wright - St. Louis MO C-46 Commando - - - - (now Boeing Plant) is still operating building F-15s and F/A-18s
Curtiss-Wright - Louisville KY C-46 Commando 80,000 in area defense industry - - later IH tractors Even later became a forge shop called Louisville Forge & Gear. The property was then taken by the Louisville Regional Airport Authority in the late 1980s, the buildings remained until 1993-94. By 1997 the property became part of the new west runway for Louisville International airport
Douglas Clover Field Santa Monica CA A-20 Havoc, C-54 40,000 - - HQ, 160,000 in six plants demolished mid 1980s (now Museum of Flying, hangars and industrial park) 
Douglas - Long Beach CA B-17 Flying Fortress, A-26 Invader, C-47 - - - largest plant, built in '41 for military production demolished 2002 (vacant lot)
Douglas - Tulsa OK B-24 Liberator, A-26 Invader, C-47 22,000 - - - (now Boeing Plant) is still operating
Douglas - El Segundo CA SBD Dauntless - - - - (now Northrop Plant) is still operating building F/A-18s 
Douglas Orchard Place Chicago IL C-54 - - - - O'Hare International Airport which still carries the "ORD" initials as its designator.
Ford - Willow Run MI B-24 Liberator 42,000 Willow Run Tour
Arsenal of Democracy
- - Cargo Airport
General Motors, Eastern Aircraft Division - Tarrytown, Linden, Bloomfield, Trenton, Baltimore - FM Wildcat, TBM Avenger - - - Avengers assembled in Trenton Tarrytown now a condo development
Goodyear - Akron OH FG-1 Corsair (F4U) - - - - -
Grumman - Bethpage NY F6F Hellcat 25,000 Newsday article - - -
Hamilton Standard - East Hartford CT propellers - - - - -
Hughes - Culver City CA HK-1 - - - - sold in 1995, Movie Studio Sound Stage 
Lockheed B-1 Burbank CA P-38 Lightning 94,000 corp. - - - demolished 1993 (new shopping mall) 
Lockheed A-1 Burbank CA B-17 Flying Fortress, PV-2 Harpoon incl. Lockheed's Burbank Plants - - demolition 2000 (vacant lot)
Lockheed B-6 Burbank CA C-69 Constellation incl. - - - demolition 1993-1998 (vacant lot) 
Martin - Middle River MD B-26 Marauder 53,000 - - - -
Martin - Omaha NE B-29 Superfortress 14,000 Martin-Built B-29s - assembly -
N.A.F. - Philadelphia PA - - - - - -
Northrop - Hawthorne CA P-61 Black Widow - - - - (now Vought Plant) is still operating building 747 fuselages 
North American - Inglewood CA AT-6 Texan, P-51 Mustang
B-25 Mitchell
- - - HQ demolition mid 1980’s (LAX Air Cargo facility)
North American Fairfax,
Kansas City KS
B-25 Mitchell - - -
postwar GM Buick production
vacant land
North American - Dallas/Grand Prairie TX B-24 Liberator - - - - -
Pratt & Whitney - East Hartford CT engines - - - My Dad worked there. still operating
Pratt & Whitney - Kansas City MO Double Wasp engines - - - - Honeywell nuclear weapons plant
Republic - Farmingdale NY P-47 Thunderbolt 24,000 Newsday article - - -
Vought - Stratford CT F4U Corsair - Link - - -
Vultee - Downey CA BT-13 Valiant - - - - -
Vultee - Nashville TN A-31 Vengence - - - - -
Co plant city ST Prod empl Link books notes Now


Lockheed's Burbank Plants - by Mark Reynosa
Aerofiles - excellent aviation reference site
Lockheed Martin corporate site
Wright Brothers National Memorial - National Park Service

Boeing - bombers
Douglas Aircraft - bombers and DC-3
Northrop - P-61 night fighter
Brewster - F2A Buffalo

More on the Kansas City Plant, from Brett Lovett:

Many sources including Boeing (ultimate successor to North American) incorrectly locate the plant in Kansas City, Missouri. The plant was actually located in the Fairfax Industrial District of Kansas City, Kansas. The plant was often referred to as "NAA-K" (K for Kansas) and a sunflower was incorporated into the NAA logo to designate the Kansas plant. This was a government built and owned plant provided to North American Aviation. Only B-25D and B-25J models were produced in Kansas City. Plans for North American to build B-29s and P-80s in this plant were abandoned.

After WWII the plant became the Buick Oldsmobile Pontiac manufacturing plant for General Motors. For a short time General Motors, under government contract, built Republic F-84Fs in this plant alongside the automobiles they were producing. General Motors abandoned this factory in the late 1980's for a newer facility built
on top of the former Fairfax Airport that adjoined the old factory site. The old factory was damaged by fire and demolished sometime in the late 1980s or early 90s. The land it occupied sits vacant today.

For detailed info on the Kansas City plant, find a copy of the book "Fairfax Ghosts: The Bomber Builders and Others Who Made a Difference". The book is out of print, but should be available by interlibrary loan. Used copies can also be found for sale.

The NAA Dallas plant is now headquarters for Vought Aircraft. I believe it was referred to as "NAA-T".

America's Hundred Thousand, by Francis H. Dean

Order 'America's Hundred Thousand' at Amazon.comThis book covers in detail the eleven U.S. fighter aircraft types planes produced just before and during World War II - with a combined production total of just over 100,000 aircraft. Covered are the Army Lockheed P-38 Lightning, P-39 Airacobra, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, North American P-51 Mustang, Northrop P-61 Black Widow, and the Navy F2A - Buffalo, F4F - Wildcat, F4U - Corsair, and F6F - Hellcat fighters. The text is supplemented by more than 650 photographs, and 200 tables and graphs. Fighter production figures are also included. 

After an introduction of each type, a heavily illustrated overview of earlier inter-war production from 1920-on, along with a discussion and illustration of wartime experimental types, is provided. A lengthy section considering several technical factors affecting fighter performance follows. These include engine models, supercharger types, propellers, aerodynamic thrust, lift and drag, aircraft weight, balance, stability and control, and armament. 

America's Hundred Thousand also provides details of each U.S. World War II production fighter in terms of models and changes, numbers planes produced, and major engine and aircraft performance aspects - in tabular and graphical form - details of weights, discussion of handling qualities and general comments, along with detailed descriptions containing many illustrations of aircraft structures and systems showing the technology of that time. In addition a comprehensive week-to-week and month-to-month chronology of development and wartime combat operational life for each fighter is provided, including many photos. This study concludes with comparisons of the eleven types in terms of program milestones, aircraft drag, power available at various altitudes, speed, climb, rolling and turning, acceleration, and diving performance, as well as general evaluations by World War II pilots. 

Buy ''America's Hundred Thousand'' at