The History of the Delco-Remy Divsion of General Motors
A.K.A. "The Remy Brothers" or "The Remy Electric Company"
1896-1994
Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944   World War Two Products and Product Applications    The Army-Navy "E" Award   Our War Job

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Delco-Remy in World War Two
World War Two Products and Product Applications
Aircraft Components for Military Aircraft

This page added January 14, 2016.

The B-29 Project:  Delco-Remy was one of seventeen GM Divisions that built components for the B-29.  It was the most expensive project of WWII, being even more expensive than the Manhattan Project.  The GM Divisions were themselves a component of US automakers and parts supplier that contributed significantly to the building of the B-29 which included the Fisher Body Division of GM, Briggs Manufacturing, Hudson, Goodyear, Firestone, Dodge, and Plymouth.

No mention of the B-29 is made in the 1944 Delco-Remy booklet "Our War Job".  There are two reasons for this.  First, production on the B-29 did not start until mid-1944, and contracts and tooling were still being made when the booklet was published.  Second, the B-29 project was considered "Top Secret."  Delco-Remy would have only been able to state it was working on the project, but not what it was making for it.  As diverse of an aircraft related product line produced by DR during WWII, the Division could have supplied any number of components for the B-29.


This Glenn Martin Company document shows the major airframe suppliers for its plant in Omaha, NE. 

Starting at the front of the fuselage and working towards the rear of the aircraft, the glass nose section was built by Libby-Owens-Ford, an automotive glass company.  The fuselage nose section was built by Chrysler's Plymouth Division in Detroit.  Goodyear in Akron, OH built the two bomb bay fuselage sections.  Briggs, an independent auto body manufacturer in Detroit, provided the bomb bay doors.  The three rear fuselage sections behind the wings were also built in the city of Detroit by the Hudson Motor Car Company, which combined with Nash in 1954 to become American Motors.  The entire tail section and the elevators with control surfaces were made by Goodyear, and the tail gunner's position was manufactured by the Fisher Body Division of GM at Cleveland, OH.

Martin Omaha provided the center section of the wing.  Chrysler provided the inboard leading edges.  Hudson built the outer wing sections, outer leading edges, ailerons and wing tips.  Briggs provided the flaps.  All four engine nacelles and engine oil tanks came from the Fisher Body Division of GM along with the exhaust manifolds.  Omaha built the engine mounts, Dodge supplied the engines and Chrysler the engine cowlings.

Firestone provided the main and auxiliary wing fuel tanks and BF Goodrich the fuselage auxiliary fuel tank.

While this is a Boeing designed aircraft, there are no major fuselage, wing or rear tail section components provided by that company.  With the exception of the Martin wing center section, the rest of the wing was supplied by the American automobile industry. 

Inside the B-29 airframe and wing structural components listed above, there were tens of thousands of parts and components.  The engine nacelles produced by the Fisher Body Division of GM had over 3,000 parts in them.  Each nose fuselage section built by Chrysler had 5,000 parts in it.  Many of the parts for many of the major components would have been supplied by AC Sparkplug, Allison, Brown-Lipe-Chapin, Buick, Chevrolet, Delco Appliance, Delco Products, Delco Radio, Delco-Remy, Fisher Body, Frigidaire, Harrison Radiator, Hyatt Bearings, Moraine Products, New Departure, Packard Electric, and Rochester Products Divisions of GM as identified in the 1944 GM Annual Report.

Of significance is that the Martin Plant in Omaha, NB produced the Silverplate B-29 Nuclear Bombers.


No doubt some Delco-Remy part or component went on a ride to Hiroshima, Japan in the Enola Gay on August 6, 1945.  Author's photo.


Delco-Remy Aircraft Equipment in World War Two:  Various models of aircraft generators up to 6KW, aircraft regulators, aircraft magnetos, aircraft batteries, automatic aircraft engine controls, and both solenoid valves and servos for the Sperry Automatic Pilot.

Army Air Forces and Navy Aircraft utilizing Delco-Remy Electrical Equipment in World War Two:   Any of the described aircraft equipment could be on any of the aircraft listed below.  It could have been one part or any number on the aircraft.

The WWII military aircraft included but was not limited to:  C-47, P-51, B-26, B-24, B-26, B-17, B-29, P-39, P-63, SBD, A-20, P-38, C-46, P-47, PV-1

Sperry Auto Pilot:  Delco-Remy supplied solenoids for aircraft autopilots during WWII.


A B-24 auto pilot on display at the Hoosier Air Museum in Auburn, IN.  Within this device are DR solenoids.  Author's Photo.


"Witchcraft" on final approach.  It is one of two B-24s still flying today.  Author's Photo.

The Allison V-1710 twelve cylinder aircraft engine:

 
 This Allison V-1710 is on display at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis.  The two nose house castings and the intake manifolds on top of the engine were produced in DR Plant 7.  The same can be said for the heads that are painted black and the gray engine block below it.  The valve cover that has been removed but is just visible on opposite side was also a Delco-Remy casting.  Many of the internal castings not seen were also produced in Plant 7 and then machined in Plant 10.  Author's photo.

The photos below show aircraft that were powered by the Allison V-1710 engine which had Delco-Remy castings.


The Bell P-63.   Author's photo.


The Lockheed P-38L.   Author's photo.


This Allison V-1710-69 aircraft engine with Delco-Remy Plant 7 castings was used on the right engine of P-38L's like the one shown above.  Author's photo from the Hoosier Air Museum.


The North American P-51A.   Author's photo.


The North American A-36.   Author's photo.


The Curtiss P-40.   Author's photo.

The Allison V-3420 twenty-four cylinder aircraft engine:


  It was announced on June 2, 1944 that Delco-Remy was supplying the major castings for this aircraft engine, just as it was doing for the Allison V-1710.  This is one of only 150 Allison V-3420 engines built.


Four of the Allison V-3420 engines with Delco-Remy castings were installed in a B-29 which was designated the XB-39.  Due to the arrival of the jet engine the need for a large piston powered engine vanished at the end of WWII.

The Allison aircraft jet engine:  According to the March 30, 1945 Clan, Plant 7 had been and was providing jet engine castings to Allison.  Due to the secrecy of the project this was the first time it had been announced to the employees and public.  The April 13,1945 Clan indicated the Allison built jet engines were being produced for the Lockheed P-80, the first operational jet aircraft for the US Army Air Force.  The engine was a GE designed J-33 centrifugal flow jet engine that Allison was building under license.  By the end of the war it built 297 J-33s.


A cutaway of the J-33 which has DR Plant 7 castings in it.


The Lockheed P-80.

Delco-Remy in WWII   DR WWII Marine Equipment DR WWII Tank Products   DR WWII Vehicle Products DR and LST-393   DR WWII King's Mill Plant  DR WWII Anitoch Foundry

 

 

Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944   World War Two Products and Product Applications   The Army-Navy "E" Award   Our War Job
Home  History   The Plants   Plant Photos   Moments in Time  The Products   Product Brochures   Service Manuals   Training Booklets   Video  Employment Numbers   Museums   Sources  Allied Divisions   Revisions   Reunions   Remy Electric Country Club   Vintage Literature about The Remy Electric Company   Links

This Website has no affiliation with General Motors, Delphi Holdings, Remy International, or Borg-Warner.  The content is to only present a historical perspective of the plants and products of the former Delco-Remy Division previous to 1994.  All content
presented on this website is for general information only.   Website designed and maintained by David D Jackson.  
Contact:  David D Jackson