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 WWII  DR WWII Aircraft Products   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 in World War Two
World War Two Products and Product Applications

This page added updated January 14, 2017.

This is one of four pages on this site to exhibit the contribution of Delco-Remy Division of GM to winning the Second World War.  "Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion" details the contribution of the Division during the largest and most important amphibious invasion in history.  "Our War Job" is the complete reproduction Delco-Remy's 1944 booklet detailing its participation in the war effort up to that date.  "The Army-Navy "E" Award with Three Stars" page is a photo essay of Delco-Remy's WWII "E" flag.  This page, "World War Two Products and Product Applications," complements the other three pages, by providing more detail on the many weapons which used Delco-Remy electrical components.  Many of these weapons were not at the Normandy Invasion.  The were either introduced into the European combat zone after the initial landings, or obsolete as front line fighting weapons prior to D-Day. 

Prior to World War Two, Delco-Remy not only supplied General Motors cars and trucks with electrical components, but also supplied other car and truck makers as well.  Even before the United States entered World War Two after Pearl Harbor, Plant 7 was built in 1940 as an aluminum foundry to produce castings for the Allison V-1710 aircraft engine. This page shows many of Delco-Remy (DR) products used in a plethora of military applications during WWII.  Product applications fell into four basic groups:  trucks, tracked and wheeled armored vehicles, small boats and landing craft, and aircraft engines and equipment.

The information below is not comprehensive, but a sample of known applications for Delco-Remy products during WWII.  It would be impossible to list all of the uses for DR's products.  There were so many, that they are not even all known.  Below is a good snapshot of many of those that are known.


The original Anderson Delco-Remy Army Navy "E" Flag that the Division won during WWII.  This historical treasure was saved for posterity and was photographed at the Madison County Historical Society's 2016 Delco-Remy display.  Authors' photo.
 
The Army-Navy "E" Award was the most sought after award during WWII.  Only 5% of the eligible companies received it; and of those 5%, only 18% were awarded three stars like DR Anderson.  Delco-Remy Anderson originally won the Army-Navy "E" for Excellence Award on May 4, 1943, and then had stars added on February 26, 1944, September 9, 1944 and April 21, 1945.

Delco-Remy World War Two / WWII Production Numbers:  During WWII companies were not allowed to publically publish production numbers as they were considered to be a military secret.  In 1945 these regulations eased up and in the February 9,1945 addition of the Clan Delco-Remy was allowed to release production numbers of WWII products to date.  The numbers are by general product groupings and not by individual product, but they do give an insight into the amount of war material DR produced up until early 1945.

The plants included in the production of the following parts were Anderson, IN; Bedford, IN; Kings Mill, OH; Muncie, IN; and  Yellow Springs, OH.  No specifics are given below for the number of batteries produced by Muncie.

(1,500,000+) electrical sets consisting of generators, cranking motors, regulators, switches, distributors and coils for military trucks, tractors and DUKWs.
(485,000+) heavy duty of generators, cranking motors, regulators, coils and switches for Army tanks and tank destroyers and for Navy landing craft and PT boats.
(105,000+) aircraft generators and regulators.
(295,000+) aircraft magnetos.  Two magnetos were used per aircraft engine.  During WWII (812,615) aircraft engines were produced.  DR supplied over 147,500 or 18% of them with magnetos.
(62,000+) aircraft engine controls.
(40,000+) Sperry automatic pilot servo controls. 
(60,000+) complete sets of aluminum castings for the Allison V-1710 and V-3420 aircraft engines.  Allison produced (69,305) V-1710 and V-3420 engines during WWII.


Now this is a Delco-Remy cranking motor!!!  Note the size of the motor compared to the author's size 9-1/2 shoe.  It took this size of a craning motor so start the Electro-Motive 900 hp diesel engine on US Navy LST landing ships.  This and a second DR starter can be seen on LST 393 in Muskegon, MI.  Author's photo.


The Delco-Remy ID Tag shows this was Serial Number 182 and was built on 9-4-1942.  This 64 volt starter pulled 800 amps to produce 32.5 hp.  This is the largest DR cranking motor the author has ever seen.  For more photos and information see the DR WWII LST 393 page. Author's photo.

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 World War Two / WWII Products:  Electrical Components for Military Trucks - Generators and generator regulators, starting motors, ignition distributors and coils, switches, and batteries; Electrical Components for Military Tanks and Armored Vehicles - Generators and generator regulators, starting motors, ignition distributors and coils, apparatus boxes, and batteries; Electrical Components for Military Aircraft - Generators and generator regulators, magnetos, and batteries; Automatic Aircraft Engine Controls; Solenoids for Sperry Autopilots; Automatic Trim Tab Controls; Electrical Components for Military Marine applications - Generators and generator regulators, starting motors, ignition distributors and coils;  Marine propeller pitch controls for landing craft and submarine chasers; Marine diesel equipment - pistons, blowers, pre-heaters and pre-heater fuel pumps, governors; Tubing - for electrical, fuel, brake, air conditioning, oil and air lines; Allison V-1710 engine castings - Various; Aircraft engine machined parts - Various; (1,000,000) 20mm shell bodies;  Various solenoids for starting motors, aircraft bomb release racks, guns and overdrive controls.


This Allison V-1710 was on display at DR in February 1942.  It came back from Libya with five bullet holes in the nose housing.  The Royal Air Force P-40 Tomahawk was able to land safely. 


This is the Allison V-3420 engine as shown in the DR Clan dated June 2, 1944.  Only 160 were made and four were used to modify a B-29 with four of the engines.  The coming of jet propulsion doomed this engine.  Delco-Remy Plant 7 did provide many of the Al castings for the limited run of the engine.


From the March 9, 1945 Delco-Remy Clan.


From the June 1, 1945 Delco-Remy Clan.



Bedford, IN:  It was announced in the August 14,1942 issue of the Clan that Delco-Remy had purchased the Salem and Walters Mills and the property of the Indiana Lime Stone Company in Bedford, IN and the new plant was now the Bedford Foundry Plant of the Delco-Remy Division.  The complex consisted of two mill buildings totally 140,000 square feet and an office building.  It, along with plant 7 in Anderson, produced aluminum castings for the Allison aircraft engine.

According to the March 9, 1945 edition of the Delco-Remy Clan, Bedford had received new contracts for increasing production on the Rolls-Royce aircraft engine.  This implies that Bedford had already been producing casting for the Packard built Rolls-Royce V-1650 Merlin engine.  This is the only reference I have ever seen that Delco-Remy was supplying castings to any other aircraft engine manufacturer besides Allison.  The Packard built Merlin engine was the most important and best engine used in an Army Air Force fighter during WWII.  It made the P-51 Mustang into the best Army WWII fighter aircraft.

Kings Mill, OH:  On April 28, 1944 it was announced that the US Navy had taken control of the former Kings Mill Army Ordnance plant in Kings Mill, OH, and that Delco-Remy would build cranking motors for diesel powered landing craft.  At the end of the war the plant had in just a year's time had produced 64,000 naval cranking motors and 375,000 switches.  This was done with a work force of 900 employees. 

Interestingly enough, this plant still exists today as the King's Mill Commerce Park on the south side of the Little Miami River in King's Mill, OH, and is just across the river from King's Island Amusement Park.  Before the DR took over management of the plant Remington Arms produced ammunition in it until March of 1944.  The .30 carbine ammunition being made in the plant could not be produced in the quantities needed and was moved to a larger plant.  Then the US Navy took control and DR tooled up the plant in 60 days for the production of Naval cranking motors and switches.

In 2012 the EPA added the plant and site to its Superfund list and ordered DuPont, which owned Remington when it produced ammunition at the plant, to clean it up.

DR WWII Aircraft Products   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