October 26, 2021
World War II became a race of production and the Ford Motor Company stepped up in a big way to help bring down Hitler. As the militaries of the Allied and Axis Powers geared up for battle, creating the tools of war became as critical as the fighting. As President Roosevelt said on May 26th, 1940, the government needs to “harness the efficient machinery of America’s manufacturers.”
The President aimed to create 50,000 combat aircraft over a calendar year to face the “approaching storm” of world war. In order to meet that colossal goal, Ford literally moved heaven and earth to equip Americans with the means to defeat the Nazis. This is the story of Ford Motor Company’s war effort.
Ford Met With Skepticism
To put President Roosevelt’s objective into perspective, 50,000 aircraft exceeded the total of all planes built since the Wright brothers’ invention in 1903. At the time America possessed less than 3,000 warplanes, most of which were obsolete. To win the war, the government decided that the B-17 and B-24s capable of striking deep into German territory were necessary.