Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Glenn L. Martin Plant

I found these old photos a while ago.  They are from the 1940’s during World War II. They were in an envelope marked “The Martin Plant”  and they belonged to Far Guy’s Dad.

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Area SW Of Plant At  NW End Looking East Showing Location of South Dock.  The photo is dated 6-23-44

These photos we taken at the Fort Crook Military Reservation at the Glenn L. Martin Plant.

Far Guys Dad (Marvin) and his Uncle Willard ( His Mother’s brother) did “mods” there during the war.

This is what Uncle Willard shared with me a few years before his death.

He moved to Omaha.  He moved in with his sister and her husband ( Far Guy’s parents) They lived near Spring Lake Park Golf Course. He and Far Guy’s Dad worked at Fort Crook Military Reservation for the duration of the war.

He worked on the B-26 Marauder in the Martin Plant. The “A” model B 26 all went to Russia.  Hitler was pounding the hell out of Russia.  The “B” model all went to the Army Air Corps.  The modification center moved more planes through than the factory. The first big modification job was a B 25 they were missile bombers made in Burbank California.  The planes were stacked up outside sometimes there would be 40 acres of planes just setting there ready to run through modifications.  We put more guns on them..50 caliber and a 75 mm cannon out the nose of the airplane.  These were used in the Pacific and Western Europe..they would wreck a railroad..they blew up Hitler’s trains.  They would fly right down a track and hit a locomotive.  They would take the 50 caliber and shoot right into the railroad cars..they blew up!

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Nagelle Storage Modification North End Building “A” Photo is dated 2-12-45

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Removing Dorsal Fin To Accomplish Modification Change No.A 21  Photo dated 5-1-44

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Barnes Multiple Spindle Drills For Engine Mount Production  Looking South in Welding Dept.  Photo dated 9 -30-44

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These awards were found with the photographs.

Far Guy’s Dad (Marvin) was a Machinist and Uncle Willard was an Electrician for the Glenn L. Martin Company in Nebraska.

One story about Uncle Willard…one day he was too busy to go to lunch.  An Airplane in the air sounded “funny”  he  looked over and the plane a B 25 whose left engine failed landed on the roof of the cafeteria…that happened September 22 1943.  Three out of four air crew were killed…no one inside the cafeteria died.

April 6 1942 to September 5 1945 was the time Marvin spent in War Production. Possibly longer…I can only document what the certificate says.  

Far Guy said “Dad got a draft notice and he contacted someone at the Martin Plant.  The Plant then contacted someone in the Armed Forces. In 1942 or 1943 he received a Presidential Waiver because he was a very skilled machinist and could best serve the war effort while working at the Glenn L. Martin Plant.  FDR was President back then.  The Presidential Letter was not saved. He worked on a special bomb release mechanism for a B 29.   He was never told exactly what the release mechanism was for.”

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20 comments:

  1. Wow! what an interesting pice of history. The photos and the awards are priceless. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Very interesting and so neat to have!

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  3. I really enjoy learning about how different people contributed their talent to the war effort. My dad was a Warrant Officer during the war but then learned how to navigate bombers. I'm watching a BBC crime series (Foyle's War) right now, and it's set in England during the war. Very interesting indeed. :-)

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  4. That was an amazing story, and I'd love for you to link it to my blog today for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom. So interesting to learn of how some folks served in the war effort without ever leaving the country. And so great that his skill was recognized.

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  5. These are really cool photos! I'm sure someone would like them to put in a book!

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  6. I bet he figured out what the release mechanism was for eventually. Very interestin post!

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  7. Now I tell how old we are, The Bennie could name the planes as a kid and I could some of them.
    When they would fly over we would cheer. We were very proud and indoctrinated to love the fighting spirit of America. That is why we are so sad about our leader today. We still think our country is number One. I still tear up just thanking about all the young men that died for us to have a wonderful childhood. Kids today don't know what freedom we had.

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  8. I love this post - thank you for sharing the photos and the comments from Uncle Willard.

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  9. While watching the movie "Unbroken" I was surprise to see that the war planes were not finished on the inside. The ramp was in there for them to walk up and down the inside and the walls were the outside of the plane. It made them lighter weight with just support poles and outer skin of the plane. I now know why the duct taped over the holes as the shells would go right through the metal. I didn't know about the Martin Plant. It was all new war history for me. It is surprising how much Russian needed us to help them to finally survive and now we are the enemy.

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  10. Fascinating personal history and so wonderful you were able to preserve the stories of these men before they were gone.

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  11. Very interesting stories/memories to go with the photos.
    The foot MRI shows a lot of damage to tendon/ligaments and I'm being referred to Emory Univ. I'll update when I know more.

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  12. It's amazing what industry could produce under great pressure. Today's industries would want far too much money and wouldn't contribute to the common good.

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  13. You Far Folks might enjoy reading this:

    http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/history/full-text/NH1993BomberPlant.pdf

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  14. Afternoon, so fascinating, enjoy all the history and pictures.My Father was a gunner in WWII, loved hearing his stories.Blessings Francine.

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  15. What wonderful old photos! A great find!

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  16. Thanks for the Memories Connie about Dad ( Willard ). I always did enjoy his stories. He sure was a story teller, that's for sure. He did tell me he saved all the Serial Numbers from working on the now famous Enola Gay that played such an important role in our History. It sits at the Air and Space Museum not far from us.He saw it again only in pieces before it's new home. He told me that he kept all the Serial Numbers in case something went wrong ,he wouldn't get the blame for it. I said, you sure were taking a chance doing that! I still have not asked Mom where all his papers are. Reminds me to get busy and ask her. He also said that they would get to go see Benny Goodman and others for Fifty Cents back then. I would have died right there. Love all those Big Band songs from WW11. Thanks for the Memories Sharon

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  17. Lots of interesting info and pics, Connie. :)

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  18. I so love your looks back at history - the photos and the stories! Thank you.

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  19. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing all of it.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie