“The Story of Willow Run” was a black and white documentary produced by the Ford Motor Company in 1945. The documentary describes the history of the bomber plant during the World War II period.
According to the Michigan Aerospace Foundation, the documentary recounts the building of the massive assembly plant, and the production process of more than 8,000 B-24 heavy bombers. The bombers were built at the plant from 1942 to 1945.
The plant was built by Henry Ford in 1941 and employed more than 42,000. The factory produced one B-24 aircraft every 59 minutes, according to the Yankee Air Museum. The museum was established in 1981.
Below, see a preview of the documentary from the Michigan Aerospace Foundation:
Willow Run History
|1939-1941:||Willow Run Boys Camp|
|1941-1942:||Willow Run bomber plant under construction|
|1942-1945:||Willow Run bomber plant is operational|
|Oct. 1, 1942:||First completed B-24 at Willow Run|
|1943:||Willow Run Village opens for residents|
|Apr. 16, 1944:||Plant reaches goal of one bomber per hour|
|Jun. 28, 1945:||Last bomber completed at Willow Run|
|May 12, 1946:||Ford Motor formally ends contract with government|
|1946:||Kaiser-Frazer purchases the plant facility|
|1947:||University of Michigan purchases the plant facility|
|1947-1953:||Kaiser-Frazer operates plant facility at Willow Run|
|1948:||Willow Run opens to public and commercial flights|
|1953:||General Motors purchases plant from Kaiser-Frazer|
|Mar.31, 1966:||Last public flight out of airport|
|1977:||University of Michigan sells airport to Wayne County|
|1981:||Yankee Air Force and Yankee Air Museum established|
|Oct. 9, 2004:||Fire destroys hanger at Yankee Air Museum|