Saginaw Steering Gear Division of General Motors Corporation in World War Two
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This page updated 5-6-2021.
The Saginaw Steering Gear Plant #1 won the Army-Navy "E" Award three times during World War Two.
The Saginaw Steering Gear Plant #2 won the Army-Navy "E" Award three times during World War Two.
In July 1942 Saginaw Steering Gear (SSG) took over management of an unused Chevrolet plant in Atlanta, GA for the production of 37mm shot for anti-tank guns.
Saginaw Steering Gear Division of GM World War Two Production Statistics: (367,853) 1919A4 .30 caliber machine guns, (44,531) 1919A6 .30 caliber machine guns, (517,213) .30 caliber M1 carbines, (13,377,152)37mm projectiles, (148,981) 57mm projectiles. Saginaw Steering gear also manufactured components for the M3 Submachine Gun built by the Guide Lamp Division of GM. SSG produced bolt assemblies, barrel bushings and barrel collars for the M3.
SSG produced subassemblies for many other military products. They included subassemblies and components for: Amphibian trucks (GMC DUKW), Canadian military vehicles (GM of Canada), 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns (Pontiac Motor Division), 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns (Pontiac Motor Division), industrial trucks, industrial cranes, industrial tractors, military aircraft, military road building equipment, Export Reconnaissance Vehicles (Chevrolet Staghound Armored Car), Armored Cars (Chevrolet Staghound Armored Car), diesel engine parts for trucks, tanks and boats (Detroit Diesel Division), Army Tanks (Fisher Body Grand Blanc Tank Arsenal), Army Tank Destroyers (Fisher Body Grand Blanc Tank Arsenal and Buick Motor Division),Gun Turrets, Army and Navy Supply Vehicles (GMC and Chevrolet).
Saginaw Steering Gear M1 Carbine:
This Saginaw Steering Gear M1 Carbine was photographed by the author at the 2017 South Carolina National Guard Air and Ground Expo. It is serial number 18074161.
Serial number 18074161 was part of the original Irwin-Pedersen Arms Company's contracted serial numbers that Saginaw Steering took over at the request of the government. Author's photo.
Saginaw Steering Gear M1 Carbine Serial Numbers: Saginaw Steering Gear 1919A4 Machine Guns:
Grand Rapids Plant (S'G'): 1,762,520-1,875,039 - This was the set of serial numbers originally assigned to the Irwin-Pedersen Arms Company.
Saginaw Plant(SG): 3,250,020-3,651,519
Saginaw Steering Gear 1919A4 Machine Guns:
This 1919A4 .30 caliber machine gun is on display at the USMC Museum in Triangle, VA. It is one of the 367,853 1919A4s produced by Saginaw Steering Gear during World War Two. Author's photo.
The serial number on the weapon is 566591. Author's photo.
This Saginaw-built 1919A4 .30 caliber machine gun is on display at the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes, IN. Author's photo added 1-22-2018.
Serial number 508592 is definitely identified on the receiver as an M1919A4. Author's photo added 1-22-2018.
This Saginaw Steering Gear M1919A4 is on display at the New Jersey Militia Museum Annex in Lawrenceville, NJ. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
This Saginaw Steering Gear M1919A4 is serial number 787104. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
This Saginaw Steering Gear M1919A4 is on display at the Michigan Military Heritage Museum in Grass Lake, MI. This is 104 miles from where it was built and is the closest of the Saginaw-built machine guns to its place of manufacture. Author's photo added 5-6-2021.
It is serial number 806684. Author's photo added 5-6-2021.
Saginaw Steering Gear 1919A6 Machine Guns:
This Saginaw Steering Gear built 1919A6 .30 caliber machine gun on display at the Indiana Military Museum is actually a 1919A4 that was converted to the A6 configuration. It is serial number 280592. Author's photo added 1-22-2018.
The receiver on this weapon is more difficult to read but the name "Saginaw" can still be read. Author's photo added 1-22-2018.
This Saginaw Steering Gear M1919A6 is on display at the New Jersey Militia Museum Annex in Lawrenceville, NJ.
This was originally built as an M1919A4 but converted to an A6. The "X" can be seen over where the number "4" used to be. This is serial number 403674. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
This Saginaw Steering Gear M1919A6 is on display at the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort, KY. Author's photo added 5-6-2021.
This was also an M1919A4 that was converted to an M1919A6. The serial number is 333092. Author's photo added 5-6-2021.
Cutaway Training Example:
A cutaway of a .30 caliber machine gun used for training purposes during WWII. Author's photo added 11-16-2017.
The cutaway gives an excellent view of the internal workings of the .30 caliber machine gun built by the Saginaw Steering Gear Division in WWII. Author's photo added 11-16-2017.
The former SSG Grand Rapids carbine plant in February 2017. The plant has expanded many times since World War Two when SSG produced M1 carbines at this location. Originally the plant was owned by Irwin-Pedersen Arms Company which was contracted to build the M1 carbine. However, when none of the first production was accepted by the US Military, Saginaw Steering Gear Division was asked by the government to take over the contract. SSG produced 112,519 carbines that were part of the original Irwin-Pedersen contract in the plant. It also produced another 37,499 under its own contract at this location. The remaining 367,195 carbines were produced in Saginaw. In 1943 the plant was turned over to the newly formed Diesel Equipment Division, which produced fuel injectors for the Cleveland Diesel, Detroit Diesel, and Electro-Motive Divisions of General Motors. The author was in this plant on business in 2007, unaware of its WWII connections when there. Author's photo.
The north parking lot. Today General Motors operates the plant. Author's photo.
World War Two Products using Saginaw Steering Gear Parts: Saginaw Steering Gear made a variety of components that were used in other products built by other General Motors Divisions during World War Two. Here are a few of the vehicles and weapons the components went into.
This GMC DUKW is on display at the USS Edson in Bay City, MI, not far from Saginaw, MI. One in four DUKWs were built with the crane to facilitate the unloading other DUKWs during WWII. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
This is a GM of Canada built 15-CWT 4x4 General Service truck. It was part of the reenactment of Sword Beach at 2019 Conneaut D-Day 75. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
This armored ambulance was built by GM of Canada. Author's photo added 11-2-2017.
Pontiac's first war contract was building 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons for the US Navy. This particular weapon, along with the stand and gun sight, were all built by Pontiac. This weapon is serial number 223843. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
Pontiac built 47,026 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun mechanisms and gun tubes. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
This Chevrolet-built Staghound armored car has a fresh coat of paint. It is temporarily stored outdoors while awaiting placement into a new indoor display area as part of the U.S. Army Armor and Cavalry Collection, Fort Benning, GA. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
This M4A3(75) Sherman tank was built by the Fisher Body Tank plant in Grand Blanc, MI. It was knocked out of action during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. It is on display in downtown Bastogne, Belgium. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
The Fisher Body Tank plant in Grand Blanc, Mi also built this M10 Wolverine tank destroyer. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
Buick built the M18 Hellcat tank destroyer. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
The GMC CCKW, 2-1/2-ton, 6x6 truck was the most important truck of World War Two. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
This is a 1941 Chevrolet 4x4,1-1/2 ton cargo truck. Author's photo added 6-5-2020.
A Detroit Diesel engine in a Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) landing craft. Author's photo.
The Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel.This is the type of boat that General Eisenhower stated had won the war. While it was not quite as simple as that, the LVCP was very important in amphibious landings, and at one time made up 97% of the ships in the US navy. Author's photo.
The Guide-Lamp manufactured M3 and M3A1 submachine gun. Author's photo.
"Your Plant and its Products"
The Saginaw Steering Gear Grand Rapids Plant in World War Two
This booklet also has excellent information on the Saginaw and Atlanta plants and products during World War Two.
For more information on machine guns manufactured not only by Saginaw Steering Gear during World War Two, but also the Frigidaire Division, the AC Sparkplug Division, and the Brown-Lipe-Chapin Division, all of General Motors, go to:One Million Browning Machine Guns
General Motors Saginaw Steering Gear Plant 2, nicknamed the Gun Plant, was a major manufacturer for the United States war machine during WWII. M1919A4 machine guns and
In 1928 plants were set up separately and the Saginaw plant became known as the Saginaw Steering Gear Division of GM. During 1929-1930, the plant produced the “Hour Glass Worm and Section Gear” for GM Truck, Oldsmobile, Oakland, and Cadillac. It also produced the “Worm and Single Roller Tooth Gear” for Buick.What is Saginaw steering? ›
Saginaw Steering Gear is an Automotive Accessory Division of General Motors. It was originally founded as the Jackson, Church and Wilson Company in 1906, for the purpose of manufacturing automobile parts.How many m1 carbines did Saginaw make? ›
Under the leadership Saginaw Division the Grand Rapids plant produced 223,620 carbines in 1943 (6, p. 202). With the termination of carbine production the Grand Rapids plant was transitioned to the G.M.C. diesel program after January 1st, 1944 (5, p.How does a Saginaw steering box work? ›
The Saginaw gearbox is a rotary-valve type unit using recirculating ball bearings. They are referred to as recirculated ball-type because they use the same ball bearings on both the worm gear and the sector gear to reduce friction within the housing.