Seventy years ago American industry was converting from wartime to peacetime production. American workers during the War had performed a miracle. The figures of the items produced are absolutely stunning.
During the War the US produced 324,000 military planes, 102,410 tanks, 2,382,311 other vehicles, 257,390 pieces of artillery, 105,055 mortars, 2,679,840 machine guns, 124 carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 245 submarines, and 35,000 landing craft. These figures only scratch the surface as the US also had to produce the tens of thousands of other categories of items, ranging from uniforms to Liberty transport ships, without which American, and Allied, forces would have ground to a halt.
This was accomplished in three years and eight months by a workforce from which sixteen million men in their prime were subtracted to serve in the Armed Forces. Middle Aged men, young men waiting to be drafted and young women largely made up the workers who turned FDR’s “arsenal of democracy” into an unforgettable reality. It was a magnificent accomplishment. Something to remember on Labor Day.