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Final Ford presentation Monday

IRON MOUNTAIN — The final part of a three-part PowerPoint history of the Ford Motor Company plant in Kingsford will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Dickinson County Library in Iron Mountain by local historian Bill Cummings. The program is free.

Glider production during World War II, the local Army-Navy “E” Award presentations, continued construction of Ford “Woodie” station wagons and Sportsman convertibles after the war, charcoal production and the end of the Ford Era in 1951 are included in this program.

During World War II, the Ford plant was converted to glider production. Ford produced 4,190 CG4A (C — cargo; G — glider) gliders between December 1942 and August 1945.

Mark Swanson, foreman of the afternoon shift at the Kingsford plant, recalled that at first two to three gliders were produced daily, but when they went into 24-hour production, eight gliders could be manufactured.

About 4,500 employees worked three shifts around the clock. During the afternoon shift the gliders were finished, inspected, torn down and the fuselages for the next day were set into place.

The gliders were crated and shipped via railroad, with each glider occupying five crates loaded on three flatcars. Toward the end of production, the gliders were towed to the Ford Airport on a trail between the Menominee River and Woodward Avenue, and about the last 100 gliders were then towed by airplane to Milwaukee.

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