Building the B-29: The Subcontractor’s list

    During World War 2, the production of the B-29 aircraft was one of the most complex and diverse manufacturing projects undertaken in the United States.

    The project was executed through the coordination of thousands of subcontractors who supplied various components or assemblies to the four main production plants: Boeing operated these plants in Renton, Washington, and Wichita, Kansas, Glenn L. Martin in Omaha, Nebraska, and Bell in Marietta, Georgia.

    In contrast, the B-24 aircraft relied on a significantly smaller number of subcontractors, with as many as 100 firms involved in its production, some of whom also utilized additional subcontractors.

    B-29 Martin-Omaha subcontractors
    The nationwide manufacturing of the B-29 required the efforts of thousands of subcontractors to supply the necessary components to the main production plants. (U.S. Air Force Photo via Chris Howlett)

    The following is an incomplete list of the B-29 subcontractors during World War 2:

    NameLocationU.S. StateProductComments
    Acme Chromium Plating Co.New HavenConnecticutStuds for R-3350 engines
    Acme Oil Burner Co.Cedar RapidsIndianaFuel Injector Valves
    Acme Wire CompanyNew HavenConnecticutMagnetic wire & coil windings for ignition
    AiResearch Manufacturing Co.PhoenixArizonaCabin pressure valves
    Exit flap control systems
    Airplane Products Inc.JolietIllinoisB-29s parts
    American Can. Co.PortlandOregonB-29 parts
    American Screw Co.ProvidenceRhode IslandB-29 components
    American Screw Prods.NewarkNew JerseyR-3350 engine injectors Fuses
    Andover Motors Co.ElmiraNew YorkB-29 Aux. Motor
    Apex Tool Co.BridgeportConnecticut B-29 parts
    Atwood Vacuum Machine Co.RockfordIllinoisAmmunition bomb lugs
    B.B JensvoldOlympiaWashingtonB-29 tunnels
    Bailey Machine Co.PlainvilleConnecticutAluminum plugs, body lead, contacts & ferrule
    Baldwin Co.CincinnatiOhioWing tips
    Ailerons
    Ballard Plastics Corp.SeattleWashingtonMolded plastics items
    Barco Mfg. CompanyChicagoIllinoisB-29 Parts, Flexible Joints
    Bead Chain Mfg. Co.BridgeportConnecticut Radar parts
    Bechtel-McCone Corp.BirminghamAlabamaAirplane modificationU.S. Government Modification Center No. 14
    Bell Aircraft Corp. MariettaGeorgiaCompleted B-29U.S. Government Assembly Plant No. 6.
    Bell produced 663 B-29s in Marietta
    Bell Machine. Co.PhiladelphiaPennsylvaniaB-29s Pilot Control
    Benk Machine ShopSt. PaulMinnesotaBomb Rack Parts
    Berco Manufacturing Co.ChicagoIllinoisLanding gears
    Bethel Machine Co.DanburyConnecticut R-3350 engine parts
    Biekford & Carrier CompanyGreenfieldMassachusettsControl Valve, Gas Inj.
    Blacher Bros.ProvidenceRhode IslandB-29 components
    Boeing Airplane Co.WichitaKansasCompleted B-29Boeing produced 1630 B-29s in Wichita
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division RentonWashingtonCompleted B-29Boeing produced 1119 B-29s in Renton
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division TacomaWashingtonSub-assemblies
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division Branch Plant #681AberdeenWashingtonfuselage frame, wing rib assemblies
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division Branch Plant #682EverettWashingtonB-29 parts
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division Branch Plant #683BellinghamWashingtonB-29 parts
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division Branch Plant #685ChehalisWashingtonB-29 parts
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division Branch Plant #687EverettWashingtonB-29 parts
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division Branch Plant #689HoquiamWashingtonfuselage frame, wing rib assemblies
    Boeing Airplane Co., Boeing Aircraft Co. Division Plant #2SeattleWashingtonCompleted B-29
    Bowser & Co. , Ino of Wayne Pump Co.Fort WayneIndianaDrive assemblies
    Bowser, Inc.Fort WayneIndianaB-29 parts
    Bowser, Inc.Chelsea MichiganGears for B-29
    Bridgeport Safety Emery Wheel Co.BridgeportConnecticut Clutch facings
    Bridgetport Thermostat Co.BridgeportConnecticut Assembly Oil Strainer R-3350 engine
    Briggs Manufacturing Co.DetroitMichiganFlaps
    Aft bomb doors
    Forward bomb doors
    Nose wheel doors
    Dorsal fins and stabilizers
    Empennage and outboard wing
    Cahpman Machine Co.TerryvilleConnecticutAuto screw products
    Car-Max Mfg. Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaR-3350 engine parts
    Castle Metal Products Co.StamfordConnecticutSuper Charge parts
    Century Engineering Co.Cedar RapidsIndianaBomb fuses and B-29 parts
    Cessna Aircraft Co.WichitaKansasSub-assemblies
    Cessna Aircraft Co., Engineering Co. DivisionWichitaKansasSub-assemblies
    Char-Lynn Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaBomb sight parts
    Chowning Regulator Corp.CorningNew YorkB-29 Aux. Motor
    Chrysler Corp., Airtemp DivisionDaytonOhioAC Parts
    Chrysler Corp., DeSoto Plant
    DetroitMichiganNose and center fuselage
    Engine cowlings
    Nose pressure cabins
    Chrysler Corp., Dodge - Chicago PlantChicagoIllinoisR-3350 engines
    Chrysler Corp., Highland Park PlantHighland ParkMichiganNose and center fuselage
    Chrysler Corp., Plymouth PlantDetroitMichiganNose and center fuselage
    City Engineering Co.IndianapolisIndianaB-29 parts
    Clyde Porcelain Steel Corp.ClydeOhioTurret parts
    Columbia Mech. & Eng. Corp.HamiltonCaliforniaParts for B-29 Clutches
    Columbus Specialty Co.ColumbusIndianaDe-icing
    Comstook & Co. NorwalkConnecticut Canvas covers
    Connecticut Manucfacturing Co.WaterburyConnecticutScrew Mach. prod
    Connecticut Telephone & Electric Co.MeridenConnecticut Connector nuts
    Constock & Co.NorwalkConnecticutCovers, pads, cords & sleeves
    Continental Airlines , Inc., Denver Modification CenterDenverColoradoAirplane modificationU.S. Government Modification Center No. 13
    Cope Brothers, Inc.FarmingtonConnecticut Component parts
    Corbin Screw Corp.New BritainConnecticut Padlocks, etc
    Cornelius Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaMotor Compressors
    Crosley Corporation Plant 2CincinnatiOhioAPB-4 Radar, SCH-694 Components
    Curtis Wright CorpStamfordConnecticutPropellers B-29 LVT Drive
    Curtiss - Wright Corp.StamfordConnecticut Pitch regulator for propeller
    Curtiss - Wright Corp., Wright Aeronautical Corp. DivisionPatersonNew JerseyR-3350 engines
    Curtiss - Wright Corp., Wright Aeronautical Corp. DivisionWood-RidgeNew JerseyR-3350 engines
    D. & N. Machine Co.East HartfordConnecticutMachine parts
    Decker Mfg. Co.RockfordIllinoisScrew machine parts
    Doran Brothers Inc.DanburyConnecticut Gyro assembly
    E.W Carpenter Mfg. Co.BridgeportConnecticut B-29 parts
    Eastern Engineering Co.New HavenConnecticutPumps
    Electrolux Corp.StamfordConnecticut Commutator dynamotor for airborne radar & inverters
    Eoudreau Machine & Tool Co.Bridgeport Connecticut B-29 parts
    Exacta Mfg. Co.New HavenConnecticutCouplings
    Excel Tool & Engineering Co.EvansvilleIndianaB-29 parts
    Fibre FormsColumbia CityIndianaB-29 Silver Pleated Dashings
    Fieldstone Tool & Mach.BronxNew YorkComponent of R-3550
    Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.FerndaleWashingtonSelf sealing fuel cells
    Fisher AircraftClevelandOhioB-29 components
    Fisher Body Co. #1ClevelandOhioNacelles & tank parts
    Forest IndustiresTacomaMichiganFormed plastic parts
    Frank Wheeler & SonMeridenConnecticutValve seat
    Frey Mfg. Co.HartfordConnecticut Steel ring
    General Aircraft Equipment Corp.StamfordConnecticut B-29 parts
    General Armature Corp.Lock HavenPennsylvaniaCommutators
    General Electric Co.SchenectadyNew YorkFire control sets
    General Electric Co.BloomfieldNew JerseyTurret interrupters, Turret Synchronisers
    General Electric Co. EverettMassachusettsTurbo-super-charger
    General Motors Corp., AC Spark Plug DivisionFlintMichiganAutomatic pilots , m-5 ( sperry)Contract for 1,000 automatic pilots
    General Motors Corp., Fisher Body Division ClevelandOhioOutboard wings, horizontal stabilizers, fins and nacellesU.S. Government Assembly Plant No. 7. It produced 13,772 B-29 engine nacelles plus 566 nose sections
    General Motors Corp., Fisher Body Division DetroitMichiganSub-assemblies
    General Motors Corp., Fisher Body Division Lansing
    MichiganEngine nacelles
    General Motors Corp., Frigidaire DivisionDaytonOhioHamilton propellers$40 million deal to supply 6,600 Hamilton propellers
    General Railway Signal Co.RochesterNew YorkFire control equipment ( remote control turrets )By end of war, it manufactured 2,100 remotely-controlled gun turrets.
    General Refineries Inc.MinneapolisMinnesotaB-29 Parts
    Gerber BrothersSeattleWashingtonMolded oxygen panel, astrocompass bracket, wing liner guide
    Glenn Martin L. Co.Middle River
    MarylandNacelles
    Airplane power turrets
    Glenn Martin L. Co.OmahaNebraskaCompleted B-29U.S. Government Assembly Plant No. 1
    Martin produced 531 B-29s in Omaha
    Glenn Martin L. Co.OmahaNebraskaAirplane modificationU.S. Government Modification Center No. 8
    Globe Tool & Die Co.SouthbridgeMassachusettsAuto. gan charge
    Goodrich , B. F. , Co. Grand Rapids
    MichiganDe-icers
    Fuel cells
    Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Aircraft Corp. DivisionNewarkOhioMotor mounts
    Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Aircraft Corp. DivisionAkronOhioFuselage sections and empennage assemblies
    Leading edges for the wing elevators
    Stabilizers, vertical fins and center sections
    Plant C
    Grinold Auto Parts, Inc.HartfordConnecticut Bombsight sectors
    H & M Corp.CambridgeMassachusettsGyroscope parts
    H. C. Baum Co.PlainvilleConnecticutSpring fuse
    H. Wibling tool & Mfg. Co.DanburyConnecticut Charger parts
    Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Co.DuncanOklahomaB-29 Components
    Hardware Specialties Mfg. Co.BridgeportConnecticut Machine parts
    Hartford Mach. Tool, Inc.HartfordConnecticutTrunnion bolts
    Harvey Wells Electronics Co.SouthbridgeMassachusettsLoop antenna, B-29 programs
    Henry & Wright Mfg. Co.HartfordConnecticutScrew door assemblies, Nut, drum & screw assem.
    Hereshey Metal ProductsDerbyConnecticut B-29 parts
    Holtzer Cabot Elec. Co.Jam PlainMassachusettsInverters
    Hoosier Cardinal Corp.EvansvilleIndianaBomb racks & Turrets
    Horthern L-Ray Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaB-29 parts
    Hudson Motor Car Co.DetroitMichiganSub-assemblies
    Production of three huge fuselage sections (two of them pressurized)
    Outer wings and wing tips
    It produced 802 B-29 rear fuselages, bulkheads, outer wing panels and wingtips
    Ideal Tool & Machine Co. Great BendPennsylvaniaJigs, Tools, Dies & Fixtures for B-29 parts
    Indian Motocycle Co. Main PlantSpringfieldMassachusettsAircraft components
    Indianapolis Tool & DieIndianapolisIndianaComps & Radar part
    International Business Machines(IBM) Corp.EndicottNew YorkSperry bomb sights s-1
    Computers
    Turrets
    Fire control sights for remote control gun turrets
    Interstate Mfg. Corp.New HavenConnecticutAircraft Instrument for B-29
    Iron Fireman Mfg. Co.PortlandOregonFuse, bomb parts
    Ittenbach G. CompanyIndianapolisIndianaPacking boxes for B-29 propellers
    Ivanoff Machine ShopSeattleWashingtonTools, dies, fixtures, handling equip.
    J. C. BartonEast HamptonConnecticutIncendiary bomb cavity steel molds
    J.A. Otterbein Co. MiddletownConnecticut Components for B29s incendiary bombs
    Johns-Hartford Tool Co.HartfordConnecticutprop. Eng. studs
    Johnson Mfg. Co.BridgeportConnecticut B-29 parts
    Jones & Lamson Machine Co.
    SpringfieldVermontGear assemblies
    Kar Engineering Co.Great BarringtonMassachusettsGun Turret Mechanism
    Ken Products Co.EvansvilleIndianaB-29 parts
    Kenworth Motor TruckSeattleWashingtonSub-assembly work, wheel well assembly, navigators floor
    Korry Manufacturing Co.SeattleWashingtonCabin & instrument lamps
    Landers, Frary and ClarkNew BritainConnecticut Motor coils
    Lawson Machine & Tool Co.MaldenMassachusettsR-3350 engine parts
    Lee CompanyHartfordConnecticutScrew mach. prod & eng. studs
    Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Co.OttawaIllinoisCanopies and cabin
    noses
    Linotype Parts Co.WeatherlyPennsylvaniaB-29 Propeller Spring Pack Retainers
    Luminous Engineering Co.BostonMassachusettsInstrument dials
    Lyle Sign Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaSub-assemblies
    Lynch BrothersPine MeadowConnecticut Filter B-29 motors
    Macallen Co.South BostonMassachusettsMica Parts
    Mamco Manufacturing Co.SeattleWashingtonMolded & cut phenolic parts, electrical panels, fair leads, etc
    Manning Bowman Co.MeridenConnecticutVibrator parts & air speed tubes
    Manson Mfg. Co.BostonMassachusettsR-3350 engine studs
    Max Ams Machine Co.BridgeportConnecticut B-29 parts
    McClintock, O.B. Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaCowl Flap Actuator
    McDonnell Aircraft Corp.MemphisTennesseeSub-Assembly
    McDonnell Aircraft Corp.St. LouisMissouriFuselage sections
    Medoo Mfg. Co.New York CityNew YorkTuning units for Radio receivers
    Mers Engineering Co.IndianapolisIndianaB-29 parts
    Metallurgical Serv. Co.IndianapolisIndianaSalvage operation on fuel cells
    Metropilis Bending Co.MetropilisIllinoisWood parts
    Minnetonka Machine WorksMinneapolisMinnesotaPress Parts
    Moore Drop Forging Co.SpringfieldMassachusettsHdwe. & Mountings
    Moudings Inc.IndianapolisIndianaB-29 parts
    Murray Corp. of America EcorseMichiganOuter wings
    Murray Corp. of America ScrantonPennsylvaniaWing, Wing Tip & Aileron Assembly500,000-square-foot plant
    National Bronce & Aluminum Co.SpringfieldMassachusettsCastings
    New england Caroide Tool Co.CambridgeMassachusettsCarbide & Diamond tipped cutting tools
    Northwest Chair Co.TacomaWashingtonWood assemblies
    Northwest Metal Products Co.KentWashingtonAN hose clamps
    Norton Heon Co.DenverColoradoParts for B-29
    Nutmeg Tool Co.GlastonburyConnecticutPrec. tools
    O.B. McClintock Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaCowl flap actuator
    Olson BrothersPlainvilleConnecticutB-29 parts
    Pacific Car & FoundryRentonWashingtonInboard wing spars
    Parkadale Army Air FieldShreveportLouisianaMaintenance & repair of B-29
    Peaslee Metal ProductsEast HartfordConnecticutCenterless grinding studs
    Perkin Elner Corp. StamfordConnecticut Lenses
    Pitney Bowes Postage Meter Co.StamfordConnecticutB-29 Parts
    Plastics Manufacturers, Inc.StamfordConnecticutGun grips
    Plymouth Electric Co.New HavenConnecticutGyro compass parts
    Pottstown Mfg. CompanyPottstownPennsylvaniaB-29 parts
    Precision Grinding, Inc.Westbury, L. I.New YorkParts for B-29
    Precision Product Co.WalthamMassachusettsHair Springs
    Puget Sound Sheet Metal Plant #2SeattleWashingtonAircraft fabrication for B-29s
    Puget Sound Sheet Metal Plt. #2SeattleWashingtonAft. body section, inboard ing leading edge sections, spare parts & sub-assemblies
    R. Bemont & Son.MeridenConnecticutAnemostat cap, mics, pts
    Ravenna Metal Products Co.SeattleWashingtonDrill bushings, special bolts, machined parts
    Republic Aviation Corp.EvansvilleIndianaCowling
    Reynolds Metals Co.SpringfieldMassachusettsCastings
    Rogers, Lunt & Bowlen Co.GreenfieldMassachusettsGas Injection
    Ruggles Lumber Co.KingstonPennsylvaniaBomber Wing crates
    Savage Metal Products Co.SeattleWashingtonSmall machine work, pins, bushings, etc
    Scott-Atwater Mfg. Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaSub-assemblies
    Seeger Refrigerator Co.St. PaulMinnesotaBomb racks
    Seidelbuber Iron & BronzeSeattleWashingtonSpecial service tools, ground handling equipo for B-29
    Sessions Clock Co.ForestvilleConnecticut Exhaust manifold & press parts
    Seth thomas Clock Co.ThomastonConnecticut B-29 devicer
    Singer Mfg. Co.ElizabethNew JerseySighting Stations
    Smith , A. O. , CorpMilwaukeeWisconsinLanding gears
    Solar Aircraft Co.Des MoinesIowaManifolds
    Spring Services Co.ScrantonPennsylvaniaHeat treating tank end connectors
    Wing Reinforcing brackets
    Springfield Bronse & Aluminum Co.SpringfieldMassachusettsCastings
    Stearman Aviation, Inc.EnidOklahomaB-29 component land
    Steel Products Co.DanburyConnecticut B-29 parts
    Stolle CorporationSidneyOhioMachining Assembly Devices
    Storm Drop Forging Co.SpringfieldMassachusettsGas Injection Parts
    Sulak Manufacturing Co.SeattleWashingtonAircraft parts
    Textile Machine Works ReadingPennsylvaniaTurret drives
    The Chas. B. Scott Co.ScrantonPennsylvaniaMachining Wing parts
    The George S. Scott Mfg. Co.WellingfordConnecticut Rockerbox cover gasket
    The Todd CompanyRochesterNew YorkB-29 Parts
    Thomaston Special Tool CoThomastonConnecticut Cam shafts, dust shields, shim washers
    Thompson Bros. Pattern WorksIndianapolisIndianaPatterns
    Thompson Candy Co.MeridenConnecticutHeavy artillery device
    Thorne-Brown Co.WestportConnecticutLamps
    Tomlee Tool & Engineering Co.MinneapolisMinnesotaCarburator and fuel injection parts
    Torrington Co.TorringtonConnecticut Needle bearings
    Torrington Mfg. Co.TorringtonConnecticut Air impellers
    Turner & SeymourTorringtonConnecticut Parts & Tools
    U.S. Textile Machine Co.ScrantonPennsylvaniaMachining B-29 Bomber parts
    U.S. Time Corp.WaterburyConnecticutMark 1 fuse
    United Aircraft Corp., Hamilton Standard Propeller DivisionEast HartfordConnecticut Propellers
    Universal Machine Co.New BritainConnecticut Pin stainless steel & plugs
    Universal Pattern & ModelHartfordConnecticutPatterns
    Van Veen Engineering Co.HartfordConnecticutMachines for making nuts % screws
    Veeder Root Inc.HartfordConnecticut Round counters, Bendix remote control drive, etc
    Vida Mfg. Co.CliftonNew JerseyConverter cores
    Volco Copper & Brass Co.KenilworthNew JerseyWire
    Voss Bros. Manufacturing Co.DavenportIowaALt. & Detector Assys. B-29
    W.H. Nichols & SonsWalthamMassachusettsPumps
    Warren Telechron Co.AshlandMassachusettsGear reduction units fof turrets control computer, Relay for aircraft control
    Warren Telechron Co.LowellMassachusettsRelays
    Washington Iron WorksSeattleWashingtonWing flap tracks, large boring, mill machining
    Welded Products Co.Oklahoma CityOklahomaEquipment for production of B-29's
    Wesel Mfg. Co.ScrantonPennsylvaniaMachining B-29 Bomber Parts
    Jigs, tool & Fixture or B-29 BOmber parts for Murray Corp.
    Wessor Mfg. Co.BridgeportConnecticut B-29 parts
    Western Die CastingEmeryvilleCaliforniaDie Castings
    Western Gear WorksSeattleWashingtonGears and machine work
    Western Gear WorksVernonCaliforniaTail skid Actuators
    Western Supplies Co.St. LouisMissouriB-29 parts
    Westfield Mfg. Co.WestfieldMassachusettsNeedle Bearings
    White Engineering Works Inc.StamfordConnecticut B-29 parts
    Wiley & LettMarionIndianaB-29 parts
    William D. Gibson Co.ChicagoIllinoisPrecision & motor type springs
    Wittie Manufacturing & Sales Co. ChicagoIllinoisVentilator fans
    Yale & Towne Mfg. Co.StamfordConnecticutRadio parts

    Further reading

    Bibliography

    • War Industrial facilities Authorized July 1940 – August 1945, Civilian Production Administration Industrial Statistics Division July 30, 1946
    • Report of War Plants and Services in Urgency Rating Bands III Thru VII. 1945, Office of the Deputy Vice Chairman for Field Production Operations
    • Boeing B-29 Superfortress Manual 1942-60 (all marks)(Owners’ Workshop Manual) by Chris Howlett

    Javier is the editor @ Nuclear Companion and loves to investigate and write about the cold war.

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