Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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WWII US Glider Manufacturing Sites
Below are statistics on the number and location of what was almost entirely CG-4A production in WWII.  However, there is more to the story of than just statistics.  That is the story of the Glidermen that rode these un-powered aircraft into combat.  The book, "Glidermen of Neptune: The American D-Day Glider Attack"  by Charles J. Masters, gives an excellent overview of what is really an untold and unique story from WWII.  Also put on your list of important places to visit the Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock, TX.  Lubbock, TX is in the middle of nowhere but it is well worth the trip to see the Silent Wings Museum located there.  Actually, once one gets to Lubbock it is a very nice place with many good hotels and restaurants.  If you can not get to Lubbock, there is a DVD available called "Silent Wings", which does an excellent job of telling the story of the Gliders in WWII and the pilots and troops that flew in them.
Total CG-4A glider production for WWII was either 13,903 or 13,909 depending on the the which production number one accepts for Ridgewood Manufacturing.

Company Location Glider Types USAAF Code History
Babcock Aircraft Corporation Deland, FL (60) CG-4A BB Was out of production by 1945.  Unit cost of these CG-4A was $51,000.  They manufacturing facility was a circus tent.
Cessna Aircraft Company Wichita, KS (750) CG-4A CE Cessna built a new plant in Wichita, KS that began shipping gliders nine weeks after construction of the facility.  In November of 1942 it produced 409 CG-4As, which was twice the monthly output of any of the other producers.  However, production of trainers was deemed more important by the US Army, so it terminated glider production not too long afterwards.
Commonwealth Aircraft Company (Formerly Rearwin Aircraft) Kansas City, KS (100) CG-3A
(1,470) CG-4A
CM CG-3A was used for training only and had nine seats.
Ford Motor Company Kingsford, MI  (Ford History refers to this as the Iron Mountain Plant) (4,190) CG-4A; (85) CG-13A FO Largest producer.  This was a former wood station wagon (Woody) plant that ran 24 hours a day with 4,500 employees which at peak production was producing 8 gliders a day.  This was at a unit cost of $14,891, which was $4,500 lower than WACO, the next most efficient producer.

After WWII the plant was converted to the manufacture of Kingsford Charcoal.

G&A Aircraft Corporation Willow Grove, PA (627) CG-4A G&A  
General Aviation Corporation Astoria, NY (1,112) CG-4A GE  
Gibson Refrigeration Company Greenville, MI (1078) CG-4A GN  
Ridgefield Corporation (former Jentner Manufacturing Corporation) Ridgefield, NJ (156 or 162) CG-4A RI 162 is the historical number that is commonly given for the Ridgefield production of CG-4A gliders.  However, according to research by Charles Day of the National WWII Glider Pilots Association based on serial numbers accepted by the US Army only 156 were built.
Laister-Kauffman St. Louis , Missouri (310) CG-4A LK  
National Aircraft Corporation Elwood, IN (1) CG-4A NA Was out of production by 1943 and was a company organized by several persons with no previous aircraft manufacturing experience, which received a contract for 30 units. .When the contract was terminated by the Army a year later, the cost of the one unit stood at $1,741,808.88. 
Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation Minneapolis, MN (1,509) CG-4A; (47) CG-13A NW  
Pratt-Read and Company  Deep River, CT (956) CG-4A PR  
Porterfield Aircraft Company (former Ward Furniture Manufacturing Company) Fort Smith, AR (7) CG-4A WA Was out of production by 1945.
Ridgefield Corporation (former Jentner Manufacturing Corporation) Ridgefield, NJ (156 or 162) CG-4A RI 162 is the historical number that is commonly given for the Ridgefield production of CG-4A gliders.  However, according to research by Charles Day of the National WWII Glider Pilots Association based on serial numbers accepted by the US Army only 156 were built.
Robertson Aircraft Corporation St. Louis, MO (170) CG-4A RO In the most infamous glider accident during WWII a GG-4A fell from the sky after a wing broke off during an open house in front of 10,000 spectators on August 1, 1943..  Killed in the crash were three US Army personnel, the president and founder of Robertson Aircraft, the Mayor of St. Louis and other company officials and local dignitaries.  The incident was traced to a faulty part from an outside supplier.  The good thing about this is that the problem was corrected in other Robertson built gliders saving the lives of innocent glider pilots and glider infantry using the aircraft in service.  Not the best way to find problems in one's product but it did get everyone's attention and the problem was corrected.  This accident along with the disastrous Airborne Glider Invasion in Sicily almost ended the Glider program for the US Army. 
Timm Aircraft Company Los Angeles, California (433) CG-4A TI Was out of production by 1945.
Waco Troy, OH (1) XCG-3
(2) XCG-4
(1,074) CG-4A
WO  

WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites-Home   Canada Aircraft  US Aircraft   US Cross Reference  US Airships  US Engines   USA Gliders   Propellers  Plant Photos  US WWII Aircraft Costs   WWII Aircraft Manufacturers' Literature   US Aircraft Assembly Plant Numbers   US Aircraft Modification Centers
 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


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