The Martin Star
Glenn L. Martin Company
Volume 1 February 1942 Number 1 .PDF
|A Message From the Chief
It is unfortunate that this prideful magazine, conceived in days of peace, has to he born undo the dark clouds of war. I wish that my first message to you in these pages might be a cheery one; that I might dwell on a happier present, and the brilliant future that I am certain still lies ahead for us.
But the grave situation we face leaves me no choice but a serious note. All that we hold dear as a free people, all that our forefathers died to win for it, is at stake. American blood is being shed every day, American lives lost; American Civilians are at the mercy of ruthless enemies. The foes we face are powerful, determined, bent upon establishing a new world order hateful to us. Victory will come, but it will he hard-bought make no mistake about that.
No one has to ask loyalty or patriotism or willing effort of us. That was pledged by each of us in our own hearts on December 7, 1941 - a day that will be written in red in the pages of history. Nor do I presume to add fuel to those fires.
But let us set our sights calmly. Let us consider our own place in this struggle and fix it firmly in our own minds. This is a Machine-made war. The balance of power from the start has rested on air power. Air power is bombardment aviation. Air power is the ability to rain death and destruction front the skies. Air power has silenced mighty citadels, demoralized splendid armies, shattered great cities, sunk proud battleships.
America must have air power - second to none. Nothing is more important, not only to our own country, but to world civilization. To us and a few companies like us America and the world's free people look for that might. Every bomber we turn out shortens the conflict. Every delay means American lives and vast property destruction.
Who, then, has a more important mission in this war than we? As Soldiers of Industry we can strike decisive blows for freedom.
But because we are vital, because we forge the weapons that will beat him down, the enemy will not ignore us. He will hurt us if he can. We have seen whole countries weakened for the kill by the Trojan Horse within - spies and saboteurs and propagandists. These must be the concern of every one of us, even while we bend our every effort toward production.
Ours is a responsibility equal to that of tile soldier at the front, the sailor on the seas and the combat pilot above the clouds.
Glenn L. Martin
|REG, U.S. PAT. OFF.
THE MARTIN STAR
Vol. I February 1942 No. 1
|Getting ‘em Flying – B-26 Medium Bombers for the Army get final
touches D Building.
NOW WE HAVE REACHED OUR FULL GROWTH
Martin Prepared Early
America’s urgent call for airplanes and more airplanes to meet the scourge of war finds Martin approaching the final stages of its all-out program - a program that was planned long before there were more than rumors of war in Europe.
The plants at Middle River are finished, quadrupling the size of the pre-emergency facilities. Tooling is largely compete, and important production rates have been reached on two of the three major bomber types that the company will turn out for the Army, Navy and British in 1942. 'The third type is already in the production stage. The Glenn L. Martin – Nebraska Company is being rushed to completion at Omaha with tooling already far advanced. Manpower is at the three-quarter mark at Middle River. Research facilities have been multiplied.
Meanwhile, the flow of raw and fabricated materials, long a matter of primary concern, is already increasing and should be accelerated further under the spur of national danger.
Thus has been forged one of the strongest links in the industrial chain by which America expects to manacle tile war lords. Even before the aircraft industry had approached its full facilities, and before its army of skilled craftsmen had been fully recruited, the United States' production of aircraft was nearing the output rate that it took Hitler six years to attain. Every month the rate should he stepped up until the peak surpasses that of any nation or combination of nations in the world.
The Martin growth has been anything but haphazard. Mr. Martin returned front Europe in 1938, convinced that that war was inevitable and certain that air power would he the deciding factor. France woke with a start - too late. But in a strenuous effort to aid the French forces, Martin set a world record of construction and production. The C Building was built in 77 days. The first 167F airplane was flown six months front drawing board, and the entire first order of over 100 airplanes was delivered in ten months. A similar contract was finished in six months, and a larger third order was rushed for the French and British. Those bombers have been - and still are - towers of strength for Britain.
When the Axis armies spread like a flame over Europe and President Roosevelt declared a national emergency, the Martin Company was ready. Its plant expansion plans were completed swiftly, and on September 4, 1940, Mr. Martin broke ground. The Company did not wait far emergency plant facility contracts, nor even for airplane contracts, but launched its program with its own money.
A and B Buildings were enlarged. So were Engineering and Drop Hammer Buildings. An entirely new plant was built for production of Army Bombers and a huge additional structure completed for assembly of Navy flying boats and commercial air vessels of the future. Hangers and Administration building were built on the Martin Airport.
Meanwhile, the Glenn L. Martin - Nebraska Company operation was decided upon, its factory at Omaha to be virtually a duplicate of Plant 2 and its program to assemble B-26 bombers under the so called "Knudsen Plan", using sub-contractors from the automotive and other industries.
In addition to the Middle River and Omaha plants, Martin extended considerably its rented space in the Baltimore area. Additional floor space was taken over for the Canton Division, a downtown building was leased and an entire floor in another building was taken over for the Glenn L. Martin Engineering Training School. More lately, the company has acquired another division for manufacture of Martin power-operated turrets, and still another building on Lombard Street, besides a miscellany of smaller structures in the Middle River area used for storage.
But brick and steel and concrete do not build airplanes. There had to be trained personnel, hundreds of supervisors. There had to be efficient police. There had to be engineers of twenty-nine classifications. There had to be machinery and tools. There had to be ingenious manufacturing methods applied on a huge scale. There had to he research and development.
And because even these facilities and men and women and machines were still short of all that was needed for a program of such magnitude, there had to be subcontractors all over the country, to nearly double, in effect, the plant and personnel and equipment of the Martin operation.
All of these factors were drawn into one great plan, and that plan has been executed over an astonishingly short period of time. Craftsmen of the old order were too hard to get; they could not be trained in time to the high skills formerly required of them. For a decade Martin had worked with the Baltimore Public Schools, helping to institute aircraft vocational courses. In 1939, during the tremendous upsurge demanded by the French contracts, the company helped institute quick courses in the schools and, at the same time, started a model in-plant training system, including up-grading. These lessons served well when the emergency was declared.
But this was not enough, and something had to take the place of the high skills of former years. Tooling had to be simplified, complicated jobs broken down to simpler, easier tasks so that less-skilled men could handle them. The B-26 tooling was the first demonstration of what could be done when the volume of orders could justify elaborate and expensive tooling.
Ingenious Martin developments helped accelerate the program. The Martin Photographic Reproduction System (the “Robot Draftsman”) freed precious engineering talent for more important work be redrafting drawings, photographically, on coated metal, wood, cloth, paper and other materials.
It was largely through Mr. Martin's insistent hammering that an adequate system of roads serving the plants has been launched.
A type of low-cost housing that has been praised by architectural and engineering experts the country over was the basis of the 600 homes (not counting the earlier and more costly Stansbury Manor housing) at Stansbury Estates and Areo Acres.
All of these loose ends have been tied together into one purposeful industry and community. Each day sees new bombers emerge front the big final assembly doors of both Middle River plants. The rate will increase rapidly from now on. Martin's is rolling.