IH, Deere Manufacturing Tanks, Planes During World War II

December 7, 2016 11:41 AM

When World War II broke out, many farmers left the field to fight overseas while others moved to bigger urban areas to help the war effort in factories.

Farm equipment manufacturers had to rethink what they were producing and had to convert their factories to making planes, tanks and munitions.

At the onset of World War II, Indiana-based Studebaker Corporation was building cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks. Months after the Pearl Harbor attack, the U.S. government shut down passenger car production so resources, such as steel and rubber, could go to critical industries.

Studebaker wasn’t the only company to switch production. Farm equipment makers like International Harvester and John Deere earned “E” awards for their ability to shift production from farm equipment to military materials during wartime.

Watch the full story on AgDay above to see how Studebaker, IH and John Deere made the transition.

Watch AgDay’s special edition honoring the greatest generation here.

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