Thursday, September 29, 2011

Those Places Thursday: Bullets in Booneville

My dad was born in Indiana and I never really thought about why or how they ended up in Indiana.  In fact, as a child, I thought that my dad must be an Indian, since he was born in Indiana.  While visiting Grampa, I finally remembered to ask. 

My grandmother’s sister, Peggy and her husband Bob Burbridge, lived in Booneville, Indiana and worked at the Chrysler factory in Evansville.  This was during the War, so it’d been transformed into a bullet factory.  “Chrysler’s Evansville, Indiana, factory literally produced ‘bullets by the billions,’ including some 485 million cartridges for .30-caliber carbines and nearly 2.8 billion cartridges for .45-caliber carbines. Just as Chrysler prepared for production at its Evansville plant in July 1942, the Ordnance Department ordered the automaker to substitute steel for brass for the cartridge cases. Although this last minute change required Chrysler to retool much of the plant, full-scale production began in October.”  (Riding the Roller Coaster: A History of the Chrysler Corporation by Charles K. Hyde,)

Life Magazine advertisement, Feb 7, 1944, p. 27
Both Peggy and Bob worked and needed help with their children.  My grandfather was working in California at Davies Auto, but wasn’t doing what he wanted to be doing.  So when Peggy and Bob asked if Grampa and Gramma could come to Indiana they jumped at the chance.  Gramma took care of the children and Grampa went to work at the factory.  

Grampa, Dad, Auntie Karen

The factory shut down at the end of the war to convert back to cars and Grampa decided to return to California and Davies Automotive where he became a mechanic and worked for several years.

1 comment:

  1. Good story. My grandparents also moved during the war when my grandfather went to work at the shipyard.