1942 : REO Motor Car Company In World War II

July 5, 2024 all-day

The REO Motor Car Company did its part to support the nation during World War II. Even before the U.S. became involved, REO supplied trucks for the lend lease program to Canada, the U.K., and Russia.  In addition to trucks, REO also built depth charges for the U.S. Navy.

A 2 1/2 ton truck supplied during WWII.

This Reo built Mark 229 Hydrostatic Tail Fuze was used by the US Navy during WWII in its 650 and 1000 depth charges. The fuze is 16.33 inches long with a diameter of 3.25 inches, while the sixteen blade arming vane is 5.25 inches in diameter. Depth settings were made by a hand dial on the device and could be set for 25, 50, 75,100 and 125 feet. The small hole on the left end of the body was used to inserting a pin into the device to disarm it. This was an explosive and dangerous device. Author’s photo from the RE Olds Museum in Lansing, MI.

REO Motor Car Company in World War II, part of the American Automobile Industry in World War II, by David D. Jackson.

For more information see Lisa M. Fine, “The Story of REO Joe : Work, Kin, and Community in Autotown USA“, Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2004.  Also available online to the MSU community.