Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Allan R. Millett

Second Advisor

Gunter Bischof

Third Advisor

Marc Landry


The Willow Run Bomber Plant was leased to the Ford Motor Company during World War II and specialized in the mass production of Consolidated B-24 bombers. While Willow Run’s war service and production record is often highlighted, the plant’s demobilization experience is often ignored along with the United Auto Workers Local 50 that represented the plant’s 21,000 workers. Allied victory in Europe was accompanied with layoffs that threatened Willow Run’s continued operation. This study investigates the advocacy and goals of Local 50 leaders as they underwent a unique campaign through the spring and summer of 1945 that advocated for the plant’s continued use in the post-war economy. While Local 50’s leadership was only marginally influential in shaping Willow Run’s post-war future, the study concludes that the local union was active through their advocacy efforts to preserve worker jobs in the economic readjustment from war to peace.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 27, 2025