Packard built about a third of all the Merlins produced, in a single factory. British Merlins were built in about three factories (Crewe, Derby and Dagenam, latter by Ford UK), plus a small number were built in Australia towards the end of the war, all went into GAF Lincolns I believe. David D
Merlins were also built under licence in the USA by both Caterpillar (the tractor and bulldozer company) and Maytag (the washing machine company) believe it, or not.
Dave H, Where can be found confirmation that Caterpillar and Maytag built complete Merlins (V-1650s) in USA? I can find no specific information that supports such production. Perhaps they were subcontractors of some sort, supplying precision components or accessories? Wartime American companies tended to advertise their part in production of aircraft, aero engines and accessories and were proud of it, even in cases of quite small or seemingly routine involvement. Tool markers (such as "Snap-on") loved to portray their doubtless excellent wrenches (spanners, sockets and torque wrenches) being used to install the R-2800 Double Wasp engine in P-47s ("Just four small bolts"). Dave D
Stop Press! I gradually became aware that something about the V-1650s fitted in at least one of the P-51Ds received by the RNZAF may have in fact been built by somebody other than Packard, and I came up with the name Continental. Although no relationship with Continental is mentioned under the Packard heading in my copy of the Janes AWA of WW2 volume, under Continental is the following statement. (Note, this statement is BELOW the following paragraph!)
Practically all the NZ P-51s had serial numbers in the range 303100 to 3355867, all with a letter "V" prefix (indicating Packard so far as I know), all either V-1650-3s or 7s. However there was one with a "ZV" prefix, No. 390429. This may well be a Continental-built engine, as the changed prefix indicates the builder (with a single letter indicating this is the prime design authority or something similar to this status. A second letter preceding this "master" supplier indicates a licensed supplier, but not the prime design authority. Such licensing was quite common between US manufacturers during WW2, including both airframe, aero-engines and components manufacturers. There was also another V-1650-7 (the -7s generally had the higher numbers) with the serial number 390387, but with just a "V" prefix.
"The Continental Motors Corpn. was designated by the War Department to build the Packard Rolls-Royce Merlin V-1650 engine. Production began in 1944 in the company's Muskegon plant. The Detroit plant was engaged in tank engine production." Also another article I stumbled across stated that Packard only built about 17,000 Merlins, whereas most references credit all the 50,000-odd American-built Merlins to Packard. Seems as though this story is somewhat more complicated than I thought!
All comments, destructive and/or constructive, are welcome.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 29, 2017 9:24:54 GMT 12
When P-51D "Dove of Peace" first came to NZ it's Merlin had the yellow Caterpillar paint on it, and I recall Paul McSweeny saying that they'd looked into it and found Caterpillar had built some under licence. As for Maytag, I say a photo of a Maytag Merlin, with the Maytag logo, only within the last month on Facebook. I'll see if I can recall where.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 29, 2017 10:09:53 GMT 12
I took these photos on the 13th of February 2005 when Dove of Peace was getting it's maintenance checks on arrival in NZ at Pioneer Aero Ltd, Ardmore. From memory this aircraft was thought to still have its original factory fitted engine when it came to New Zealand. I am not sure if it still has this yellow engine. Sorry the close up is a bit blurry. Enquiries at the time found it was built under licence by Caterpillar.
29 June 1940 Operation Catapult: The Admiralty gave Vice Admiral Somerville explicit instructions to secure the transfer, surrender, or destruction of the French warships at Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria. Force H under his command consisted of battleships HMS Valiant and HMS Resolution, battlecruiser HMS Hood, aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, cruisers HMS Arethusa and HMS Enterprise, and 11 destroyers.
29 June 1941 The German 20.Gebirgsarmee began advancing on Murmansk in northern Russia.
29 June 1942 British cruiser HMS Dido, 7 destroyers, and submarine depot ship HMS Medway were evacuated out of Alexandria, as Axis troops advanced towards El Alamein. The ships sailed for Haifa, Palestine. Benito Mussolini flew to Libya with his white horse, to prepare for a victory parade through Cairo.
29 June 1944 The 70,000 remaining troops of German Armeegruppe Mitte surrendered, after being surrounded near Bobruisk, Byelorussia.
30 June 1940 The US Navy reported it's strength at 1,099 vessels and 203,127 personnel.
30 June 1941 The Netherlands Purchasing Commission placed an order with North American Aviation to purchase 162 B-25C bombers for the Dutch government-in-exile. These aircraft were intended for the Dutch East Indies to counter the growing Japanese threat.
30 June 1942 At a meeting headed by Ernest King and George Marshall, US military leadership finally settled their inter-service rivalry by moving the boundary of SOWESPAC (South West Pacific Command) and SOPAC (South Pacific Command) by 1 degree, or 60 miles, in order to facilitate the planned assault on Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
30 June 1943 In Operation Chronicle, US Army troops and the US Navy 12th Defense Battalion secured Woodlark Island, situated between Australian Papua and the Solomon Islands.
30 June 1945 The US Navy reported it's strength at 67,952 vessels and 3,383,196 personnel.
What is not mentioned is that the US Navy had a very large air force of its own (in 1945), probably as big, if not bigger than the RAF and Fleet Air Arm put together, although not so many heavy bombers. Manning and looking after them, as well as providing all the training facilities to sustain such a force would have taken quite a few hundred thousand personnel. Whether that 1945 figure includes aviation personnel is not clear, but I would guess, yes! Dave D
That 1945 total included 476,709 Marine Corps and 171,192 Coast Guard personnel. After a brief search I'm still to find out approximately how many aircraft were on the Navy inventory at this stage in the war.
1 July 1922 The incomplete battle-cruisers USS Lexington and USS Saratoga were authorised for conversion as aircraft carriers, expanding greatly the US Navy’s seaborne air power beyond the still experimental USS Langley.
1 July 1936 The keel of the battleship Bismarck was laid down at Blohm & Voss' shipyard in Hamburg.
1 July 1940 About 900,000 tons of Allied shipping had been sunk by German U-boats in 6 months of war. Operation Seelöwe (Sealion), a plan for the invasion of Britain, was first mentioned by the German General Staff. German bombers began a campaign against British industrial centres. Winston Churchill recorded in his diary that during a meeting with the US Ambassador, Joseph Kennedy had stated that Britain was beaten and that Adolf Hitler would be in London by the 15th of August.
1 July 1941 The British Special Air Service (initially titled "L" Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade) was formed by Colonel David Stirling. The American Volunteer Group, also known as the Flying Tigers, was officially formed.
1 July 1942 German 90th Light Division began to advance for El Alamein. German and Italian tanks covered the southern flank. As the German bridgehead north of Sevastopol appeared to be too strong to be eliminated, Joseph Stalin ordered top Soviet leaders to evacuate the city by submarine US Navy Admiral Robert Ghormley relinquished his command of army troops as US Army Major General Millard Harmon arrived in the theatre. At least 845 soldiers and 209 civilian prisoners of war — most of them Australian — lost their lives when the ship on which they were being transported from Rabaul to Japan, the SS Montevideo Maru, was sunk off the north coast of Luzon by the submarine USS Sturgeon. There were only 18 known survivors and all from the Japanese crew.
1 July 1943 Two platoons from Company P, US Marine Corps 4th Raider Battalion overran the Japanese detachment at the village of Tombe on New Georgia near the Viru Harbour. The remainder of Company P and Company Q occupied Tetemara on the west side of the harbour. Just to the south of New Georgia, the US Marine Corps 9th Defense Battalion arrived at Rendova. Southeast of New Georgia, the US Marine Corps 4th Raider Battalion and Company F of the US Army 103rd Regiment fell back to Vura on the island of Vangunu.
1 July 1945 Amphibious landings by Australian and Dutch troops captured the great Borneo oil producing centre of Balik Papan. More than 530 American B-29 bombers attacked various cities in Japan with incendiary bombs. USS Yorktown (Essex-class) and TG 38.4 got underway from Leyte, Philippines to join the rest of the fast carriers in the final series of raids on the Japanese home islands.
Wow, I'd not realise the US Navy was so big before they entered the war. I have heard their Air Force was tiny in 1940. The Navy sure expanded though, that figure was twice NZ's population in 1945.
They didn't have an Air Force in 1940, just an Army Air Corps. The Air Force didn't come into existence until 18 September 1947
United States Army Air Corps, 2 Jul 26 United States Army Air Forces, 20 Jun 41 United States Air Force, 18 Sep 47 to present day
Last Edit: Jul 2, 2017 6:38:22 GMT 12 by errolmartyn: correction of USAF date
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
Dave H, The Maytag name on the unknown component at the rear of the Merlin is simply that - possibly the sump of the engine, or supercharger housing, a casting, could be manufactured by any competent firm with knowledge of making such items. This is NOT proof that Maytag manufactured complete Merlin engines. Maytag itself makes no such claims of its wartime efforts. And a Caterpillar-yellow coloured engine does not make it a Caterpillar manufactured engine - it is only paint. Although the persons originally supplying these images probably did not take them to inform others of their provenance, it is a pity (to me!) that they missed the opportunity to do so - it would have been so easy to photograph the maker's plate in each instance. As these plates would be riveted to side of crankcase in plain view, the manufacturer's name would provide that irrefutable proof. There are many components and accessories all over and even inside aero engines (or any engines for that matter) provided by different vendors. I can only attempt to estimate the location of this casting by the apparent presence of what appears to be ignition wiring, possibly connecting magnetos (which were mounted on rear of engine) and spark plugs. David D
Dave H, The Maytag name on the unknown component at the rear of the Merlin is simply that - possibly the sump of the engine, or supercharger housing, a casting, could be manufactured by any competent firm with knowledge of making such items. This is NOT proof that Maytag manufactured complete Merlin engines. Maytag itself makes no such claims of its wartime efforts.
Fair enough, I misunderstood that post, and all the follow up posts were not underneath when I first saw it. I think it's interesting that a component could have the makers name stamped on it but there's no sign of the name Packard or Rolls Royce.
And a Caterpillar-yellow coloured engine does not make it a Caterpillar manufactured engine - it is only paint. Although the persons originally supplying these images probably did not take them to inform others of their provenance, it is a pity (to me!) that they missed the opportunity to do so - it would have been so easy to photograph the maker's plate in each instance. As these plates would be riveted to side of crankcase in plain view, the manufacturer's name would provide that irrefutable proof.
The photos of the yellow Caterpillar engine were taken by me, in 2005, on a visit to Pioneer, during which we were told by Paul McSweeny (or possibly Garth Hogan) that they'd looked into why the engine was yellow, and discovered that Merlin engines had been licence built by Caterpillar,and this was one of them. I have since seen discussion of Caterpillar-built Merlins on another forum too, I think it was WIX Forum. I never thought to photograph the engine plate because it was not relevant. You can always contact the aircraft's owner at Wanaka and ask him for the number though I guess.
There are many components and accessories all over and even inside aero engines (or any engines for that matter) provided by different vendors. I can only attempt to estimate the location of this casting by the apparent presence of what appears to be ignition wiring, possibly connecting magnetos (which were mounted on rear of engine) and spark plugs. David D
Perhaps Caterpillar just made the yellow bits then?
I agree with davidd about the US built Merlins. I can only so far find mention of manufacture by Packard and Continental, with by far the majority being built by Packard. One report says that Continental made up to 1000 Merlins using components from Packard's subcontractors, including major castings from Maytag. No hint yet of a Caterpillar connection.
2 July 1940 Adolf Hitler ordered the planning to begin for Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain.
2 July 1941 The Japanese Army ordered a conscription of one million men.
2 July 1942 The US 1st Marine Division's intelligence officer departed Wellington for Australia as part of the preparation efforts for the upcoming Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings in the Solomon Islands.
2 July 1943 Japanese physicist Yoshio Nishina met his with army liaison officer Major General Nobuji and reported that he expected to be successful with the nuclear research project. He noted that 10 kilograms of uranium-235 of at least 50% purity to create an atomic bomb, but he needed a large cyclotron to conduct experiments to confirm this theory. Nobuji promised further funding.
Troops of US Army 43rd Division began to move from Rendova to New Georgia in the Solomon Islands, covered by gunfire from US Marines 9th Defense Battalion and US Army 192nd Field Artillery aimed at Munda Airfield.