Bell Aircraft

B-29s being assembled at Bell Aircraft

Bell Aircraft was famous for being one of the major manufacturing centers for the B-29s, which would become the United States most formidable bomber aircraft in the later portion of the War

Before Bell Aircraft was introduced, Marietta was a small rural town in Georgia’s Piedmont region. This aircraft manufacturing plant transformed Marietta into a major industrial center of the State. Marietta had a prewar population of about 8,000 while Cobb County had approximately 38,000 citizens altogether and relied upon a cotton economy that was characteristic of much of the South at the beginning of the 1940s. Within four months of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Bell Aircraft Corporation broke ground in Marietta on its newest production facility. This massive plant would assist in the production and assembly of the most technologically-advanced bomber in the world, the Boeing Corporation’s B-29 Superfortress.
The facility was completed in a staggering 54 weeks and was 3.2 million square feet in dimension, roughly the size of sixty-three football fields. The main building contained approximately 32,000 tons of steel as well as two parallel final assembly lines each a half-mile long. Bell equipped the main manufacturing facilities with air conditioning, a recent innovation that could only be found in premier movie theaters at that time. By the end of the war, the factory had produced 668 bombers and was the state’s single largest private employer during World War II, with more than 28,000 workers.

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  1. Joe Kirby, The Bell Bomber Plant (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2008), 8, 11; Scott, Cornerstones, 193.
  2. Bartley, Modern Georgia, 202; Kirby, Bell Bomber, 7;
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