December 1940 the federal government asked the Ford Motor Company to
build B-24 Liberator bombers. In April 1941 construction began on the
Willow Run Bomber Plant near Ypsilanti. In 1944 bombers came off Willow
Run's mile-long assembly line at the rate of one per hour. By 1945,
Willow Run produced more than 8,500 bombers.