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> History

Ford Gliders in World War II   

IN-PERSON: The Elderwise classroom at the Vineyard Church

In World War II, gliders were used by the allied forces to quietly transport troops and their equipment behind enemy lines, allowing them to bypass defenses and conduct surprise attacks. In early 1942, the Ford Motor Company put in a bid to make gliders for the U.S. War Department. By August of 1945, the Ford company's plant in Iron Mountain, Michigan, had manufactured over 4,000 gliders, nearly one-third of all the gliders produced in the country. Kenneth Hafeli holds an undergraduate degree from Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton and a master's degree in history from Wayne State University. He retired in 2016 after 39 years with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor. For the last 20 years Ken held the position of Senior Photo Archivist and was responsible for cataloging, arranging, and preserving President Ford's White House negatives, as well as the Ford family’s personal pre- and post-presidential photographs. His interest in the Ford Motor Company, primarily in the Upper Peninsula, dates to his undergraduate days at MTU.



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