May 1940

As a high school graduate living in Brownstown, Indiana in Jackson County, I needed a job. I worked for a local farmer for one dollar a day plus lunch. Dad said that there is a factory in Indianapolis called Allison Engineering working 24/7.

August 12, 1940, hello Allison Engineering working for .50¢ an hour. That would be about $8 today, but a gallon of gas was only .15¢.

Imagine working 8 hours in a small room with about 20 or 25 burr guns -- (Ear plugs! What's an earplug?) -- smoothing parts for the famous 12 cylinder liquid cooled supercharged aircraft engine used in the P-40 Warhawk, P-51 Mustang, P-39 Airacobra and the P-38 Lightning.

The parking lot was gravel and mud. If you got stuck you had to wait for a tractor to come pull you out. There was no cafeteria, but you could buy a box lunch at the gate and eat in the locker room or find a chair to sit on.

By 1941 there was a jumbo cafeteria where they served hundreds on all three shifts.

The war years 1941 - 1945, many women came to Allison Engineering to take the place of all of the men going off to fight. During that time, the UAW came to Allison.

In March 1943 there was the World War II military draft. After a 6 month deferment, hello U.S. Navy -- but that's another story.

March 1946, after 3 years in Navy service, I was back at Allison.

On June 5, 1948 I married Ruth Gillaspy, a school teacher for 18 years in Decatur Township, 23 years altogether.

The 1950s brought 2 sons, Ed and Jim.

In the 1960s and 1970s we travelled all over the United States on camping vacations seeing the country and visiting the National Parks. Both sons attended college and graduated.

- Life is good.

39 years, 4 months and 19 days -- Burr Room, Milling Machine Operator, Machine Repair

January 1980 -- Retirement -- Wow! But that's another story.


Allisons: 8-12-1940 / retired: 1-1-1980
39 yrs, 4 mo., 19 days (or 39 yrs, 141 days)

US Navy: 3-6-43 till 3-7-46


Leon Gossman and his Allison buddies in Indianapolis around 1941-1942. The car was robin's egg blue, with red rims, white sidewall tires, flying checkered flags, race-time in Speedway. Leon towed this car from Brownstown to Indianapolis with a rope behind his '37 Chevy.