World War Two
The Army-Navy "E" Award with Three Stars
This page updated on
April 5, 2016.
The most coveted and
sought award a plant could win during WWII was the Army-Navy "E" Award.
Only 4,283 Army-Navy "E" Awards were given out of the 85,660 eligible
factories and plants during the war. Delco-Remy, because of the
effort of its employees, not only won the award once, but four times.
Only 775 other plants won four awards. While only 5% of the
eligible plants in the US won the award, 60% of the General Motors
plants making war products won at least one "E" award.
Of the 4,283 flags given out during WWII, it is unknown how many flags
still exist 70 years later. It is significant that the flag for Delco-Remy
Anderson is now in the care of the Madison County Historical Society,
and was on display during its Delco-Remy exhibit in 2016.
The story of how the flag
came to be saved from the scrap heap and landed in the possession of the
Madison County Historical Society is one of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
The story then comes back full circle to have a Good ending.
During the closing of Plant 18 in 2003, the Army-Navy "E" flag, which
had survived for 60 years, was thrown in a dumpster. One of the
employees saw this, pulled it out of the
trash, and saved it. This was the Good. After the employee
passed away, his daughter again threw it in the dumpster. This was
the Bad. Her brother retrieved it from the dumpster.
instead of offering it to the Madison County Historical Society, where it
could be preserved, he put it up for sale on Ebay. This was the Ugly.
One of the members of the Madison County Historical Society, using his
own funds, purchased the Delco-Remy "E" flag for $1,000, and
then donated it
to the Society. This was the second and ultimate Good!
Because of its
significance and the rarity of the flag, this page is dedicated to the
display of the DR Anderson "E" Award while on exhibit at
the Madison County Historical Center.
The flag was hung from the ceiling while on
display at Madison County Historical Center. Delco-Remy
originally won the flag on May 4, 1943. Each time it subsequently
won, a star was sewn onto the flag. Four awards resulted in three
stars. Author's photo.
It was normal to signify additional awards
with the additional stars. Extraordinary is the embroidery, noting
the dates of each star. Also extraordinary is the information in
the lower left hand corner. Author's photo.
The added embroidery on the flags states:
"Original Army-Navy "E" Pennant Presented to the Men and Women of The
Delco-Remy Division By Colonel Fred A. McMahon, District Chief
Cincinnati Ordnance District May 4, 1943." This flag is the real
There may be a good reason
this "E" flag has the embroidery identifying it as the "original" "E"
flag. Delco-Remy Bedford, IN; Kings Mill, OH; Muncie, IN; and Yellow Springs, OH
were all considered to be part of the Delco-Remy Anderson complex when
it came to the "E" award. Each plant was given a flag and stars
each time Delco-Remy won the award. It could very well be that
management in Anderson decided to make sure there was a way to identify
the original flag given to the Division during the award ceremony in
case all the flags came to Anderson after the war.
This also means that there
could be four other Delco-Remy "E" flags still in existence, if they,
like this one were kept by someone when plants closed or changed
In the case of Kings Mill,
OH, it did not become a DR plant until after the Division had won the
flag and one star. According to the Clan, its employees were sent
"E" pins soon after the plant was under DR operation. When
Delco-Remy won its second star, Kings Mill, and the other plants were
also sent "E" flags with two stars.
This is different as
compared to other parts of GM. Fisher Body, which had fourteen
plants producing war material during the war, each won "E" flags on
their own merit at different times and with different amounts of stars.
The star states: "Awarded Sept 9, 1944."
The left star is embroidered with "Awarded
Feb-26 1944." The right star states "Awarded April 21 1945."
On April 16, 1943, it was announced in the
Clan that the Delco-Remy had won its first "E" award.
A crowd estimated at 10,000 gathers in front
of Plant One and Building 45 on May 4, 1943 for the presentation of the
"E" Award by the military. It was common practice to get all the
employees to the presentation, because it was due to their effort that a
plant won the award. In the case of DR, all of the Anderson plants
were considered to be one plant. To get the award, a plant had to
be particularly outstanding in its production of war material for the US
Army and US Navy.
Colonel McMahon gives his speech.
Each employee received an "E" pin. It
could be worn as long as a plant still had an active "E" award. In
the case of Delco-Remy Anderson, the employees would have been able to
wear their pins until the end of the war. In this particular case,
Commander Seligman, US Navy, is handing out the first two pins to two
special DR employees. Elizabeth Doolittle had 28 years of DR
service, and Ray Hull had five sons in the US Armed Forces.
From left to right: Col. McMahon, US
Army, G. A. Coburn; Harold, Goehring, President of UAW 662; C.E. Wilson,
President of GM and former General Manager of Delco-Remy Division;
Commander Seligman, US Navy; and O.V. Bagley, General Manager of
The May 7, 1943 edition of the Clan.
On March 3, 1944 it was announced that Delco-Remy
added its first star to the flag. At the time of the awardm half
of products produced were for the Army Air Forces. It was the Army
Air Forces Material Command that recommended the awarding of the first
The announcement of the third "E" award,
adding the second star to the flag, was published in the Delco-Remy Clan
on September 15, 1944.
The second star being sewn on.
Note that the embroidery in the lower left hand corner is already
present. The item states the flag hung inside the lobby, rather than
outside in the elements. Since the flag displayed inside, it is
virtually the same good condition as it was when this photo was taken.
On April 27, 1945 it was announced that
Delco-Remy had won its fourth "E" award and third star.