The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor And The Last Packard

On this date in 1941, Japanese planes attacked U.S. military installations in and around Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; bringing the United States into World War II.  The Library of Congress American Memory site has a wide variety of information on this world-changing event, many of which are included on the Today in History page marking the date.

The Hemmings blog also marks the day with this photo of the last Packard automobile produced before the factory converted to producing engines for the war effort.

Packard introduced its 1942 cars on August 25, 1941, and shut down its automobile production lines at the Detroit East Grand Boulevard plant just a couple months after Pearl Harbor, on February 9, 1942. As indicated by the sign held above the Clipper in the photo, Packard re-tooled to produce 1,350hp 4, marine V-12 engines destined for PT boats as well as Rolls Royce Merlin aircraft engines for P-40s and P-51s. According to Dammann and Wren in their Crestline book on Packard, toward the end of the war the company was even researching and developing gas turbine engines.

No comments: