Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Factory Disappears During WWII — From The Air

By Rick Beyer, from his WWII documentary “The Ghost Army”

Under the watch of the 603rd Camouflage Engineer Battalion, not yet assigned to the Ghost Army, an entire aircraft factory disappeared from the coast of Maryland – at least, from the air.

…The Glenn L. Martin aircraft factory in Middle River, Maryland was one such location. The factory churned out bombers (the most famous being the B-26 Marauder) and attack aircraft for Allied forces. In 1942, the 603rd Camouflage Engineer Battalion helped make the factory disappear. Veteran Ned Harris of the 603rd worked on the plant, noting “Our outfit was responsible for disguising that …from the air, it looked like it was the countryside.” Below are some images of their work.

Continue reading “Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Factory Disappears During WWII — From The Air” at The Ghost Army.

This entry was posted in 1940s, Essex / Middle River, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Factory Disappears During WWII — From The Air

  1. Jim Muller says:

    I think my original post went awry. If not, excuse this duplicate. I lived in Middle River near Martin’s 1941-50; saw it when both it and I were fresh and bright. I am interested in any pix or links to old Middle River village, construction of Martin’s Blvd., the plant(s), their early camouflage treatments, war worker housing in Aero Acres, Victory Villa, Victory Villa Annex, Orems Rd. Trailer Park, etc..

    • Gaia says:

      Hi Jim, I think I have an old picture from the paper of my Mother hanging out clothes at Victory Villa around 1941. I haven’t scanned it yet, but I’ll see if I can find it. My family moved to Middle River from far SW Virginia right around 1940-41, like so many. Do you still live in the area?

  2. William J. Nemeth, Jr. says:

    I am trying to find anyone out there that has connections with the Martin Aircraft Factory in Baltimore, Md. My father, William J. Nemeth, Sr. was a draftsman there before World War II and was a member of the Maryland National Guard.


      i also would like to write to anyone connected with the plant, my folks had a restaurant outside the camp. it was called Victory Inn at one point, at another ,Kenwill Inn. It may still be there. I was a teenager then working in the place
      along with my sister We were Lee and Carol and loved flirting with all the guys who ate here. In fact I married one. There were sailors, soldiers, Marines, RAF, Free French and many others. At one time the Salvation Army had a few of their people upstairs. They were grand old times. I am now 90 years old and live in Florida where my husband was transferred by Martin in 1963. We had two sons when we came and another born in Florida PLease write to me and I will write back.We were there from about 1941 to 1945 my husband was Herbert L. Hoover AND he worked on planes there including the Mars

  3. Gordon T Carey says:

    Gordon’s parents, Paul & Pearl Cary, worked at Glen L Martin plant during WWII era. Moved from farm in NC when Gordon 7. Gordon was member of the Maryland National Guard, Cadet Captain, Maryland Civil Air Patrol (Glen L Martin unit).
    He lived in Aero Acres & Middle River at 1 Wilbur Rd. Delivered papers to Mars Estates Apartments as young boy. In Boy Scouts (Glen L Martin). Worked at 16 one summer in drafting department at Glen L Martin.
    Has many stories– camouflaged GL Martin plant, watching testing planes & many went into river/bay, watching for enemy aircraft, night blackouts, German subs, etc.

  4. LEIGH HOOVER says:

    i lived in Middle River in 1944 and 45. My parents owned a restaurant outside of the camp where soldiers, sailors, Free French, RAF and our own men were stationed to learn the bombers Martin built. it was named Victory Inn and was right outside that camp. many ate in there and my parents received many letters after the war thanking
    them for things they did for them
    I met my husband there also. He was a sailor and after the war he came back and worked for the company. now called Martin-Marietta. we were transferred to Florida in 1963 where we lived until now.i would be happy to hear from anyone who remembers. My husband was HERBERT L. HOOVER i am his widow now.

  5. My great-uncle & godfather was Alphonse (“Al”) C. Hild, who worked at GLM in the Engineering Dept. He was one of the German engineers who was enticed to leave Germany in the early-1930’s to work at Curtiss-Wright in Buffalo, NY. He married my Mom’s aunt, Mildred, in the 1930’s in Buffalo, and then they moved to Baltimore. She worked at Bendix there. He retired in the late-1960’s, and she was able to get a transfer to Pompano Beach, FL, where they lived until their deaths in 1979 (Al) and 1996 (Mildred). Somewhere we have a photo of Uncle Al posing with other GLM engineers in front of a Martin Mars. I believe it’s a Mars, because it’s a big plane with water-landing gear. He was also involved with the early development of the ejection seat at Martin. I became an engineer because of him.

  6. David J Jackson says:

    My grandmother Mildred Coltrane Jackson worked there Deering World War 2 as a Riveter on the wings of B-29 bombers. She is not well but she is still alive almost 92 years old now and had very fond memories of working there

  7. Sherry Long says:

    My mom and her sister worked for Glenn L Martin Last names were Massey.
    Willie Massey and Sylvia Effonbee Massey. My mom Willie welded wings on the fighter planes. What airplanes did you have there that she would have worked on?
    My moms sister did some office work & was in beauty pageant, she had told me Mr. Martin favored her. My mom welded and I was hoping I could find some pictures of her and the aircraft they worked on there. My mom will be 99 years old in August 2017 and she was born in 1918 and told me she worked there and it was for WWII. I want to get info for her as a Rosie the Riveter.

  8. John Houston says:

    My dad worked for GL Martin during WWII and if memory serves it was at a Baltimore City plant on Sinclair Lane (N of North Ave & W of Bel Air Rd). However the only info I can find OL re GLM is re the Middle River complex. Any info welcome

  9. LEIGH HOOVER says:


  10. robert stewart says:

    My dad and mom (still living at 98) worked there during World War II. She had told me she worked on the compartments that held the bombs. They moved from North Carolina and said they enjoyed working there. They moved back to N.C. after the war.

  11. Bonnie Owen says:

    My father George W White worked on aircraft as an electrician around 1941-1945. My mother Betty Cornell worked in an office at That time. Wondering if anyone remembers them.

  12. Mickey Cashen says:

    My mother, Helen Griscavage (married name Cashen) and her best friend Angie graduated from high school in Wilkes-Barre, PA in 1942 and were offer jobs at the Glenn L. Martin plant and moved to Baltimore, where they became a team of Rosie-the-Riveters working, sometimes, on P-26 Marauder bombers but also on a surveillance plane I don’t see listed on the several sites I looked at online.

  13. Walter Kraus says:

    My dad Charles C. Kraus, Jr. was working at Glenn L. Martin as an engineer, he was also a Army Reserve officer. When war was declared he came to work the next day in uniform. His first assignment was to camouflage the main factory. I’m assuming he was a member of 603rd Camouflage Engineer Battalion.

  14. Sherry Long says:

    My email from previous post is and can be posted in reference to my mom when she worked in Baltimore, MD and welded wings on the WWII aircraft. I would like to know what WWII planes she worked on. HER MAIDEN NAME ABOVE IN COMMENTS WAS WILLIE MASSEY NOW WILLIE WATSON.

  15. Marion Thornton Bossle says:

    Hi all I’m 78, my dad was an engineer at the Middle River Plant. His name was Frank Thornton. Love hear from anyone who either members him or knew about him. My E-Mail

  16. Ron Coakley says:

    My father worked at Glen L Martin plant in the early 1940’s. His name was Charles E. “Bud” Coakley and he was from Mt.Clinton,Va. I remember a Martin USA patch with wings, maybe 10″ long? I believe he wore it on the back of his shirt/coveralls.
    He seldom spoke about his past but he did tell me about attending an aircraft maintenance training facility at what is now a part of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg,Va. prior to working at GL Martin. He said he couldn’t afford a rooming house and ended up sleeping under a park bench covering up with newspapers to stay warm. Not sure how long he had to do that but he moved in with an aunt who was living in Baltimore .
    He later joined the 17th Airborne, 680th Glider Field Artillery Battalion and fought under Patton at the Battle of the Bulge. Anyone with more info please contact me

  17. Dave High says:

    My father worked for Glen L Martin in early 1940’s as well he was a machinist, I have one of his toolboxes with a calendar dated 1941. His name was Charles High.
    He was also Coast Guard Reserve during the war doing ship inspections that came into Chesapeake Bay. Not sure if anyone out there might know more.

  18. Jack Hiner says:

    I was stationed at Offutt USAF base 1964-1966. Folks in the Omaha area told me about the Martin B-26 plant near Offutt during WW II. I was told that the Bellevue Martin plant near Offutt was not visable from the air similar to the East coast facility. Was that true? I could not find any info on this. Jack Hiner

  19. LEUGH HOOVER says:

    email tel 386 444 6036
    would l like to know w if anyone a at martin camp where my folks ran a restaurant outside camp entrance i think it was named KENWIL INN at first later VICTORY INN inn after was won. I have written before but now am 94 and losing vision due to AMD sp i make many errors. excuse it As i saud eearlier my late husband was herbert hoover he was from KCMO he worked on the mars..hhe was short and thin so he could get in places no one else could. We lived i in BALTO in Noorthwood and also in
    NORTHKANSAS CITY MOback abd forth martin transferred us to f;orida and I AM STILL HERE Iwould love to hear from antone who remembers kenwillwill inn O KNEW MY HUSBAND. HE WAS A IN THE n NAVY

  20. Angus Macdonell says:

    I have a picture of three people standing in what appears to be a busy downtown Omaha during a parade of some kind (cannot see the street, only bystanders adjacent to it). One person in the picture is my grandfather, an RAF Squadron Leader from Canada who was stationed in Omaha for a time (his name was William F. Cherry; never saw service overseas). The other two are a lady and another gentleman identified on the back of the picture frame as Edith Sherry (in a matching blouse and skirt ensemble) and Thomas J. Corearon (or Corearan, in a double-breasted suit with pocket square). Both are also identified as being affiliated some way with the Glenn L Martin Company. The date indicated is May 30, 1944.

    I’m trying to figure out how or why my Grandfather might have known these people. I cannot upload the picture to this site, but would be happy to e-mail it to anyone who may have something relevant to share about it. Thanks!

  21. Angus Macdonell says:

    Just realized the last name of the one gentleman could be Corcoran. Cheers

  22. Angus Macdonell says:

    Okay, last post. The picture was actually taken in Dayton, Ohio. My Grandfather was part of the Lend-Lease program, and Thomas J. Corcoran was a Glenn L. Martin rep from Omaha. They were likely together to sign-off on a batch of aircraft heading to Canada for deployment elsewhere in the UK (87 B29s found service in the UK during WWII, 2 went to Australia, and three were involved in an emergency landing in Russia and were never returned). The planes would be flown to North Dakota (Bismarck, maybe?), then wheeled across the border into Manitoba. In the interests of military neutrality, US military pilots were forbidden to fly military aircraft into Canada. So there’s a little historic tidbit. Cheers

  23. Jennifer says:

    My Grandfather John Alcon worked for Glenn Martin beginning in the 1940’s. They lived in a trailer camp for employees before buying a home in Middle River. How do I find out the years he worked there?


  24. susan crotts says:

    My father had a Ford Dealership in Hickory, NC and then they quit making cars during WWII. My Dad and quite a few of his friends got jobs at Martin Aircraft. We lived in government housing in Middle River. I was born in Mt. Sinai Hospital in Jan. 1943. We moved back to NC when I was 3. Have pictures somewhere that I will have to look for. One of them is on the playground in the middle of the development. Went back to visit our old neighbors when I was about 11. I think their name was Knovack. They stayed there permanently when the government sold off the houses. My dad took some pictures of the B26 Bomber that crashed into the water on his first trial. It was illegal to take picture because of Security so I don’t know how my father did it. We moved back to Hickory when my Dad could re-open his Dealership.

  25. Sue Allison-Campbell says:

    My father, Daniel Boone Allison was an attorney for the Martin Aircraft Company in the 40’s. Glenn was my Mother, Mary Burkheimer-Allison’s Cousin. Glenn, as a bachelor, wanted me to be his escort and heiress……….. OMG….. We loved Glenn, but I didn’t want to be controlled by any one, so I refused his offer. I went on to earn my degree at the University of Washington – Glenn visited my Chi Omega Sorority in the Fall of 1955 and told the Congregation at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle that man would be on the moon before the year 2000. He was booed out of the place. Glenn passed in 1956. Man was on the moon in 1969.
    I spent some time after High School with Glenn and his Driver/Body Guard, Bill _____ in LA meeting before letting Glenn know I wanted to figure out my own life. Bill was really wonderful, I am trying to remember Bill’s full name……… If you know who he was, please email me, Sue Allison-Campbell at It rather completes my story about Glenn and Sue !! Many thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.