Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, November 23, 1997, pg. 12
It certainly was good news to hear that the City of Albion will be receiving monies to demolish the deteriorated Union Steel Products complex next year. One immediate benefit will be the reopening of N. Huron Street, which will greatly help with the traffic flow around the Junior High School and on Bidwell Street.
During World War II, Union Steel Products was mobilized for the war effort, and produced various items for the U.S. military. Because of its superior work, Union Steel was awarded the Army-Navy “E” Excellence Award in 1943. A massive presentation ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 5 on the company’s vacant lot along Pine Street. Special speaker was Lt. Commander Arthur Langfield of the U.S. Navy, who was inspection superintendent and ordinance assistant to the inspector of naval material for the Detroit area. Also at that event, Lt. Colonel C. F. Kearnery presented awards to five representatives of USP workers. Kearney was chief of the bakery and cooling section of the Army, and was a native of Iowa. USP made various cooking racks and related items for the military.
The event was not without incident, however. Cinders from the nearby Albion Foundry blew over and burned at least 30 holes in the “big top” ten, just when the guests were finishing their meal. The people were evacuated, and the Albion City Fire Department used their hose which put out the fire.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph from the event, taken by USP Messenger photographer W. Dale Cryderman, local pastor of the Albion Free Methodist Church who later went on to become a bishop. The photo shows the group of dignitaries on the platform, with Mike Nester leading everyone in the song, “America.” How many Albionites remember this event? It is sad to realize that a company which was cone so vibrant in Albion is now gone forever.
Massive Army-Navy “E” Excellence Award Presentation Ceremony Wednesday, May 5, 1943
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