1941-1945—Cargo Parachuted and Containers
When the United States entered into World War II, the company aided in the war effort by manufacturing parachutes for the U.S. Military. Eventually, it became the country’s largest manufacturer of high payload parachutes, producing parachutes for cargo drops and naval mine laying. In appreciation for its efforts, in August 1945, General Textile Mills was awarded the Army Navy "E" Award for excellence in wartime production.
In addition to producing parachutes, General Textile also began manufacturing boxes to store and protect its parachutes during transport. These boxes were constructed of a new cotton fabric reinforced composite-structure. As material science developed, these early composites soon began to utilize fiberglass-reinforcing materials with early structural resins. These consisted of a cotton fabric reinforced mat, impregnated with a polyester resin, which hardened to become a very high-strength, low-weight structure.