Heddon WWII "E"-Award

Army - Navy Production Award

Presented To

James Heddon's Sons

WWII E Award 


To acknowledge the efforts of the men and women of plants which were providing the material needed, the government created a production award system.  During World War II more that 4,000 "E Pennants" were presented to war plants in recognition of production excellence.  The famous flag with the big "E" emblazoned on it became a badge of patriotism in action.  Awarded on a plant rather than a company basis, the award consisted of a flag to be flown over the plant and a lapel pin for every employee within the plant.

The Daily News - Dowagiac, Michigan, Wednesday, March 29, 1944

The Daily News - Dowagiac, Michigan, Wednesday, March 29, 1944


John Heddon developed the steel golf club division in 1931 moving onto steel ski poles then steel bait and fly rods.  They were manufactured with John Heddon's exclusive patented process for tapering steel tubing and tempering the steel with a heat treat operation.  It was because of their capability for tapering and heat-treating steel tubing that James Heddon's Sons were able to secure its first war contract.  They made aerial mast's and antennas for the signal corps and other restricted radio communication equipment for military vehicles.  They also made a fold up box kite which was used with emergency communications equipment for pilots that were shot down.


Heddon Factory Production Award Photograph - March, 1944
Heddon Factory Production Award Photograph - March, 1944
The Presentation of the Army - Navy Production Award to the James Heddon's Sons Dowagiac factory was held at the Dowagiac High School on Thursday, March 30, 1944.  The above photograph was probably taken the afternoon before the ceremony at the James Heddon's Sons factory.
Brochure Cover of the Production Award Ceremony
Brochure Cover of the Production Award Ceremony
This is the brochure cover of the Production Award Ceremony that was held at the Dowagiac High School on March 30, 1944 .  Anyone attending the ceremony was given a brochure.  Over 500 workers, family members and friends attended this ceremony.



"E" Pin
"E" Pin
Personalized Pin Card
Personalized Pin Card
The pennant and emblems were presented to Heddon's management and employee's by Lt. Col. Harold C. Miller (Army) and Lt. John Crawford (Navy).  Earl Deming accepted the pins on behalf of the employee's.   Every employee of the James Heddon's Sons Plant in Dowagiac, Michigan received an E-pin and a personalized pin card.
The Daily News - Dowagiac, Michigan, Friday, March 31, 1944

The Daily News - Dowagiac, Michigan, Friday, March 31, 1944The Daily News - Dowagiac, Michigan, Friday, March 31, 1944 


After the war Heddon started producing fishing tackle again along with other items such as golf clubs.  They only offered limited tackle in 1946, 1947 & 1948 but in 1949 the Heddon catalog offered a full line of fishing tackle and in 1950 they reached full production and offered many new items. 


Can You Identify these 1944 Heddon Employee's ?


Heddon Factory Photograph - c. March 29, 1944

  1. ?
  2. ?
  3. ?
  4. Dick Rank
  5. Gertrude Fowler
  6. George Jorgenson
  7. Frances Long
  8. Ben Miller
  9. ?
  10. Bertha Bruce
  11. ?
  12. Lyle Wooster
  13. ?
  14. ?
  15. "Spin" Bruce
  16. ?
  17. ?
  18. ?
  19. Katie Bowman
  20. ?
  21. Audrey Fritz
  22. ?
  23. Bernard Hills
  24. Earl Deming
  25. ?
  26. ?
  27. ?
  28. Lena Abbs
  29. May Whenchell (Wilcox)
  30. ?
  31. ?
  32. ?


My sincere thanks to Mr. Clyde. A. Harbin Sr., The Bassman, and Mr. Lanny West, Senior Director of Marketing and International Sales of PRADCO Outdoor Brands for their help and support in getting this Heddon Factory photograph identified.  

A special thanks to Mrs. Joan Lyons, owner of the Heddon Museum in Dowagiac, Michigan for identifying my Heddon photograph and sending me the 1944 Dowagiac Daily News articles, ceremony brochure cover and employee pin card.  I knew nothing of the Heddon Production Award until she sent me this information and made me aware of this event.  Joan also identified fourteen of the Heddon employee's in the photograph.  

I have since donated this Heddon Factory Production Award photograph to the Heddon Museum in Dowagiac, Michigan for the public to enjoy and see this bit of Heddon history.


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(Originally Published on AntiqueFishingLures.com)
Moved to My Bait Shop in 2024 and updated as applicable

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