Southern Aircraft Corp
IMCO / Intercontinental Manufacturing
Southern Aircraft was formed by a group of former Luscombe Airplane Corporation employees in the late 1930s. Their first president was Willis C. Brown. Garland, Texas donated 27 acres of land to SAC and the Garland facility opened its doors in 1939.
In May 1939 the Southern Aircraft Corporation was formed in Houston, and in July 1940 this plant completed its first plane, a biplane designed for use as an army trainer. In December 1940 Southern Aircraft began excavation for a plant near Garland and in February 1941 moved from Houston and began production of military primary-training planes. In the new works made components for Consolidated B-24, Grumman Hellcat, and Avenger.The number of employees grew to 3,000 during WWII.
1940: Southern Aircraft Div, Portable Products Corp (pres: Willis C Brown), Garland and Greenville TX
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the company's focus shifted to commercial products such as school bus bodies, tractors, livestock trailers farm implements, and a short-lived Franklin-powered flying car called the Aerocar (1946). During the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War, aircraft and munitions were the primary products.
In 1949, the company's name changed to IMCO, and over the years workers produced a variety of products, including farm tractors, flamethrowers, soft drink machines and school buses.
Even so, its major emphasis has always been products that support the defense and aerospace industries.
From 1955 through 1969 under the name Intercontinental Manufacturing it had a variety of owners which included Lionel Toy.
In 1968 Bergman Forging moved from their California operations to the Garland facility.
The Garland plant employs about 625 people, who develop and manufacture the steel bodies used in almost all 500-, 1,000- and 2,000-pound bombs in U.S. Navy and Air Force arsenals. The company also forges aluminum and magnesium components used in airplane and ordnance.
From 1988 through 2003 the company was owned by Datron Inc. who sold the firm to General Dynamics in 2003.