Is it an urban legend? Or is there really a WWII helicopter propeller buried inside this northwest Milwaukee warehouse?
That was the question OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo set out to answer in this week’s episode of Urban Spelunking.
A little backstory — on the edge of Milwaukee, a warehouse, currently home to a U-Haul central office, was once a production plant for war helicopters and other parts. The U.S. Department of Defense contracted prominent Milwaukee manufacturer A.O. Smith to run the factory during WWII, tapping into its experience making steel frames for automobiles.
It churned out propellers in particular, and rumor has it, one of them survives today in the building, in one form or another.
For decades after the war, the plant was converted to other uses, including a manufacturing and research facility for Harley Davidson. But, supposedly, that propeller is still there.