I just came across this book online today. It is a history of the US Navy Ammunition Depot at Crane, Indiana published for the 75th anniversary of the depot. The ebook is available to read online here: https://issuu.com/nsacrane/docs/the_world_war_ii_history_of_nad_cra
A hard cover can also be purchased here: http://www.blurb.com/b/6856367-the-world-war-ii-history-of-nad-crane
I took a quick look through the ebook and there is some good info on the manufacture of illuminating (star) shells, along with other ordnance made by NAD Crane. There are some production records for the ordnance produced during WW2 along with a number of interesting photos. In particular, they discuss an issue on page 43 with the 5"/38 star shell collapsing under the rotating band during firing, which caused failures of the parachute and star to eject. There is a great photo of what looks like the parachutes and stars being assembled and readied to be installed in the shells.
Here is a short description of the book from the seller site:
About the Book
This book covers the construction of the Naval Ammunition Depot, Crane, Indiana and the World War II support that the facility and its people provided. The construction began in November 1940 and the book runs through the end of the war in the Fall of 1945.
The authors (Margaret “Peggy” Julian and Anthony “Tony” Haag) were both employees of NAD Crane.