How Shipbuilding in Wilmington Shaped World War II

Jan 3, 2018

The 1940s was a decade of great transformation in North Carolina – the state transitioned from a mostly rural, agricultural place to one with a booming tobacco industry, strong musical traditions and a large military presence.


Throughout 2018, Our State magazine will highlight moments from the 1940s that shaped what North Carolina’s economy, politics and society look like today. The first installment of the series “The Liberty Armada” documents how Wilmington became home to the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, which built 243 ships used during World War II and transformed Wilmington into the port city it is today.

Host Frank Stasio is joined by Our State Editor in Chief Elizabeth Hudson to preview the series. He also talks with Philip Gerard, author of the series and professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He is also joined by military historian and writer Wilbur Jones to discuss his efforts to get Wilmington recognized as “America’s World War II City.”