“The opening of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company in 1941 is what ultimately revived the region’s economy during the Second World War, transforming Wilmington into the ‘The Defense Capital of the State’….
“The plant… resulted in the city’s population increasing from 33,000 to 50,000. By 1943, the apex of national homefront mobilization, the shipyard employed approximately 20,000 people, [of whom] 1,628 were women and 6,000 were African-Americans….
“[The Cape Fear River shipyard] was one of ten in the country specializing in Liberty cargo vessels, which transported ammunition, tanks, vehicles and other military supplies.”
-From “Wilmington, North Carolina (American World War II Heritage City)” by the National Park Service
Briefly among the city’s newcomers: playwright Arthur Miller.
This sample badge for launching-ceremony guests was manufactured by the St. Louis Button Co.