Monday, March 26, 2018
N.C.'s Liberty Armada-- Part 8: 24,000 Workers At Peak and USOs
There was a new high-speed turbine shop at the yard that was so top secret that it was not placed on shipyard maps.
The North Carolina Shipbuilding Company continued to grow and eventually employed 25,000 workers. and dispensed a payroll of $50 million a year.
Wilmington was transformed into a boomtown as young workers with money to spend mingled with soldiers, sailors and Marines. A growing number of USOs, bars and nightclubs sprang up. The USO at Second and Orange was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and became quite a social hub.
Junior Hostesses and Liberty Belles danced with servicemen, mend their uniforms and serve them refreshments.