Thursday, March 15, 2018

N.C.'s Liberty Armada-- Part 1: No Peace On Earth in 1940-41

From the January 2018, Our State Magazine  "The Liberty Armada" by Philip Gerard.  Part of the magazine's "1940s The Decade of Transformation" series.

This is the story of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company of Wilmington, N.C..

When America went to war in 1941, the Navy turned to Wilmington to provide ships.  The city's response helped secure victory for the Allies and left a lasting mark on the North Carolina Coast.The Whiteville News Reporter on Jan. 1 headlines read "New Year's Greetings --  Peace on Earth 1940."  Later, it headlined, "National Defense Expansion Urged By The President."

In November 1941, the Wilmington Morning Star reported:  "U.S. Warship Torpedoed While On Convoy Patrol in the North Atlantic."   It went on to say that 77 men of the USS Reuben James, including seven officers, remained missing and were feared dead.  The ship's skipper, Lt. Cmdr. H.L. Edwards, had married a Wilmington, N.C., girl just six years earlier.  I have been writing a lot about this ship in this blog and will continue to do so.

Later, that same month, the tanker SS Salinas was torpedoed by a U-boat.

War Is On its Way to North Carolina.  --GreGen

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