Historian’s decade-long work to get Wilmington recognized as “American World War II City” nears completion

It all comes down to the U.S. Senate and the clock is ticking

Historian works to get Wilmington designated as first World War II City in America

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., a distinguished veteran and Wilmington historian, worked for more than a decade to get Wilmington recognized as an “American World War II City” for the community’s contributions to the United States winning World War II.

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Rep. David Rouzer’s (R, NC 7) H.R. 6118 to direct the Department of Interior to designate one city per year as a nationally recognized “American World War II City.” If Jones has his way, Wilmington will be the first to receive the honor.

Other cities will be designated based on significant contributions to the war effort and their work preserving the history of WWII.

The future of Jones' work is now in the hands of the Senate and Jones is anxiously watching as time runs out on this session of Congress.

“Our state and country is fortunate to have Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., advocating to recognize Wilmington and other cities for their significant contributions during World War II,” said Rep. David Rouzer. “As many from the Greatest Generation know, the City of Wilmington was a major contributor to a nationwide effort during World War II to assist with the many components of war production such as defense manufacturing, the production of food and consumer items, and much more. Passage of this bill brings Wilmington one step closer to receiving the recognition it so rightfully deserves.”

Wilmington was called “The Defense Capital of the State" during the war with Wilmington’s largest employer, the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, constructing 243 cargo vessels.

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