Once upon a time in America, a union welding job at 1980s wages was such a horrible fate that you became a stripper to earn your way out.
I'm going to throw it out there that there's something toxic going on here, and it is not redeemed by Jennifer Beals ending up in a corps de ballet. Because a few years earlier, welders were "building them by the mile and cutting them off by the foot at places like the Bison Shipyard of North Tonawanda, New York, the pride of the New York Barge Canal (at least in North Tonawanda), and a few years later, people would have been a great deal happier to have a few years invested in seniority in that welding job, even at the expense of happy memories of performing classical dance in front of audiences of desperately signalling would be social climbers.
I would put up images of the Bison Shipyard in its prime here, but the New York Museum of History is uninterested in reducing its patrimony that way. The City of Buffalo is not. North Tonawanda is, well, not too far from the town that's a bit of a running joke for a certain generation of Torontonians."**
This is not what it would look like if more people had treated unionised factory welding jobs as good jobs back when they needed to be defended. And I do not say this as a victim of nostalgia for a 1950s that never was. I have a more complicated story to tell, if I ever get it untangled.
The Landing Craft, Tanks built at the Bison Shipyard are only one of a number of wartime shipbuilding projects that featured prefabrication by unskilled ("diluted") labour taking advantage of the fact that with enough solder, you can (temporarily) stick pretty much any piece of metal to any other. And that's entirely unfair, since although it might be taken to imply (correctly) that some Liberty ships, escort carriers and landing craft were a bit of a mess, the rest of them worked just fine and won the war, and that was kind of the point of building them in the first place. The Allies raised very large armies that happened to be on the wrong shore to fight the Axis. A great many boats were needed to deposit them on a hostile shore and make it possible for them to sustain themselves there and even fight their way inland to total victory.
That does not, by even the smallest of margins, however, exhaust the interest one might take in landing craft, because there is a lot of submerged history in these little boats. Which is why I'm going to start by talking about triremes. Of course.