Information on:

Battleship North Carolina

1 Battleship Road

When the keel of north carolina was laid in october of 1937, she was the first battleship to be constructed in sixteen years. She became the first of ten fast battleships to join american fleet in world war ii. North carolina (bb 55) and her sister ship, washington (bb 56), comprised the north carolina class. Following them were the south dakota class - south dakota (bb 57), indiana (bb 58), massachusetts (bb 59), and alabama (bb 60) - and the iowa class - iowa (bb 61), new jersey (bb 62), missouri (bb 63), and wisconsin (bb 64).

At the time of her commissioning on 9 april 1941, she was considered the world's greatest sea weapon. Armed with nine 16-inch/45 caliber guns in three turrets and twenty 5-inch/38 caliber guns in ten twin mounts, north carolina proved a formidable weapons platform. Her wartime complement consisted of 144 commissioned officers and 2,195 enlisted men, including about 100 marines.

During world war ii, north carolina participated in every major naval offensive in the pacific area of operations and earned 15 battle stars. In the battle of the eastern solomon's in august of 1942, the battleship's anti-aircraft barrage helped save the carrier enterprise, thereby establishing the primary role of the fast battleship as protector of aircraft carriers. One of her kingfisher pilots performed heroically during the strike on truk when he rescued ten downed navy aviators on 30 april 1944. In all, north carolina carried out nine shore bombardments, sank an enemy troopship, destroyed at least 24 enemy aircraft, and assisted in shooting down many more. Her anti-aircraft guns helped halt or frustrate scores of attacks on aircraft carriers. She steamed over 300,000 miles. Although japanese radio announcements claimed six times that north carolina had been sunk, she survived many close calls and near misses with one hit when a japanese torpedo slammed into the battleship's hull on 15 september 1942. A quick response on the part of the crew allowed the mighty ship to keep up with the fleet. By war's end, the ship lost only ten men in action and had 67 wounded.

After serving as a training vessel for midshipmen, north carolina was decommissioned 27 june 1947 and placed in the inactive reserve fleet in bayonne, new jersey, for the next 14 years.  In 1958 the announcement of her impending scrapping led to a statewide campaign by citizens of north carolina to save the ship from the scrappers torches and bring her back to her home state. The save our ship (sos) campaign was successful and the battleship arrived in her current berth on 2 october 1961.  She was dedicated on 29 april 1962 as the state's memorial to its world war ii veterans and the 10,000 north carolinians who died during the war.


brian carlson

Friday, June 15, 2018
took my 3 y/o and had a blast. Spent a few hours on the ship exploring every nook and cranny. The whole ship seems explorable, and has something to offer at every age. I'm looking forward to returning with my 6 y/o to see what stuff he can discover. They're doing a great job maintaining this historic ship, and the price is appropriate for what you receive, especially with the knowledge that you're paying to keep history alive! Update: brought my 6 y/o out and he loved it as well.

Starryeyed Varina

Monday, May 28, 2018
We really loved our visit to the U. S. S. North Carolina. It was surprisingly hands on, with most of the ship accessible to the public. We visited on a hot day, but the experience was still enjoyable. The lower levels are a bit warm, but have a/c and air circulation. The steps to get to each level do require caution, but we did just fine with our 14, 10 and 3 year old. We loved all of the signs giving tons of info throughout the ship, including excerpts from firsthand accounts. It was a very moving and inspiring visit.

Imur Brother

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Didn't get to see the whole ship due to time constraints, but it was worth every penny. I love military history which made this one of my all time favorite places to go now. The place is just like you would imagine. Very tight and all industrial. Life on the ship must have been pretty hard, but they definitely did what they could to ease the time for our heroes. Definitely a must see if you're in the Willmington, NC area.

Virgil Otto

Sunday, June 17, 2018
This is amazing! Please go. Support and learn. You can be as quick or take as long as you want. There is a app for your phone that will act as your tour guide. I spent 4 hrs with my grandson exploring and leaning just what life on this ship was like. The lockers still have names in them and the recipes in the kitchen are hand written. Take the kids and give yourself time to understand just how brave these young men were.

Ryan White

Friday, June 15, 2018
A great reminder that we need to end all war. Also a great reminder of what can be done when humans put their mind to something. We need to end all war. This boat is a reminder of how D-day didn’t happen until 3 years after pearl harbor. We have the resources, manpower, and ability to end hunger in America. We must rediscover our compassion as we tread the dangerous waters of hyper-normalization. War is absolutely unacceptable. Children in America struggling with hunger is unacceptable. There is nothing for us to lose but our chains. No more masters, no more machines of war.

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