The USS North Carolina

The USS North Carolina was among the most decorated ships during WWII. She was awarded more battle stars than any other battleship during WWII. She was one of the few ships still capable of battle after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

North Carolina and her sister ship Washington were launched on June 13th, 1940, and commissioned about a year later, on April 9th, 1941. She was the only battleship in the assault on Guadalcanal in August 1942. She was struck by a torpedo hit from the Japanese submarine I-19. The shot filled five men and injured 20, but the ship was able to stay in formation despite two flooded compartments. Overall, North Carolina participated in 9 shore bombardments and shot down 24 Japanese aircraft. It’s said that during one battle, the Battle of Eastern Soloman, the fire coming from North Carolina was so intense she appeared to be on literal fire.

I recently was able to visit North Carolina. She was placed out of commission in 1947, and finally stricken from the Navy list on June 1st in 1960. By 1961, she was dedicated as a war memorial in Wilmington North Carolina. She is a public memorial with a dedicated group that continually works to maintain and restore her. Below are some of the many photos I took. Unfortunately, some parts of the ship were under restoration when I visited, and it was rather crowded. The photos below have been edited to remove most people and improve clarity. You can click on the first photo to enlarge it, and browse the gallery. They are in no particular order.