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Memorial and Museum – USS North Carolina

Earl Moore Photography

USS North Carolina from the stern - Wilmington, NC

Our stay in WIlmington, NC, happened to be across the Cape Fear River from the USS North Carolina Battleship museum. Our time didn’t allow a trip over to the ship but I took these photos of her stern during late evening sun.

A few facts about the USS North Carolina you may or may not know.

“She was the first new-construction U.S. battleship to enter service during World War II, participating in every major naval offensive in the Pacific theater to become the highest decorated US battleship of the Second World War with 15 battle stars. North Carolina joined the long island-hopping campaign against the Japanese by assisting in the landing of Marines on Guadalcanal and Tulagi 7 August 1942, beginning the Guadalcanal campaign. She was the only battleship in this naval contingent, accompanied by the carriers Saratoga, Enterprise, and Wasp, along with their cruisers and other escorts. One of the main duties of a battleship serving as an escort for a carrier is to provide abundant anti-aircraft fire. During one such battle the sheer volume of anti-aircraft fire the USS North Carolina was putting up was such as to lead Enterprise to query, “Are you afire?” Near the end of WWII the USS North Carolina joined the carriers for a month of air strikes and naval bombardment on the Japanese home islands. Along with guarding the carriers, North Carolina fired on major industrial plants near Tokyo, and her scout plane pilots performed a daring rescue of a downed carrier pilot under heavy fire in Tokyo Bay. She was decommissioned in 1947 and in 1962 was dedicated at Wilmington, NC, as a memorial and museum.” ~ Wikipedia

In the above photo you can see a Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane on one of the launch catapults. This is one of only nine Kingfisher floatplanes known to still exist. The USS North Carolina normally carried a compliment of three. These planes were used for scouting, air reconnaissance and occasionally air/sea rescue. They would taken off into the wind from one of two catapults and then land upon the water to be lifted via the stern crane back upon the ship.

Earl Moore Photography

16 inch aft guns - USS North Carolina - Wilmington, NC

The second photo is a close up of the 16″ aft main guns. These guns could hurl a 2000lb+ high explosive shell over 20 miles giving a battleship of this class with 9 main guns the second heaviest broadside of all battleship classes. Only the Japanese Yamato-class super dreadnoughts could throw more weight.

These seemed fitting photos for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

8 Comments on Memorial and Museum – USS North Carolina

  1. Wow, I did not know that about the North Carolina and I’ve done some studying and reading about WWII.
    Monte Stevens recently posted… The Graduate

    • Actually I didn’t know all of that either until I research it for this post. That’s one reason I like doing some historical photos…you can learn a lot just researching what you photographed. :-)

      Have a good Memorial Day weekend my friend.

  2. I built a model of a battleship when I was a boy and I really loved it. Ships, planes, anything military. Their capability still amazes me. Great shots, the first is stunning.
    ken bello recently posted… BLUE MONDAY – Iris

    • Ken, as a boy I also built a model of a battleship…I’m fairly sure it was the USS North Carolina. I also did a lot of planes and an occasional car. I’m not sure how popular model building is for today’s children, what with all the electronic gadgets about. Gosh, I’m sounding old. :-)


  3. I have visited the battle ships Missouri and Massachusetts; battleships are impressive sights. Thanks for sharing.
    Steve Skinner recently posted… The Ship That Couldn’t Sink

    • Steve, they are impressive but obsolete in this day of smart missiles. It is the history of their creation/lives and of the men who served on them that interest me most these days.

  4. That’s an impressive image and very interesting article, Earl. I love the beautiful warm light in the first shot. The reflection of the sun on the ship and in the water creates an almost dreamy atmosphere which stands in such great contrast to the suffering and pain it must have experienced during the war. What a great and thought-provoking post!
    Martina Egli recently posted… Look up!

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