Visit: USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial

After driving by it and staring at from the opposite bank of the Cape Fear river for over six months, I finally decided to visit the Battleship North Carolina.

USS North Carolina
June 1946
Now docked in the Cape Fear river in the port city of Wilmington, NC, the Battleship North Carolina was once a fierce warship. 

Construction of the North Carolina began in the late 1930s and utilized state of the art technology for the time. The ship was commissioned in spring of 1941 and lingered on the east coast of the United States to monitor a German battleship until the summer of 1942 when it was ordered to the Pacific.

The North Carolina in action

The North Carolina's war record is impressive. She sunk ships, downed planes and launched several successful attacks on islands which earned her 15 battle stars and the honor of being declared the most decorated U.S. battleship of WWII. 

The battleship did not make it through the war unscathed but due to her excellent construction and expert crew she was able to survive damage from a torpedo and from friendly fire. 

USS North Carolina as a floating museum

After being decommissioned in 1947, the Battleship North Carolina remained mothballed in New Jersey until the early 60s when she was purchased from the U.S. Navy by funds raised by North Carolina school children. 

Now the North Carolina is a museum, open for touring most days of the year. Visitors are able to tour a large portion of the ship, including the main deck, gun turrets and several interior rooms. For more information about visiting the North Carolina, click here.

I'd have to say that hands down my favorite part of the tour was the rooms below deck. Imagining the ships day to day operation and the lives of the men aboard was fascinating. The ship is equipped with its own ice cream making facility and projection equipment as well as a dark room and print shop, amazing!

And, because I like to take pictures, here are some I took aboard the North Carolina. 

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