• Keel laid October 27, 1937, New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York
  • First battleship to be constructed in sixteen years and first of 10 fast battleships.
  • Launched June 13, 1940
  • The world’s greatest sea weapon was commissioned on April 9, 1941.
  • Armament included nine 16-inch/45 caliber guns in three turrets and twenty 5-inch/38 caliber guns in ten twin mounts
  • Ship’s Company: 144 commissioned officers and 2,195 enlisted men, including 86 Marines.
  • During World War II, NORTH CAROLINA participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations and earned 15 battle stars.
  • Battle of the Eastern Solomons, August 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 she 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.
  • Legacy: 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 ten men killed in action and 67 wounded.
  • Decommissioned June 27, 1947, and placed in the Inactive Reserve Fleet in Bayonne, New Jersey, for the next 14 years.
  • Save Our Ship! An announcement of the Ship’s impending scrapping led to a statewide citizen campaign to save the ship from the scrappers torches and bring her to North Carolina. The Battleship arrived in her current berth on October 2, 1961.
  • Dedicated April 29, 1962 as the State’s memorial to our World War II veterans and the 11,000 North Carolinians who died during the war.

Here is a fun trivia question sheet on the history of the Battleship. See how many you can answer and then come back for the answers. Or take our online quiz here: