North Carolinians enlisted in all the services by the thousands. When the war ended in 1945, 11,081 Tar Heels had died for their country.

When the U.S. Navy decided that the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA was not needed in the fleet, the state’s citizens worked to save their namesake as a memorial to the North Carolinians who died in service during World War II.

Wilmington, NC, was chosen as the site and on September 6, 1961, during a formal ceremony in Bayonne, New Jersey, the Federal Government formally handed over the 35,000 ton Battleship to the State of North Carolina. She opened to the public on October 14, 1961.

Today this authentically restored Battleship preserves our proud naval history and serves as her state’s World War II memorial to the more than 11,000 North Carolinians who sacrificed their all for their country.

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