On May 19, 1941, the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA left the New York Navy Yard for the first time and headed down the East River. The ship just left Pier C, Brooklyn Navy Yard. Stephen Hustvedt, age 15, took this photograph of the Battleship from the roof of the Towers Hotel in Brooklyn looking toward the tip of Manhattan. Stephen is the son of Captain Olaf Hustvedt, the commanding officer of BB55. The Battleship headed to Delaware Bay and back for its first trial run in the Atlantic Ocean. The tugs boats escorting the ship were owned by the Turecamo Company.
About 150 mostly civilian yard workers, engineers and other technicians were aboard for the builder’s trials in the spring of 1941. Builder’s trials were conducted to demonstrate that the power plant was capable of propelling the ship in free route at all speeds up to full power ahead (approx 199 rpm) for duration of two hours and approximately 133 rpm astern for duration of 15 minutes. The trials were also to bring to light any faults of design or installation.
Joseph Smits in the boiler rooms the dock trials:
“When they would go up in RPMs the steam pressure would down and we would open more burners in the boiler to make more fire to bring their steam pressure back up to 600 psi. Our job was to making 600psi pressure at all times. It was like a game. They would try to bring it down and we would keep it up! It was a serious job. No steam at 600psi, no rpms on the screws. The tugs keeping a line on the ship during dock trials was like being underway but not moving. Like pressing the gas pedal on your car and keeping the brakes on.”