USS North Carolina Walk Around

By Jun Villalon
Photos by Turner


The USS North Carolina was one of the U.S. Navy's Fast Battleships commissioned during World War II. Towards the end of its construction, it drew so many viewers at port and during her sea trials that it was nicknamed The Showboat.

The North Carolina's role during the war was primarily a screen ship for the U.S. Navy's aircraft carriers.  In separate missions, it went with the USS Enterprise, USS Saratoga, USS Bunker Hill and USS Hornet and other U.S. vessels to fight the Japanese in the Pacific theater. It was also tasked as support ship for invading ground troops (Marines) from the Solomon Islands, to the Philippine archipelago, to Palau, and finally up to Tokyo bay during the final days of Imperial Japan.

She downed many Japanese attack aircraft including the famous Kamikazes. She sunk the Japanese carrier Chitose and other support ships that crossed her path. She was one of the ships who helped sink the famous Imperial Japanese Battleship Yamato and its support ships in the Battle of Okinawa.

Due to its many mission assignments, the North Carolina's road to history was not always easy.  In separate accounts, she was hit by torpedoes and bombs and was erroneously thought to be sunk by the Japanese six  different times! Despite her battle scars, the USS North Carolina and her superb crew were always able to manage to get back to Pearl Harbor for fast repairs and be off to sea again in a few weeks. Presently, she stands proudly moored in Wilmington, minutes from the beautiful Southeastern North Carolina beaches and northern South Carolina Beaches such as the ever-popular Myrtle Beach and the historic Cape Fear Region on the border of North and South Carolina.  The Battleship would not be moored in Wilmington at all if not for the North Carolina’s own World War II veterans who rallied to her aid when they heard she was scheduled to be scuttled.  Thanks to those veterans and thousands of boys and girls who gave their nickels and dimes to save her, her story of salvation lives on as a proud tale in North Carolina's history.

The Battleship North Carolina has provided the nation with service above and beyond the call of duty.  From 1941 to 1947, she was a veteran warship from World War 2.  In 1961 until the present, she serves as a memorial to the youth of today, reminding them of the bravery and valor of the men and women who served in The US Armed Forces.  She also serves as a cenotaph to all North Carolinians who served, fought and died in the Second World War.

Click Thumbnails
for larger image.
Overall shots of the exterior of the Ship.
The battleship decks were being repaired during the photo session.  Note the scaffoldings in one of the pictures. The camouflage patterns used were those employed during 1945.  The MS 32 pattern employed the use of the following color patterns: (Source: Ships-2 Supplement 1 March 1943, Snyder and Short)

Measure 32  Medium Pattern System Vertical Surfaces:  Paint all exposed vertical surfaces a pattern of Light Gray 5-L, Ocean Gray 5-O, Black Horizontal Surfaces:  Paint all decks and horizontal surfaces a pattern of Deck Blue 20-B, Ocean Gray 5-O.

Canvas Covers:  Canvas covers visible from the outside vessel are to be dyed a color corresponding to Deck Blue.


The camouflage painting need not be exact or carried into corners.  Small gear, wires, rigging, and areas permanently in shadow, as under boats, etc., need not be painted with the camouflage colors.  There is no objection to exact or careful painting which may be desired for the sake of good appearance at close range.

All bright or shiny objects, no matter how insignificant, shall be painted, covered, or removed. Glass windows shall be covered or removed, especially during the day in sunny weather, and at night when anticipating searchlight discovery.  Insofar as conditions permit, similar precautions shall be taken on airport lenses.

Shots of the weapons and equipment on the ship
There were repairs going on the deck of the Battleship. Click the image on the right for more details

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