Wilmington, North Carolina

visited June, 2001

USS North Carolina (BB-55) DANFS

I arrived in Wilmington (stop #2 on the great 2001 Ship Tour) on a Tuesday afternoon (having left Norfolk and the USS Wisconsin) just ahead of the remnants of Tropical Storm Allison. A look at the radar and forecast convinced me that I didn't want to wait, so I hustled downtown to see the battleship known as "The Showboat".

The North Carolina is nested in a berth adjoining the Cape Fear River. One of the more striking parts of seeing her on first sight is that they still have one of her radar antennas rotating. It gives the ship a sense of still being alive. There is a large parking lot (fortunately, on this day I didn't have too much competition), a well-stocked gift shop - don't miss the blocks of teak from her original deck - and small snack bar. There are also alligators (or so the signs say), but I didn't see any. (That would change in Mobile...but that's another story.) The North Carolina is in wonderful material condition, a testament to her stewards. One could look at the few missing parts here and there and visualize the Navy coming for them in the 1980s when the Iowa-class ships were reactivated. In fact, the Navy did take some spare parts for the Iowas, some still in their original packaging.

The North Carolina, like some other ships, has both a 16" and a 5" turret open - and you can even explore one of her barbettes with its magazine and handling rooms. Along the way, you get to see examples of upper and lower 5" handling rooms as well.

The North Carolina is the sole survivor and lead ship from her two-ship class and an excellent example of the Navy's first "modern" battleships. She is winding up a complete re-decking as of this writing and perhaps as soon as 2007 will be towed to Norfolk for hull work while a new berth in Wilmington is prepared.

The Photos

(click on thumbnails to show the larger image)

nc01.jpg (22104 bytes)nc02.jpg (42029 bytes)nc03.jpg (34763 bytes)nc04.jpg (37115 bytes)nc05.jpg (33846 bytes)nc06.jpg (26968 bytes)

nc07.jpg (53358 bytes)nc08.jpg (58968 bytes)nc09.jpg (55860 bytes)nc10.jpg (46154 bytes)nc11.jpg (24476 bytes)nc12.jpg (51326 bytes)

nc13.jpg (41969 bytes)nc14.jpg (38116 bytes)nc15.jpg (51909 bytes)nc16.jpg (64232 bytes)nc17.jpg (71891 bytes)nc18.jpg (78349 bytes)

nc19.jpg (67319 bytes)nc20.jpg (43364 bytes)nc21.jpg (98580 bytes)nc22.jpg (31528 bytes)nc23.jpg (23922 bytes)nc24.jpg (41744 bytes)

nc25.jpg (66671 bytes)nc26.jpg (37735 bytes)nc27.jpg (35385 bytes)nc28.jpg (38506 bytes)nc29.jpg (52729 bytes)nc30.jpg (44153 bytes)

nc31.jpg (46734 bytes)nc32.jpg (70590 bytes)nc33.jpg (36288 bytes)nc34.jpg (32979 bytes)nc35.jpg (25929 bytes)nc36.jpg (46367 bytes)

nc37.jpg (39570 bytes)nc38.jpg (65641 bytes)nc39.jpg (82747 bytes)nc40.jpg (43296 bytes)nc41.jpg (71632 bytes)nc42.jpg (38046 bytes)

nc43.jpg (37025 bytes)nc45.jpg (29471 bytes)nc44.jpg (36248 bytes)

For More Information:

Battleship North Carolina

Browse by Ship

Browse by Location