USS North Carolina (BB 55)
Battleship of the North Carolina class
|Navy||The US Navy|
|Built by||New York Navy Yard (New York, New York, U.S.A.)|
|Laid down||27 Oct 1937|
|Launched||13 Jun 1940|
|Commissioned||9 Apr 1941|
|End service||27 Jun 1947|
Transferred to the Pacific 10 June 1942 and operated in that ocean for the remainder of WWII, mainly in support of the fast carrier forces. Also saw limited shore bombardment duty. Torpedoed with moderate damage 15 September 1942.
The first of ten fast battleships built by the United States which saw service in World War II, North Carolina set a standard for new shipbuilding technology that combined high speed with powerful armament.
Her superior performance during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in August 1942 established the primary role of the fast battleship as a protector of the aircraft carrier. Her resiliency to battle damage was proven just a month later in the same area when North Carolina sustained a hit from a Japanese torpedo. Despite an 18 by 32 foot hole in her side, and following a short period to counter-flood, she resumed a speed of 25 knots to regain position to protect her assigned aircraft carrier.
North Carolina is the most decorated U.S. battleship of World War II with 15 battle stars, having participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Tokyo Bay. She is also credited with kills of 24 aircraft, a merchantman and the bombardment of nine Japanese strongholds.
On 27 June 1947, \"The Showboat\" was decommissioned and placed in the reserve fleet in Bayonne, New Jersey. Stricken 1 June 1960. In 1960, a public subscription drive which received broad statewide support, including nickels and dimes from 700,000 school children, raised over $325,000 to save the ship from the scrappers torches and provide a permanent home for the ship. Now moored on the Cape Fear River just across from downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, the battleship is the State\'s memorial to her World War II veterans, a growing museum and a major tourist attraction. Painted in her most distinctive Measure 32 camouflage scheme of the War, with many spaces open and interpreted for visitors, and with changing exhibits, the Battleship accurately depicts shipboard life of the period for visitors to experience. USS North Carolina is a National Historic Landmark.
Commands listed for USS North Carolina (BB 55)
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|1||Captain Olaf Mandt Hustvedt, USN||9 Apr 1941||23 Oct 1941|
|2||Oscar Charles Badger, USN||23 Oct 1941||1 Jun 1942|
|3||Captain George Hudson Fort, USN||1 Jun 1942||5 Dec 1942|
|4||Wilder Depuy Baker, USN||5 Dec 1942||27 May 1943|
|5||Frank Pugh Thomas, USN||27 May 1943||6 Oct 1944|
|6||Frank George Fahrion, USN||6 Oct 1944||26 Jan 1945|
|7||Oswald Symister Colclough, USN||26 Jan 1945||15 Jun 1945|
|8||Byron Hall Hanlon, USN||15 Jun 1945||1 Feb 1946|
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Notable events involving North Carolina include:
Commanding Officers Captain Olaf M. Hustvedt, USN April 1941 ~ 23 October 1941 Captain Oscar C. Badger, USN 23 October 1941 ~ 1 June 1942 Captain George H. Fort, USN 1 June 1942 ~ 5 December 1942 Captain Wilder D. Baker, USN 5 December 1942 ~ 27 May 1943 Captain Frank P. Thomas, USN 27 May 1943 ~ 6 October 1944 Captain Frank G. Fahrion, USN 6 October 1944 ~ 26 January 1945 Captain Oswald S. Colclough, USN 26 January 1945 ~ 15 June 1945 Captain Byron H. Hanlon, USN 15 June 1945 ~ 1 February 1946 Captain Timothy J. O'Brien, USN 1 February 1946 ~ 27 June 1947