|When the keel of North Carolina was laid in October of 1937 at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, she was the first battleship to be constructed in sixteen years. She was the first of 10 fast battleships to join the American fleet in World War II.
At the time of her commisioning on April 9, 1941, she was considered the world's greatest sea weapon. Armed with nine 16-inch/45 caliber guns in three turrets and twenty 5-inch/38 caliber guns in ten twin mounts. The crew consisted of 144 commissioned officers and 2,195 enlisted men, including approximately 100 marines.
During WW II, NORTH CAROLINA participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations and earned 15 battle stars. In the Battle of Eastern Solomon's in August of 1942, the Battleship's anti-aircraft barrage helped save the carrier Enterprise, therby establishing the primary role of the fast battleship as protector of aircraft carriers.
In all, NORTH CAROLINA carried out nine shore bombardments, sand an enemy troopship, destroyed at least 24 enemy aircraft, and assisted in shooting down many more. Her anti-aircraft guns helped halt or frustrate scores of attacks on aircraft carriers. She steamed over 300,000 miles. Although Japanese radio announcements claimed six times that NORTH CAROLINA had been sunk, she survived many close calls and near misses with one hit when a Japanese torpedo slammed into the Battleship's hull on September 15, 1942. A quick response on the part of the crew allowed the mighty ship to keep up with the fleet. By war's end, the Ship lost only ten men in action and had 67 wounded.
NORTH CAROLINA was decommisioned on June 27, 1947 and placed in the Inactive Reserve Fleet in Bayonne, New Jersey, for the next 14 years. In 1958 the announcement of her impending scrapping led to a statewide campaign by citizens of North Carolina to save the ship from the scrappers torches and bring her back to her home state. The Save our Ship (SOS) campaign was successful and the Battleship arrived in her current berth on October 2, 1961. She was dedicated on April 29, 1962. as the states memorial to its World War II veterns and the 10,000 North Carolinians who died during the war.
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USS North Carolina
PENS INK is proud to offer a Historic Pen Collection including teak wood from the deck of the USS NORTH CAROLINA (BB 55). All Historic pens include a premium gift box, brass plaque and certificate of authenticty.