Thursday, March 10, 2016

USS North Carolina

One of the places I was most excited to show Evan while we were in Wilmington was the USS North Carolina Battleship.  He has developed an intense love of Navy ships and planes, and he and I put together a large Lego style replica of the USS Missouri Battleship that he got for Christmas.  The USS North Carolina is a proud piece of North Carolina and U.S. history, and I knew he would appreciate it.  He missed out on going with his previous Cub Scout troop and his new Cub Scout troop on trips to see and spend the night on this battleship and an aircraft carrier, and he was really disappointed.  He was very appreciative that he got to visit this place.

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This battleship served proudly in the Pacific theater of World War II.  

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Replicas of both the USS North Carolina battleships.  The first one was a sailing vessel from the 1800s.  The second one was launched in 1940.  

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A National Historic Landmark and a memorial to the men and women from our state who served in World War II. 

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Of course, Daddy and Evan were interested in the guns. 

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Evan liked seeing a plane on the ship, and Mattox enjoyed using one of the guns. 
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This little guy really enjoyed manning this gun.
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The boys headed up some very tight stairs into a compartment that really made my claustrophobia come out, but I persevered to follow them.  It was actually neat in the cramped space where the men who loaded the biggest guns did their jobs.  It looked cramped for the two dimensional mannequins in the compartments so I can only imagine how it felt to a full grown man.  The very heavy projectiles would come up on a special elevator from below the ship and had to be lifted and rammed into the chamber.  Then, six powder bags had to be loaded behind the projectile. 

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While at sea, the Captain had special quarters right behind the helm of the ship.  When not at sea, the Captain enjoyed much larger and more luxurious quarters on the main deck. 

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The boys enjoyed sitting in the Captain's chair and driving the ship. 

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The Chart House is the navigational center for the ship. 

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My boys loved being on a real battleship. 

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The boys sitting on one of the huge anchors of the ship.  I used to work on the Portsmouth, VA waterfront near the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and I used to sit and watch the big ships from my office window.  It was a great view.  They worked on both Navy ships as well as commercial ships like cruise ships. 

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The ship had an impressive battle history in the Pacific theater of World War II. 

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The boys were excited to head down below ship to see where the men lived and slept. 

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The cafeteria boasted a large kitchen with a huge mixer and pots to cook for the hundreds or thousands of men on board. 

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It also had many conveniences of home like stores, a soda fountain complete with an ice cream machine, and a barber shop. 

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A post office and a dental office were also important additions to the ship. 

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And now my post gets PG-13 rated.  Haha!  Apparently, you lose your right to privacy in the Navy. 

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A pharmacy, doctor's office, operating room and isolation ward for more serious illnesses were also a necessity. 

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Officer's enjoyed a fun hang out space, and I thought the explanation for the term Scuttlebutt as a drinking fountain was educational.  Did you know a "scuttlebutt" was a person who gossips because men gossiped around the water fountain on the ship? 
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And isn't this just the cutest Navy sailor or officer you've ever seen?  


  1. Absolutely. He IS the cutest little Naval Officer ever.

    When you come to visit Arizona remind me to take you to the aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. It is the largest aircraft boneyard in the entire world. I think Evan will love it.

    Since my dad served 36 years in the Navy I spent my fair share of childhood touring Naval battleships (and staying at Navy lodges). Even still, I'd totally tour another one because they are so interesting and never lose their appeal.

  2. Awwww... Mattox the sailor!

    And my uncle worked as head chef (cook) on a navy ship for many years. I think he enjoyed it.

  3. Along with authentic cars, it also houses items such as trophies, driver uniforms, helmets, winner's checks, autographed pictures, etc.


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