A Behind the Scenes Tour of the USS NORTH CAROLINA

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The USS NORTH CAROLINA BATTLESHIP, a major part of history, has become a Wilmington landmark attracting tourists and locals year-round. The state’s memorial to its World War II veterans and the 10,000 North Carolinians who died during the war provides an inspiring glimpse into what it was like when the ship was in action almost 70 years ago. This ship received 15 battle stars for her World War II service, the most of any ship in the war.

When visiting the Battleship, we always learn something new. This is what keeps people coming back: discovering something you didn’t see on your previous visit. For us, this time it was the radio room. Heather Loftin, Promotions Director and our tour guide for the day, took us to the very room where USS NORTH CAROLINA contacted USS MISSOURI to tell them of the US victory at Iwo Jima. We could almost feel the excitement shared by those men so many years ago.

An exceptional stop on our tour was sitting in the Captain’s Chair. Nine different captains sat in this very seat between April 1941 and June 1947. Another unique experience to our tour was meeting a man whose father served as a crew member onboard during the War; he even showed us a picture of his father. Stories passed on by past crew members offer great insight on life aboard the ship. You can also read about individual experiences on displays throughout the tour.

The Battleship is open daily from 8:00am to 8:00pm during summer hours and 8:00am to 5:00pm during winter hours, and also hosts many events and fun activities. Be sure to check their website for upcoming events. Tours are self-guided and normally take two hours. So, bring a bottle of water, a camera, family and friends and enjoy the USS NORTH CAROLINA over and over again.

By Sarah Wood, WDI Intern

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