What a big boat!?!

USS North CarolinaYou just couldn’t miss it, a WWII Battleship parked right beside the highway, across the river from Wilmington, N.C. Yet another must see for us tourists. Tracy exclaiming, “Wow, what a big boat!” The USS North Carolina fought in all major Pacific sea battles of WWII. Arriving in the Pacific 7 months after Pearl Harbour was attacked.

Into the 16" turretsSighting the turret 3level 3 magazine of turret 25 decks belowtight sleeping quartersEngine room electrical controls

Surgical suiteThe bridgeBow of the USS North Carolina

Thinking of all the men that sailed and fought in her. First walking at dockside the shear size of this ship was overwhelming. There is quite a following of the war time ships and in particular Battleships.

Heck, I don’t think there is a person that doesn’t remember the 1989 music video of Cher, ‘If I could turn back time’, filmed on the USS Battleship Missouri that, except for the young sailors taking part in the video, didn’t find it, dare say, the best use of a 16″ deck gun. Again, I digress.

This was one of the most “hands on” experiences we have yet to have. Access to the inside of the 16″ gun turrets. Being able to use the actual sights used for targeting these big guns.  Traveling down into the bowels of the ship including the loading/magazine areas, engine room, bridge and walking on the massive teak decks.  You could feel the energy that this great ship once had.  Four hours just wasn’t enough time but we didn’t want to have to find another roadside parking lot for the night.

We departed with lots of stories, memories and a newly gained respect for the “Big Boat.”


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