Collection (1939-1975) consisting of photocopies of photographs, poetry, letters, personal accounts of battles, menus, diaries, clippings, pamphlets, scrapbook, memoranda, etc., concerning the USS North Carolina Battleship and its crew.
The USS North Carolina, known as "the Showboat", was launched in October 1937 as the first of ten North Carolina-class fast battleships. It was armed with nine 16 inch guns in three turrets and 20 5 inch, .38 caliber guns in ten twin mounts, and considered the most powerful naval ship of the era. The USS North Carolina served in the Pacific theater of the Second World War, where it operated as a mobile weapons platform tasked with protecting aircraft carriers from Japanese attacks. It was struck by a torpedo in September of 1942 and forced to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs but quickly rejoined the war effort, leading Task Force 39 in the attack on the Marshall Islands. By the end of the Second World War the North Carolina was the most decorated battleship of the conflict, participating in every major naval offensive in the Pacific theater and earning 15 battle stars. After the war, the battleship served as a training vessel for midshipmen before being decommissioned and placed in the Inactive Reserve Fleet in 1947. It was designated to be scrapped in 1960, but the citizens of North Carolina organized a fundraising campaign to bring the ship to its namesake state. It was moored in Wilmington, North Carolina and opened to the public in October of 1961.
Blaine Taylor. The Magnificent Showboat: USS North Carolina (BB-55). Accessed February 26, 2020. https://search.proquest.com/docview/236096017?pq-origsite=summon&accountid=10639
This collection contains photocopies of diaries and newspaper clippings from the Ben W. Blee collection as well as documents from Robert J. Celustka, Edward F. Cope, J.A. Halas, Charles Gilbert, and John E. Kirkpatrick. The Joe W. Stryker Papers include ship logs containing day to day operations, radio correspondence, and details concerning the torpedo strike on USS North Carolina in September 1942. The Paul Wieser Papers include a congratulatory letter to the USS North Carolina from Admiral Chester Nimitz congratulating them on their entry into Tokyo Bay in 1945, as well as a copy of "Illustrative Seamanship," a document used to train on battleship operations. The Richard C. Walker Papers discuss battleship armament and include a map of suspected Japanese gun emplacements on the island of Saipan, a target of the battleship's bombardment operations in the Pacific theater. The remainder of the collection, from the USS NC Battleship Commission Papers, contains actions reports, diaries from individual sailors, and one image of the USS North Carolina being towed into its current berth in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The original documents (now replaced with photocopies) formerly held in this collection were housed in this repository on loan until the USS North Carolina Battleship Commission had sufficient space to care for and display the materials. The originals of the photocopies here, as well as other original documents for which we don't have photocopies, are now housed with the USS North Carolina Battleship Commission in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Loaned by USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial
Loaned by Captain Frank S. Conlon, USN (ret)
Loaned by Lt. Col. Amo F. Judd
Loaned by Howard W. Mattson
Processed by D. Lennon
Additional Processing by Johnie Robinson in May 1979, by James D'Angina, and by Martha Elmore on September 29, 2007.
Processing completed by Joel Cook, March 2020
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
For more information on the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship, see:
Joe Warren Stryker Papers (#339), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
Joe W. Stryker Oral History Interview (#OH0053), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
USS NORTH CAROLINA Battleship Collection (#OH0024) Oral History Interviews with 64 individuals, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA