Allied Warships

USS North Carolina (BB 55)

Battleship of the North Carolina class

USS North Carolina in mid-1943.

NavyThe US Navy
ClassNorth Carolina 
PennantBB 55 
Built byNew York Navy Yard (New York, New York, U.S.A.) 
Laid down27 Oct 1937 
Launched13 Jun 1940 
Commissioned9 Apr 1941 
End service27 Jun 1947 

Transferred to the Pacific 10 June 1942 and operated in that ocean for the remainder of WWII, mainly in support of the fast carrier forces. Also saw limited shore bombardment duty. Torpedoed with moderate damage 15 September 1942.

The first of ten fast battleships built by the United States which saw service in World War II, North Carolina set a standard for new shipbuilding technology that combined high speed with powerful armament.

Her superior performance during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in August 1942 established the primary role of the fast battleship as a protector of the aircraft carrier. Her resiliency to battle damage was proven just a month later in the same area when North Carolina sustained a hit from a Japanese torpedo. Despite an 18 by 32 foot hole in her side, and following a short period to counter-flood, she resumed a speed of 25 knots to regain position to protect her assigned aircraft carrier.

North Carolina is the most decorated U.S. battleship of World War II with 15 battle stars, having participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Tokyo Bay. She is also credited with kills of 24 aircraft, a merchantman and the bombardment of nine Japanese strongholds.

On 27 June 1947, \"The Showboat\" was decommissioned and placed in the reserve fleet in Bayonne, New Jersey. Stricken 1 June 1960. In 1960, a public subscription drive which received broad statewide support, including nickels and dimes from 700,000 school children, raised over $325,000 to save the ship from the scrappers torches and provide a permanent home for the ship. Now moored on the Cape Fear River just across from downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, the battleship is the State\'s memorial to her World War II veterans, a growing museum and a major tourist attraction. Painted in her most distinctive Measure 32 camouflage scheme of the War, with many spaces open and interpreted for visitors, and with changing exhibits, the Battleship accurately depicts shipboard life of the period for visitors to experience. USS North Carolina is a National Historic Landmark.


Commands listed for USS North Carolina (BB 55)

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1Capt. Olaf Mandt Hustvedt, USN9 Apr 194123 Oct 1941
2Capt. Oscar Charles Badger, 2nd, USN23 Oct 19411 Jun 1942
3T/R.Adm. George Hudson Fort, USN1 Jun 19425 Dec 1942
4T/Rear-Admiral Wilder De Puy Baker, USN5 Dec 194227 May 1943
5Capt. Frank Pugh Thomas, USN27 May 19436 Oct 1944
6T/R.Adm. Frank George Fahrion, USN6 Oct 194426 Jan 1945
7T/Capt. Oswald Symister Colclough, USN26 Jan 194515 Jun 1945
8T/Capt. Byron Hall Hanlon, USN15 Jun 19451 Feb 1946

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Notable events involving North Carolina include:

Commanding Officers Captain Olaf M. Hustvedt, USN April 1941 ~ 23 October 1941 Captain Oscar C. Badger, USN 23 October 1941 ~ 1 June 1942 Captain George H. Fort, USN 1 June 1942 ~ 5 December 1942 Captain Wilder D. Baker, USN 5 December 1942 ~ 27 May 1943 Captain Frank P. Thomas, USN 27 May 1943 ~ 6 October 1944 Captain Frank G. Fahrion, USN 6 October 1944 ~ 26 January 1945 Captain Oswald S. Colclough, USN 26 January 1945 ~ 15 June 1945 Captain Byron H. Hanlon, USN 15 June 1945 ~ 1 February 1946 Captain Timothy J. O'Brien, USN 1 February 1946 ~ 27 June 1947

12 Feb 1944
Task Force 58 departed Majuro Atoll for operation HAILSTONE, a raid against the Japanese base at Truk Atoll.

Task Force 58 was made up of the following ships;

Task Group 58.1
Aircraft carriers USS Enterprise (Capt. M.B. Gardner, USN), USS Yorktown (Capt. R.E. Jennings, USN), light carrier USS Belleau Wood (Capt. A.M. Pride, USN), light cruisers Santa Fé (Capt. J. Wright, USN), Mobile (Capt. C.J. Wheeler, USN), Biloxi (Capt. D.M. McGurl, USN), USS Oakland (Capt. W.K. Phillips, USN) and the destroyers USS Clarence K. Bronson (Lt.Cdr. J.C. McGoughran, USN), USS Cotten (Cdr. F.T. Sloat, USN), USS Dortch (Cdr. R.C. Young, USN), USS Gatling (Cdr. A.F. Richardson, USN), USS Healy (Cdr. J.C. Atkeson, USN), USS Cogswell (Cdr. H.T. Deutermann, USN), USS Caperton (Cdr. W.J. Miller, USN), USS Ingersoll (Cdr. A.C. Veasey, USN), USS Knapp (Cdr. F. Virden, USN).

Task Group 58.2
Aircraft carriers USS Essex (Capt. R.A. Ofstie, USN), USS Intrepid (Capt. T.L. Sprague, USN), light carrier USS Cabot (Capt. M.F. Schoeffel, USN), heavy cruisers USS Wichita (Capt J.J. Mahoney, USN), USS Baltimore (Capt. W.C. Calhoun, USN), light cruisers USS San Francisco (Capt. H.E. Overesch, USN), USS San Diego (Capt. L.J. Hudson, USN), destroyers USS Owen (Cdr. R.W. Wood, USN), USS Miller (Cdr. T.H. Kobey, USN), USS The Sullivans (Cdr. K.M. Gentry, USN), USS Stephen Potter (Cdr. C.H. Crichton, USN), USS Hickox (Cdr. W.M. Sweetser, USN), USS Hunt (Cdr. H.A. Knoertzer, USN), USS Lewis Hancock (Cdr. C.H. Lyman, 3rd, USN), USS Stembel (Cdr. W.L. Tagg, USN) and USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Wheeler, USN).

Task Group 58.3
Aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill (Capt. T.P. Jeter, USN), light carriers USS Monterey (Capt. L.T. Hundt, USN), USS Cowpens (Capt. R.P. McConnell, USN), battleships USS North Carolina (Capt. F.P. Thomas, USN), USS Massachusetts (Capt. T.D. Ruddock, Jr., USN), USS South Dakota (Capt. A.E. Smith, USN), USS Alabama (Capt. F.D. Kirtland, USN), USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN), USS New Jersey (Capt. C.F. Holden, USN), heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis (Capt. R.W. Bates, USN), USS New Orleans (Capt. S.R. Shumaker, USN), destroyers USS Izard (Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN), USS Charrette (Cdr. E.S. Karpe, USN), USS Conner (Cdr. W.E. Kaitner, USN), USS Bell (Cdr. L.C. Petross, USN), USS Burns (Cdr. D.T. Eller, USN), USS Bradford (Cdr. R.L. Morris, USN), USS Brown (Cdr. T.H. Copeman, USN), USS Cowell (Cdr. C.W. Parker, USN), USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. C.K. Duncan, USN), USS Sterett (Lt.Cdr. F.J.L. Blouin, USN) and USS Lang (Cdr. H. Payson, Jr., USN).

Media links

US fast battleships 1936-47

Lawrence Burr
(£ 9.99)

US battleships 1941-1963

Wayne Scarpaci
(£ 23.07)

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