Battleship North Carolina

The Battleship North Carolina guards Wilmington NC's downtown waterfront.

Everyone should visit Wilmington’s most noticeable attraction, the Battleship North Carolina, which is moored across the Cape Fear River from downtown’s Riverfront Park.

The Battleship is beginning its 55th year here and is even more beautiful than before, having gone through a major restoration to prepare it for the celebration of its 50th anniversary in Wilmington that took place in 2011.

Scheduled by the Navy to be scrapped, a successful statewide campaign to save the North Carolina began in 1958. In 1961, the ship was moved from New Jersey to its present location.

The third in a line of naval vessels dating back to 1820 that were commissioned North Carolina, our proud ship participated in every major battle in the Pacific during World War II, and won 15 battle stars before being decommissioned in 1947. Those who have toured the Battleship North Carolina are surprised that gunners were able to operate in the cramped quarters in the gun turrets. How anyone could sleep in the stacked bunks is another mystery.

The Battleship North Carolina serves as both an attraction to be toured and a memorial to North Carolinians who served in the military during WW II, especially the more than 10,000 who died in service to their state and nation. More than 200,000 people visited in 2013.

A new North Carolina was christened in 2007 and commissioned right here in Wilmington on May 3, 2008. This fourth North Carolina is one of the U.S. Navy’s fast-attack nuclear submarines of the Virginia class.

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