USS North Carolina
The USS North Carolina is the first battleship of its kind to be built. It was built under the Washington Treaty system for the United States Navy. It tops the North Carolina class of fast battleships. Building the ship began in 1937. It was finished in April 1941.
It was built when America was neutral during the Second World War. This meant the design was the same as a treaty battleship. The ship had to have limited armament and displacement.
The United States was however able to use a clause in the Second London Naval Treaty. The treaty allowed for an increase in the main battery. The ship ended up having an increased armament of nine 16 inch guns. The original design required nine 14 inch guns.
Gilbert and Marshall Islands Campaigns
The ship requires constant work to maintain. On November 10th, 1982, it was declared a National Historic Landmark. They hold campaigns to gain funds for repairs to the vessel. In 1998, the museum held a donation drive known as Operation Ship Shape. The money received from the drive was used to repair the ship’s hull.
The hull had been corroded and the thickness of 0.625 – 0.75 inches had reduced to a mere 0.15 inches. Instead of relocating the ship to a dry dock for the repairs, they put up a cofferdam. It was placed around the hull to pump out the water. The hull was also painted anew. A walkway was put up for visitors to gain views from all sides. This was funded by the SECU Foundation.
Repairs to the ship’s hull began in 2019.