I recently took a quick road trip to Wilmington, NC to check out Battleship NC (USS North Carolina). I hadn’t been since I was about 8, but it was cool then; and even better now. This was my second time visiting USS NC. I found the diary entries from the crew very interesting and insightful. The excerpts really gave me a better appreciation for those that served. One crew member mentions how many of the men would take their mattress up top on deck so they would be above if another torpedo were to hit below deck like the one on Sept 15th when North Carolina took a torpedo portside, 20 ft (6.1 m) below her waterline, and six of her men were killed.
USS North Carolina (BB-55) was a battleship of the United States Navy, the lead ship of the two-ship North Carolina class, and was the first new-construction battleship to enter service during World War II. Washington was her only sister ship. She was the fourth Navy ship named for the state of North Carolina. North Carolina participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific theater. She currently rests as a museum ship at the port of Wilmington, North Carolina.
She was laid down on 27 October 1937 at the New York Naval Shipyard and launched on 13 June 1940; sponsored by Isabel Hoey, daughter of Clyde R. Hoey, Governor of North Carolina; and commissioned in New York City on 9 April 1941 with Captain Olaf M. Hustvedt first in command. The first commissioned of the US Navy’s new fast, heavily-armed (16 in (410 mm) gunned) battleships, North Carolina received so much attention during her fitting out and trials that she won the enduring nickname “Showboat”.
Read more of the history at Wikipedia