USS North Carolina (BB-55) is the lead ship of the North Carolina-class battleships and the fourth warship in the U.S. Navy to be named for the State of North Carolina. It was the first newly constructed American battleship to enter service during World War II, and took part in every major naval offensive in the Pacific Theater of Operations; Its 15 battle stars made her the most decorated American battleship of World War II.
In the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in August 1942, the battleship's anti-aircraft barrage helped save the carrier USS Enterprise, thereby establishing the role of fast battleships as protectors of aircraft carriers. In all, North Carolina steamed over 300,000 miles, carried out nine shore bombardments, sank an enemy troopship, destroyed at least 24 enemy aircraft, and assisted in shooting down many more. Its anti-aircraft guns helped halt or frustrate scores of attacks on aircraft carriers. Although Japanese radio announcements claimed six times that it had been sunk, it survived many close calls and near misses with one hit when a Japanese torpedo hit the port side on 15 September 1942. A quick response allowed the ship to keep up with the fleet. By war's end, the battleship had lost only ten men in action and had 67 wounded. She is now a museum ship and memorial docked by Wilmington, North Carolina.
USS North Carolina BB-55 FH T-shirt
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