USS North Carolina


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Jul 9, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

Navy Announces Christening of Submarine North Carolina
quote:

Special release from the Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy’s newest attack submarine, North Carolina, will be christened Saturday, April 21, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard, Newport News, Va.

The fourth submarine of the Virginia class, SSN 777 will bear the name North Carolina to honor the Tar Heel State.

The submarine will be the fourth ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name North Carolina. The first was a 74-gun ship-of-the-line that served from 1820 to 1836. The second North Carolina was a Tennessee-class armored cruiser that was also built at the Newport News shipyard and served from 1908 to 1921. The third North Carolina was the first of the Navy's modern battleships, serving from 1940 to 1947, earning 12 battle stars for service during World War II. The battleship now serves in Wilmington, N.C., as a memorial for all North Carolinians killed in World War II.
Story at http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=28957
 
Mar 22, 2003
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quote:

The third North Carolina was the first of the Navy's modern battleships, serving from 1940 to 1947, earning 12 battle stars for service during World War II.

This ship, BB-55, was the first ship I ever built a model of when I was kid. It has great meaning for me. Today, BB-55 is berthed off the channel of the west bank of Cape Fear River in full view of downtown Wilmington, NC.
 
Feb 7, 2005
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Hi, Sam. Since my niece lives in Wilmington, John and I have had the opportunity to tour the USS North Carolina. It was a fantastic experience! I'd recommend it to anyone. In fact, the next time we're down there I'd like to tour her again. She's a very impressive sight moored in the Cape Fear River.

Denise
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Hi Denise. I have had a long standing love affair with battleships since I was very young. I realize these were ships of war, but they present some of the most graceful and pleasing lines to look at as well as conveying majesty and power. My forvorites have always been the modern designs which began with the NC class. I've toured the Alabama and the Iowa. Strangely, I have not gone to see the NJ (BB-62) yet which is almost in my back yard, probably because I believe they made a big mistake by putting it in the DL river near Camden, NJ instead of in NY bay off Liberty State Park near Liberty and Ellis islands. I was hoping they would have made a memorial there and bring down the SS Ling from the Hackensack Rv to that place too which was an one of the original plans. It would have been a natural for tourists that come to NY to see the Statue of Liberty to want to see these fine ships, for they would have been in easy sight nearby. But you know how politicians work. The best interests of the public are second to their own.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I've been to the North Carolina twice and toured the Alabama as well. Been aboard both the New Jersey and the Missouri when they were active. To say that these are impressive ships is an understatement. Sam, you might want to make a special effort to see the New Jersey. The Alabama and North Carolina are in their World War Two configurations but the New Jersey is essentially as she was finally modified.

What's really interesting is to see not so much what was added but what was kept. The fire control computers for the guns are mechanical devices which reduce data to gears in the computers and they were retained because

a) They worked perfectly and
b) Nobody could devise anything which improved on it.

Not bad for vintage 1930's technology!
 
Mar 22, 2003
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"The fire control computers for the guns are mechanical devices which reduce data to gears in the computers"

Just like the TDCs in the US fleet subs of WW-II. We are so spoiled today with digital electronics that many people cannot imagine how much was done, and how accuracy they were, with analog mechanical devices.

One of these days when I get over to the west side of my state I will go aboard her. I'm one of the supporters who helped bring her home to NJ. My auto tag is one of the special BB series with the image of the ship on it. Annual registration fee includes a percentage of maintenance revenue that supposedly goes for her upkeep.

If anyone is interested in getting into the design details and history behind these and other classes of ships of the US navy, there is a series of books by Friedman in the Naval Institute Press that covers: US Battleships, Cruisers, Aircraft Carriers, and Destroyers. And I know that you Michael have posted several on-line links where more detailed information can be obtained.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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The books you mentioned can be easily had by way of Amazon.com, Barnes And Noble, or the U.S. Naval Institute, and they are excellant. They go into quite a bit of detail about the thinking that went into each class of ship, the problems that had to be addressed, the operational matters that had to be faced, and a number of proposals that have come and gone. Some of them were pretty wild, some of them were actually quite sound, but as always, funding was an issue.

I'm glad to see that you're supporting the New Jersey BTW. The Iowa class was a supremely well balanced design and it says quite a bit about the people who built them that they would still be useful up to half a century after they were first conceived.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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quote:

The Iowa class was a supremely well balanced design and it says quite a bit about the people who built them that they would still be useful up to half a century after they were first conceived.

Agree! What would have been even more impressive would been the five Montana class ships that were to follow the six Iowa's, of which only four were completed. What most people don't realize is that these ships were more than big gun platforms. They were also tremendously large AA platforms and later missile platforms that could sustain greater damage than anything afloat without major compromise in operational ability.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>They were also tremendously large AA platforms and later missile platforms that could sustain greater damage than anything afloat without major compromise in operational ability.<<

Amazing what you can accomplish with a large hull, outstanding protection, and plenty of margin for growth. For all the firepower an aircraft carrier has, it can still be a surprisingly vulnerable ship. Even in the Second World War, they just couldn't match the weight of anti-aircraft armament that a battleship could carry. These days, a carrier's ship mounted armament amounts to little more then point defence weapons. The real defensive punch comes by way of missile armed cruisers and destroyers that act as the screen to keep the Bad Guys at a distance.

The real pity is that the sheer brute force shore bombardment capabilty was lost when the Iowa's finally bowed out, and hasn't been replaced.
 
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