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Laid down in 1937, USS North Carolina (right) was the first new battleship built for the US Navy in nearly two decades.  Though its initial design was influenced by the Washington Naval Treaty and the follow-on London Naval Treaties, North Carolina mounted a main battery of nine 16" guns.  Entering service in April 1941, the battleship was operating in the Atlantic when the US entered World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  A fast battleship capable of operating with the US Navy's aircraft carriers, North Carolina took part in many of the Allied campaigns and battles in the Pacific including Guadalcanal, Eastern Solomons, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Saipan, Philippine Sea, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.  During these operations, the battleship provided intense anti-aircraft fire in defense of the carriers and frequently used its main battery to support troops ashore.  Decommissioned in 1947, North Carolina was transferred to its namesake state in 1961 and is currently maintained as a museum and memorial at Wilmington, NC.

 World War II - US Navy Battleships:

Photograph Courtesy of the US Naval History & Heritage Command


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