USS North Carolinas

There have been 5 USS North Carolinas and one CSS North Carolina.

The first was laid down in 1818 as one of the “nine ships to rate not less than 74 guns each” authorized by Congress on 29 April 1816. She was a 74 gun Ship of the Line with 102 gun ports and probably had ninety four 42 pound and 32 pound cannon. 29 April 1825 – 18 May 1827 she was flagship of Commodore John Rodgers in the Mediterranean. May 1837 to March 1839 she was the flagship of Commodore Henry E. Ballard on the Pacific coast of South America. She was sold for scrap in 1867.


The second USS North Carolina was ACR-12. A Tennesse Class armored cruiser, she was launched 6 Oct. 1906. Her career was mostly ferrying Americans from the war zones of early WWI and then bringing soldiers home afterward. She was involved in returning the bodies of sailors killed on the USS Maine and was the first shup to launch a plane by catapult while underway. Renamed Charlotte on 7 Jun 1920 to free up the name, she was decommissioned 18, Feb 1921 and later scrapped. These pre-Dreadnaught ships are my personal favorites, check out the crest on the bow.


The third USS North Carolina (BB-52) was to be one of 6 South Dakota Class ships that were cancelled by the Washington Naval Treaty.


The fourth USS North Carolina (BB-55) was the lead ship of the North Carolina Class of battleships. This is the famous one currently moored in the Cape Fear River at Wimnington. The most decorated Battleship of WWII, she took part in every major naval offensive in the Pacific Theater. Decommissioned June 1947.


The fifth USS North Carolina (SSN-777) is a current Virginia Class attack sub commissioned in 2008. Sections of teak deck from BB-55 and seceral pieces of a silver serving set from ACR-12 are incorporated in the sub.  Currently based in Pearl Harbor.


CSS North Carolina was a casemate ironclad built in Wilmington in 1863.  Unfortunately, she was unsound and remained in the Cape fear until Sep. 1864 when she developed a leak and sank off Smithville, now Southport. I can not find a pic, but CSS Raleigh was her sister ship, so:

CSS Raleigh standing in for CSS North Carolina

CSS Raleigh standing in for CSS North Carolina





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