On our way home from the beach, Stump, Sage, and I took a detour to Wilmington, North Carolina to see the U. S. S. North Carolina Battleship Memorial.
The U.S.S. North Carolina was launched on June 13, 1940 and was in every major Naval offence in the Pacific Ocean during World War II.
She is 728 feet long, and 108 feet wide at her longest beam. She was capable of 28 knots (not a bad speed for her time).
We followed the ramp up to the main deck Where Stump and Sage imagined shooting the enemy with these WWII guns.
There was an airplane on the main deck
We went underneath the deck into a maze of ladders, corridors, and tunnels. There we found the working and living quarters of many WWII men. The area was tight and cramped. It was hot. It was difficult to navigate the straight up ladders and the trip hazards in the bowels of the ship. I can't imagine how it must have felt to be one of the men who lived like this during the war.
Sage takes a seat in the mess hall
This was the "general store". One could pick up a pack of Lucky Strikes or a tube of toothpaste. Need some hair salve? They had that too!
Old cans of snuff, shaving cream, soap, and other toiletries on display
This was the sleeping quarters. Those beds are so small and cramped together. I would have hated to be the man on the top bunk at 7 feet off the ground!
The showers were few, and the men who wanted a shower before dinner lined up. The phamplet said that the line would extend all the way to the main deck.
The dentist's chair. Just looking at this gives me chills.
Even worse, however, is this operating room. I was amazed at how primitive the equipment in this room was. I wouldn't want to have needed this room.
The quarters in sick bay weren't much better than the regular sleeping quarters. The thought of being seriously sick or injured and staying on the top bunks horrifies me.
We made our way through many rooms including several kitchens, quarters for officers, the post office, and several other areas. I had put my camera away to concentrate on walking. The narrow openings and straight up ladders weren't the easiest to walk.
Back on the top deck, Stump and sage manned more guns.
The U.S.S. North Carolina was an amazing engineering feat for that time. Even more amazing were the men who lived, worked, and gave part of themselves to our country during World War II.
If you want more information about the U.S.S. North Carolina, their website is HERE. It is an enjoyable trip and an interesting look into history.
*Be warned: There is a lot of climbing narrow, steep ladders and there are various trip hazzards. Someone that does not get around very well would be best to stay on the main deck.
Y'all have a wonderful week!