Brian T. Clayton
ON BOARD THE USS NORTH CAROLINA (BB-55): RECOLLECTIONS AND HISTORY OF A BATTLESHIP DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
(Under the direction of Professor Michael Palmer) Department of History, July 2005.
The North Carolina was the first American battleship built since 1921. The U.S. Navy commissioned the battleship on 9 April 1941. Battleships had served as the strategic centerpiece of the U.S. Navy for more than fifty years. However, during the Pacific war, battleships went through a transformation in roles and missions. The battleship's primary role had been to fight other battleships, but during the war the North Carolina servedin new roles - supporting aircraft carriers and attacking island installations in shore bombardments.
During the war the ingenuity and "can do" attitude of the North Carolina's crew demonstrated that their battlewagon was a versatile platform. The North Carolina demonstrated that while the dreadnought's missions had changed, battleships could still serve effectively in multiple roles. Oral interviews with the members of the North Carolina's crew provide a glimpse of life on the warship during the Second World War as this paradigm shift occurred.