The Battleship USS North Carolina, or BB-55, is the primary ship of her battleship class. It was the fourth ship to be named after a state. USS North Carolina, also nicknamed "Showboat," was built by the New York Naval Shipyard for a staggering cost of $76,885,750, with sponsorship from Isabel Hoey, daughter of then North Carolina governor Clyde Hoey.
USS North Carolina, 728.8 feet long, participated in every World War II offensive in the Pacific when she was commissioned on April 9, 1941 under the direction of Captain Olaf M. Hustvedt. By the end of the war, she has managed to take home 12 battle stars – making her the most decorated American battleship during World War II. Some of her medals include the American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation medal.
The Battleship was decommissioned in June 1, 1960. The "Save our ship" campaigned lobbied by North Carolina school children managed to raise as much as $330,000 which was used to purchase from the US Navy.
In April 29, 1962, she was placed at Wilmington
port, North Carolina
, to serve as a museum ship in memorial of all the North Carolinans who was killed in action during the war. In 1986, the ship was declared a National Historical Landmark. Visitors on board this museum ship can take a tour through the main deck of the ship and the gun turrets. Still onboard is the one of the nine OS2U Kingfisher aircrafts in the whole world.