W by ASHLEY PAIGE EDWARDS E photography by ALLISON POTTER
ALKING ALONG THE RIVERFRONT in downtown Wilmington, it’s easy to spot the
radar towers and gun batteries of the USS North Carolina from across the Cape Fear River.
The World War II battleship, christened June 13, 1940, is a grand
spectacle that draws thousands of people each year who
look forward to being immersed in its layers of history.
The ship moored in Wilmington is the most
famous, but it is not the first to bear the name of
the Old North State.
In September 1820, a ship-of-the-line was
launched in Philadelphia as the North Carolina
with an overall length of 196 feet and beam of
54 feet, 2,633 tons of displacement, and a comple-ment
of 820. Nominally a 74-gun ship, she had
gunports for 102 and probably mounted 94 cannon.
WBM may 2018