History of Ships Named North Carolina

From USS North Carolina
Jump to: navigation, search

USS North Carolina (1820)

USS North Carolina (1820).png

USS North Carolina was a 74-gun ship of the line in the United States Navy. One of the "nine ships to rate not less than 74 guns each" authorized by Congress on 29 April 1816, she was laid down in 1818 by the Philadelphia Navy Yard, launched on 7 September 1820, and fitted out in the Norfolk Navy Yard. Master Commandant Charles W. Morgan was assigned to North Carolina as her first commanding officer on 24 June 1824.

While nominally a 74-gun ship, a popular size at the time, North Carolina was actually pierced (had gunports) for 102 guns, and probably originally mounted ninety-four 42-pounder (19 kg) and 32-pounder (15 kg) cannons. In 1845, she had fifty-six 42-pounders (19 kg), twenty-six 32-pounders (15 kg), and eight 8 in (200 mm) cannons, for a total of 90.

Considered by many the most powerful naval vessel then afloat,[citation needed] North Carolina served in the Mediterranean as flagship for Commodore John Rodgers from 29 April 1825 – 18 May 1827. In the early days of the Republic, as today, a display of naval might brought a nation prestige and enhanced her commerce. Such was the case as Rodgers' squadron which laid the groundwork for the 1830 commercial treaty with Turkey opening ports of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea to American traders.

After a period in ordinary at Norfolk, North Carolina decommissioned on 30 October 1836 to fit out for the Pacific Squadron, the one other area where ships of her vast size could be employed. Only the Mediterranean and the western coast of South America at that time offered ports which could accommodate ships of great draft. Again flagship of her station, flying the pennant of Commodore Henry E. Ballard, North Carolina reached Callao, Peru on 26 May 1837. With the War of the Confederation raging between Chile and Peru, and relations between the United States and Mexico strained, North Carolina protected the important American commerce of the eastern Pacific until March 1839. Since her great size made her less flexible than smaller ships, she returned to the New York Navy Yard in June, and served as a receiving ship until placed in ordinary in 1866. She was sold at New York on 1 October 1867.

CSS North Carolina

CSS North Carolina was a casemate ironclad built for the Confederate Navy in 1863 by Berry & Brothers at Wilmington, North Carolina at a cost of $76,000. She was placed in commission during the latter part of the year with Commander W. T. Muse, CSN, in command.

The ironclad's bulkheads above the waterline were sloped inward at a 30-degree angle and were armored with four inches of railroad iron, similar to the armor used on CSS Virginia II. There were two shuttered gun ports on each of her four casemate sides, and she carried six 8-inch cannons that could be rolled on their carriages from one port to another; she mounted one heavy pivot-rifle in the bow cannon position.

North Carolina was discovered to be structurally unsound and unsuitable for use on the open ocean; her hull had become riddled with shipworm as a result of the green hull timber used for her construction. She remained in the Cape Fear River, where she had developed bad leaks, until she finally foundered on 27 September 1864, just off Smithville (modern Southport); she was serving there as a guard ship.

Her sister ship CSS Raleigh was also a hard-luck ironclad. After serving in the Confederate Navy for just one week, Raleigh ran heavily aground on a sandbar called "the Rip." Her tonnage bore down heavily on the ship's unsupported aft keel, the pressure finally "breaking her back," as the tide receded; the ironclad was declared a total loss and her cannon, iron armor, and steam power plant were salvaged.

USS North Carolina (ACR-12)

USS North Carolina (ACR-12).png

USS North Carolina (ACR-12/CA-12) was a Tennessee-class armored cruiser of the United States Navy and the second Navy ship so named. She was also known as "Armored Cruiser No. 12" and later renamed and reclassified Charlotte (CA-12).

She was laid down on 21 March 1905 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Virginia, launched on 6 October 1906, sponsored by Miss Rebekah Glenn, daughter of the Governor of North Carolina R. B. Glenn, and commissioned at Norfolk on 7 May 1908, Captain William A. Marshall in command.[3]

Pre-World War I

Following shakedown along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean, North Carolina carried President-elect William Howard Taft on an inspection tour to the Panama Canal in January–February 1909. From 23 April – 3 August, the new cruiser cruised the Mediterranean. Sailing with Montana to protect Americans threatened by conflict in the Ottoman Empire. North Carolina sent a medical relief party ashore on 17 May to Adana, Turkey, to treat both wounded and desperately ill Armenians, victims of massacre. North Carolina provided food, shelter, disinfectants, distilled water, dressings and medicines, and assisted other relief agencies already on the scene. For the remainder of her Mediterranean cruise, North Carolina cruised the Levant succoring both American citizens and refugees from oppression.[3]

In the years before World War I, North Carolina trained and maneuvered in the western Atlantic and Caribbean and participated in ceremonial and diplomatic activities. Highlights included attending centennial celebrations of the independence of Argentina (May–June 1910) and Venezuela (June–July 1911); carrying the Secretary of War for an inspection tour of Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Cuba, and the Panama Canal (July–August 1911); and bringing home from Cuba bodies of the crew of the destroyed Maine for their final interment in Arlington National Cemetery.[3]

World War I

As war began in Europe, North Carolina departed Boston on 7 August 1914 to protect Americans in the Near East by helping them evacuate and return to the United States. She rendezvoused with the USS Tennessee off Cape Cod before crossing the Atlantic. After calling at ports of England and France, she cruised constantly between Jaffa, Beirut, and Alexandria, her presence a reminder of the might of still neutral America. She returned to Boston on 18 June for overhaul.[3]

Pensacola, Florida on 9 September, North Carolina contributed to the development of naval aviation through service as station ship. On 5 November, she became the first ship ever to launch an aircraft (a Curtiss Model AB-2) by catapult while under way, flown by Captain Henry C. Mustin, Navy Air Pilot No.3, and Naval Aviator No. 11. This experimental work led to the use of catapults on battleships and cruisers through World War II, and to the steam catapults on present-day aircraft carriers.[3]

When the U.S. entered the war, North Carolina sailed north to escort troop transports plying between Norfolk and New York.[3]

Inter-war period

From December 1918 – July 1919, she brought men of the American Expeditionary Force home from Europe. Renamed Charlotte on 7 June 1920 so that her original name might be assigned to a new battleship, she decommissioned at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington on 18 February 1921. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 July 1930, and she was sold for scrapping on 29 September.[3]

USS North Carolina (BB-52)

USS North Carolina, BB-55

USS North Carolina, BB-55 Underway.png

North Carolina was laid down on 27 October 1937 at the New York Naval Shipyard and launched on 13 June 1940, sponsored by the daughter of Clyde R. Hoey, the Governor of North Carolina. She was commissioned in New York City on 9 April 1941, with Captain Olaf M. Hustvedt in command. The first of the U.S. Navy's fast battleships to be commissioned, she carried a powerful main battery of nine 16 in (410 mm)/45 caliber Mark 6 guns. The ship received so much attention during her completion and sea trials that she won the lasting nickname of "Showboat".[5]

North Carolina was limited to a standard displacement of 35,000 long tons (36,000 t) by both the Washington Naval Treaty and the London Naval Treaty, to a beam of less than 110 ft (34 m) by the width of the locks of the Panama Canal, and to a draft of 38 ft (12 m) so she could use as many anchorages and shipyards as possible. Thus constricted, she proved a challenge to design.[6]

As the first American battleship to be built in two decades, North Carolina was given the latest in shipbuilding technology. Her propulsion was divided into four main spaces, each with two boilers and one steam turbine per propeller shaft. This resulted in fewer openings in watertight bulkheads and minimized the area requiring protection by additional armor plate. Her propulsion systems (boilers/turbines/shafts/propellers) suffered numerous teething troubles which were reflected in long post-commissioning defect correction period which lasted April–December 1941. Her sister Washington suffered equally, and neither ship was ever able to achieve their designed deep load speed of 28 knots. On the plus side however, she was also one of just 14 ships to receive the early RCA CXAM-1 radar, and a strong (for the day) light anti-aircraft armament.[7]

Aesthetically, her large tower forward, tall uncluttered stacks, and clean superstructure and hull were a sharp break from the elaborate bridgework, heavy tripod masts, and casemated secondary batteries of World War I-era battleships.[6] Combined with her long sweeping flush deck and streamlined structure, she was far more graceful not only than her predecessors but the nearly 50' shorter South Dakota-class battleships that succeeded her.[7]

Service During WWII North Carolina completed her final shakedown cruise in the Caribbean Sea before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Early in 1942 she was scheduled to steam there, but remained in the Atlantic Ocean for a few more months as a potential counter if the German battleship Tirpitz began to attack supply and troop convoys destined for Great Britain. By summer she was ordered to join the Pacific Fleet.[8]

After intensive war exercises, North Carolina departed for the Pacific theater of Operations. She was the first new battleship to arrive in the Pacific since the beginning of the war, transiting the Panama Canal on 10 June, four days following the end of the Battle of Midway in the Central Pacific.[9] She steamed to the port of San Pedro, California, and then to San Francisco before proceeding to Pearl Harbor.[10] According to sailors there, North Carolina was "the most beautiful thing they had ever seen", and her arrival in Hawaii greatly increased the morale of the Pacific Fleet.[8] North Carolina departed 15 July in a task force of the aircraft carrier Enterprise, the heavy cruiser Portland, the light cruiser Atlanta, and eight screening destroyers headed for combat in the South Pacific.[10]

North Carolina joined the long island-hopping campaign against the Japanese by assisting in the landing of U.S. Marines on the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi on 7 August 1942, thus beginning the long battle for Guadalcanal.[11] The only battleship in the naval force in the South Pacific, she escorted the aircraft carriers Saratoga, Enterprise, and Wasp, surrounded by their cruisers and destroyers.[12] After helping to screen Enterprise in the air support force for the amphibious landing, North Carolina guarded the carrier during her mission of protecting the supply and communication lines to the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal.

Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carriers were spotted on 24 August, followed by the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.[11] The Americans struck first, sinking the carrier Ryūjō. The Japanese counterattacked with dive bombers and torpedo bombers, covered by fighters, striking at Enterprise and North Carolina.[13] In a mere eight-minute action, the ship's antiaircraft batteries shot down between 7 and 14 enemy aircraft, her gunners remaining at their posts despite the jarring detonations of seven near misses. One sailor was killed by strafing, but the ship was undamaged. The immense volume of her antiaircraft fire was so heavy the officers of Enterprise asked, "Are you afire?"[6]

North Carolina fired 841 5-inch (127 mm) shells, 1037 rounds of 1.1-inch ammunition, 7425 rounds of 20-mm shells, and 8641 rounds of .50 caliber machine gun bullets during the attack.[14] The gunners of her 5-inch antiaircraft guns "...estimated that the rate of fire exceeded 17 rounds per minute on all guns...", but reported both that vibrations hampered their optical range-finding and the Mark 4 FD radar had difficulty acquiring targets.[14] The protection North Carolina could offer Enterprise was limited as the speedier carrier plunged ahead of her. Enterprise took three direct hits while her aircraft severely damaged seaplane carrier Chitose and hit other Japanese ships. With the loss of 100 Japanese aircraft, the U.S. Navy won control of the air and averted a threatened Japanese reinforcement of Guadalcanal.[6] North Carolina next was assigned to protect Saratoga. Twice during the following weeks of support to Marines ashore on Guadalcanal, North Carolina was attacked by Japanese submarines. On 6 September, she maneuvered successfully, dodging a torpedo that passed 300 yd (270 m) off the port beam.[15] Nine days later, while sailing with Wasp and Hornet, North Carolina suffered a torpedo hit on her port side just forward of her number 1 gun turret, 20 ft (6m) below her waterline making a hole 32 ft by 18 ft, and killing five seamen. Torpedoes from the same salvo from I-19 sank Wasp and the destroyer O'Brien.[15][16] Skillful damage control by North Carolina's crew and the excellence of her construction prevented disaster; a 5.6° list was righted in as many minutes, and she maintained her station in a formation at 26 kn (30 mph; 48 km/h).[17]

After temporary repairs in New Caledonia, the ship proceeded to Pearl Harbor to be dry docked for a month for repairs to her hull and to receive more antiaircraft armament.[12] Following repairs, she returned to action, screening Enterprise and Saratoga and covering supply and troop movements in the Solomons for much of the next year. She was at Pearl Harbor in March and April 1943 to receive advanced fire control and radar gear, and again in September, to prepare for the Gilbert Islands operation.[18]

With Enterprise, in the Northern Covering Group, North Carolina sortied from Pearl Harbor on 10 November for the assault on Makin, Tarawa, and Abemama. Air strikes began on 19 November, and for ten days mighty air blows were struck to aid Marines ashore engaged in some of the bloodiest fighting of the Pacific War. Supporting the Gilberts campaign and preparing the assault on the Marshalls, along with five other fast battleships (USS Massachusetts, USS Indiana, USS South Dakota, her sister Washington, and USS Alabama), North Carolina's highly accurate big guns bombarded Nauru on 8 December, destroying air facilities, beach defense revetments, and radio installations.[19] Later that month, she protected Bunker Hill in strikes against shipping and airfields at Kavieng, New Ireland and in January 1944 joined the Task Force 58 (TF 58), Rear Admiral Marc Mitscher in command, at Funafuti, Ellice Islands.[17]

During the assault and capture of the Marshall Islands, North Carolina illustrated the classic battleship functions of World War II. She screened carriers from air attack in pre-invasion strikes as well as during close air support of troops ashore, beginning with the initial strikes on Kwajalein on 29 January. She fired on targets at Namur and Roi, where she sank a cargo ship in the lagoon.[20]

The battlewagon then protected carriers in the massive air strike on Truk, the Japanese fleet base in the Carolines, where 39 large ships were left sunk, burning, or uselessly beached, and 211 planes were destroyed, another 104 severely damaged.[20] Next she fought off an air attack against the flattops near the Marianas 21 February, downing an enemy plane, and the next day again guarded the carriers in air strikes on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam.[21]

During much of this period, she was flagship for Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Willis A. Lee, Jr., Commander Battleships Pacific.[22]

With Majuro as her base, North Carolina joined in the attacks on Palau and Woleai on 31 March – 1 April, shooting down another enemy plane during the approach phase. On Woleai, 150 enemy aircraft were destroyed along with ground installations. Support for the capture of the Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura) area of New Guinea followed (13–24 April); then another major raid on Truk (29–30 April), during which North Carolina downed yet another enemy aircraft. At Truk, North Carolina's planes were catapulted to rescue an American aviator downed off the reef.[23] After one plane had turned over on landing and the other, having rescued all the airmen, had been unable to take off with so much weight, Tang saved all involved. The next day, North Carolina destroyed coastal defense guns, antiaircraft batteries, and airfields at Ponape. The battleship then sailed to repair her rudder at Pearl Harbor.[17]

Returning to Majuro, North Carolina sortied with Enterprise's carrier group on 6 June (D-Day in Europe) for the Marianas. During the assault on Saipan, North Carolina not only gave her usual protection to the carriers, but starred in bombardments on the west coast of Saipan covering minesweeping operations, and blasted the harbor at Tanapag, sinking several small craft and destroying enemy ammunition, fuel, and supply dumps. At dusk on invasion day, 15 June, the battleship downed one of the only two Japanese aircraft able to penetrate the combat air patrol.[17]

On 18 June, North Carolina cleared the islands with the carriers to confront the Japanese 1st Mobile Fleet, tracked by submarines and aircraft for the previous four days.[24] Next day began the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and she took station in the battle line that fanned out from the carriers. American aircraft succeeded in downing most of the Japanese raiders before they reached the American ships, and North Carolina shot down two of the few which got through.[17]

On that day and the next, American air and submarine attacks, with the fierce anti-aircraft fire of such ships as North Carolina, virtually ended any future threat from Japanese naval aviation: three carriers were sunk, two tankers damaged so badly they were scuttled, and all but 36 of the 430 planes with which the Japanese had begun the battle were destroyed.[24] The loss of trained aviators was irreparable, as was the loss of skilled aviation maintenance men in the carriers. Not one American ship was lost, and only a handful of American planes failed to return to their carriers.[17]

After supporting air operations in the Marianas for another two weeks, North Carolina sailed for overhaul at Puget Sound Navy Yard. She rejoined the carriers off Ulithi on 7 November as a furious typhoon, Typhoon Cobra, struck the group.[25] The ships fought through the storm and carried out air strikes against western Leyte, Luzon, and the Visayas to support the struggle for Leyte. During similar strikes later in the month, North Carolina fought off her first kamikaze attack.[17]

As the pace of operations in the Philippines intensified, North Carolina guarded carriers while their planes kept the Japanese aircraft on Luzon airfields from interfering with the invasion convoys which assaulted Mindoro on 15 December.[26] Three days later the task force again sailed through a violent typhoon, which capsized several destroyers. With Ulithi now her base, North Carolina screened wide-ranging carrier strikes on Formosa, the coast of Indo-China and China, and the Ryūkyūs in January, and similarly supported strikes on Honshū the next month.[27] Hundreds of enemy aircraft were destroyed which might otherwise have resisted the assault on Iwo Jima, where North Carolina bombarded and provided call fire for the assaulting Marines through 22 February.[17]

Strikes on targets in the Japanese home islands laid the ground-work for the Okinawa assault, in which North Carolina played her dual role, of bombardment and carrier screening. Here, on 6 April, she downed three kamikazes, but took a 5 in (130 mm) hit from a friendly ship during the melee of anti-aircraft fire. Three men were killed and 44 wounded.[28] Next day came the last desperate sortie of the Japanese Fleet, as Yamato, the largest battleship in the world, came south with her attendants. Yamato, as well as a cruiser and a destroyer, were sunk, three other destroyers were damaged so badly that they were scuttled, and the remaining four destroyers returned to their fleet base at Sasebo badly damaged. On the same day, North Carolina shot down an enemy plane, and two more on 17 April.[17]

After overhaul at Pearl Harbor, North Carolina rejoined the carriers for a month of air strikes and naval bombardment on the Japanese home islands.[29] Along with guarding the carriers, North Carolina fired on major industrial plants near Tokyo, and one of her scout plane pilots performed a daring rescue of a downed carrier pilot under heavy fire in Tokyo Bay.[30]

North Carolina sent both sailors and members of her Marine Detachment ashore for preliminary occupation duty in Japan immediately at the close of the war, and patrolled off the coast until anchoring in Tokyo Bay on 5 September to re-embark her men. Carrying passengers from Okinawa, North Carolina sailed for home, reaching the Panama Canal on 8 October.[31] She anchored at Boston 17 October, and after overhaul at New York exercised in New England waters and carried United States Naval Academy midshipmen for a summer training cruise in the Caribbean.[23]

Decommissioning and battleship memorial

After inactivation, North Carolina was decommissioned at New York on 27 June 1947. Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1960, she was transferred to the state of North Carolina on 6 September 1961. The brainchild of teacher, Mrs. Zelma Thomasson, the "Showboat" was purchased from the U.S. Navy for $330,000 raised by the efforts of North Carolina school children, who saved their spare change and lunch money for the "Save Our Ship" campaign.[32] In 1961, a fleet of tugboats maneuvered the 728 ft (222 m) ship through a stretch of the river 500 ft (150 m) wide. During this the ship struck the restaurant "Fergus' Ark", a former U.S. Army troopship docked near Princess Street. It was damaged severely and ceased operation.[33] On 29 April 1962, she was dedicated at Wilmington as a memorial to North Carolinians of all services killed in World War II.

During the mid 1980s under President Reagan, many of the ship's systems were scavenged for spare parts to recommission the Iowa class of battleships. Items like high pressure air compressors being removed have left large holes in her mechanical systems and has left turret 1 an empty shell.

This battleship was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[3][34]

The memorial is administered by the Friends of the Battleship North Carolina, established on 10 December 1986. The memorial operates tax free, relying upon its own revenues and donations.[35]

Visitors to the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial can tour the ship's main deck, many interior compartments, and two of her three 16" gun turrets. There is an admission charge, and self-guided tours normally require two hours.

Visitors may also view one of the nine surviving OS2U Kingfisher aircraft, displayed near the stern of the ship.[36] This particular aircraft was salvaged from a mountainside in British Columbia in 1964 and donated by Lynn Garrison. It was restored by Vought Aeronautics retirees in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Various events are held at the memorial, including the annual Fourth of July fireworks display from the adjacent battleship park; spaces may be rented for special events. A Roll of Honor in the Wardroom lists the names of North Carolinians who gave their lives in service in all the branches of the military during World War II. The site is accessible by car or a short water taxi ride from downtown Wilmington, and also features a gift shop, visitors center and picnic area.

In 1999, a reunion was held on the ship. While standing on the signal bridge, the site of a friendly fire strike during the Okinawa assault of 6 April, former PFC Marine Gunner Richard R. Fox described how he helped carry a severely injured sailor down to sickbay. Fox had never known whether the man had survived. During his story he was interrupted by fellow North Carolina veteran Richard W. Reed, who identified himself as the injured sailor and offered his thanks. Neither man had known the other's identity for over a half-century.[37]

Recent maintenance projects include replacing the ship's more than 1-acre (4,000 m2) of teak decking, made possible by the most generous donation in her history: Following a visit by officials from Myanmar, two tractor-trailer loads of the highest quality teak decking in the world arrived, valued at approximately one quarter million dollars, accompanied by a very substantial discount on another eight loads valued at an additional quarter million dollars.[38]

Several near-term restoration projects are planned, starting with a crucial refit of the ship's hull. Initially it was announced this work would require her to be towed to Norfolk or Charleston. However, on 31 May 2010, the Battleship Commission opted to have the repair done in place using the same cofferdam process recently employed to restore the museum ship USS Alabama (BB-60). This is both expected to save $16 million and allow the memorial to remain open to the public during the lengthy repair.[39]

USS North Carolina (SSN-777)

North Carolina – UES 55

Commissioned 2154 – Destroyed 2159
The North Carolina was commissioned alongside the Intrepid and several other Intrepid Type starships to meet the growing need for a larger, longer range starship in the United Earth Starfleet. The ship was designed to follow behind the NX class, preform more detailed science missions or surveys and show the flag to newly discovered races. Sadly the North Carolina never saw this purpose fulfilled. Before she was able to take part in the exploration she was built for the Earth Romulan War broke out. The North Carolina was well decorated during the war until in 2159 she was ambushed in the Goram System by a Romulan strike force as she was delivering relief supplies to a ground force. Luckily for the marines on the planet the Romulans waited too long to spring their trap and the supplies were successfully delivered. Four Romulan ships struck her from the sensor blind created by the planets strong magnetic pole. The North Carolina was able to get in a few solid hits on the last ship which thought the ship too damaged to fight back and was destroyed. As the remaining three turned to attack again the commanding officer was able to damage two of the ships and destroy the other by ramming his ship into it. The ship was lost with all hands.

USS North Carolina, NCC – 155

Daedalus Class Commissioned 2165 – Decommissioned 2196
The USS North Carolina was commissioned in 2165 as part of the new fleet of Daedalus Class starships being put out by Starfleet. Unlike her predecessor this North Carolina was able to serve in the intent she was constructed, an explorer. Before her decommissioning the ship racked up an impressive resume of accomplishments. She traveled more light years than any other Daedalus, added two elements to the periodic table, developed modifications that allowed all Daedalus class ships to travel at higher warp longer and was the last Daedalus class ship in active service before she was retired from service. The crew of the North Carolina developed further modifications to their systems which were used in the development of the next generation of starship even the legendary Constitution Class.

USS North Carolina NCC – 1555

Miranda Class Commissioned 2230 – Decommissioned 2270
The USS North Carolina was commissioned in 2230 as part of the fleet expansion to counter the growing threat of the Klingon Empire. For her first few years of service she saw little action of any kind until the outbreak of the Four Years War. During the war she was involved in several major battles and suffered extensive damage over time. She fought well in the Four Years war and after a major overhaul to repair her patched battle damage was returned to service. She served at Organia and was a long distance cruiser until the start fleet retrofit program in the 2270s began to extend the life of the older ships. After an extensive analysis it was decided that after the damage from the war and the workload afterward that the retrofit would not be cost efficient for the fleet and the North Carolina was decommissioned.

USS North Carolina NCC - 2155

Yamato Class Battleship Commissioned 2277 – Decommissioned 2295
Even with the treaty of Organia Starfleet was still worried about Klingon aggression, the Romulans had ended their long isolation and new races with belligerent attitudes to the Federation were being discovered. In response to this Starfleet began production of a pure military warship, the Yamato Class Battleship. The admiral in charge of the development of this new ship was the last commanding officer of the previous North Carolina and used his position to have one of the new ships named in honor of his previous ship. The North Carolina was a deterrent weapon and never saw action, following the signing of the Khitomer Accords Starfleet greatly scaled back its battle readiness and the battleships and other warships were decommissioned including the North Carolina. They remained in readiness in the reserve fleet for several years in case the Accords failed but finally in 2305 they were all stricken and scrapped.

USS North Carolina, NCC–2155–A

Ambassador Class, Commissioned 2315 – Decommissioned 2365 – Commissioned 2372 - Destroyed 2375
As Starfleet moved to restore its original mission of exploration all the battleship names were granted to new constructions to ‘rechristen’ them in the renewed spirit of exploration. The North Carolina was granted to an Ambassador hull. Sadly as with most of the class the Ambassador was considered a failure early on and most of the ships of her line suffered. The North Carolina was the second ship of the Ambassadors to be launched and was used extensively early on as a test bed to repair the flaws seen in the class. After almost a decade she was crewed for full service and was assigned to retinue exploration or service missions as many in Stafleet Command still had many reservations of the Ambassador class and did not want to risk their loss. The North Carolina was decommissioned at the end of her fifty year service life with little fanfare. The was not to be her end however, with the outbreak of the Dominion War Starfleet needed new ships to replace losses and could not build new ships fast enough. The USS North Carolina was reactivated in 2373 and was in service with her successor. She was first placed in Sol system as a defense ship, then moved to the Vulcan Front and finally was critically damaged in the Battle of Cardassia and was un salvageable.

USS North Carolina, NCC-75019

USS North Carolina, NCC-97005